Going beyond the shallow distinction between a "true" peaceful Islam and the "hijacked" Islam of terrorist groups, Robert Spencer probes the Qur'an and other sacred documents, as well as Islamic traditions and history and the present-day situation of the Muslim world, to find out why the world's fastest-growing faith tends to arouse extremism.
A student of religion for the last 20 years, Spencer brings a knowledgeable and critical sensibility to this brave, searching work. Cutting through the touchy and sentimental relativism of so much current discussion about the subject, he rigorously interrogates Islam.
In this captivating, carefully researched book, Robert Spencer asks hard questions about Islam and gives hard answers, providing a profoundly needed antidote to the wishful thinking and willful distortions that have swamped the media since September 11. As a noted observer of the Arab world David Pryce-Jones says in his introduction, "In its own lively style, Islam Unveiled puts down a strong and significant marker to what lies ahead, as Islam and the rest of the world strive to come to terms."
©2002 Robert Spencer; (P)Blackstone Audiobooks
"Alarmingly cogent." (Booklist)
After reading, and listening to, several books on Islam, this book, like some of the others, takes an unpopular view of Islam and its creation. The scary thing is that a great deal of the arguments ring true. They all agree that a large body of Muslims support the militant view that we often attribute only to terrorists. Islam as the one and only true religion is a central theme and how that is interpreted is discussed in detail. Very informative, requiring scrutiny and analysis.
It was such a fascinating listen, I listened to parts of it twice. The author seems to walk us through Islam objectively. He draws on a large variety of resources. He does am amazing job of weaving them altogether. He does have an unmistakable pro-Christian bias (though he always acknowledges Christain wrong-doing). I came away concluding that Spencer likely gives a fair account of Islam. I certainly don't see any conflict between his account and what I read in the popular press, quite the contrary. What he does not go into in much depth or detail (though he covers it some) is how citizens of Islamic countries have suffered at western hands in the 20th century. If I was a Palestinian, I doubt I would be a big fan of the west. To the extent Spencer's book fairly represents Islam, there are important issues the west needs to address.
If anyone says this examination is sterotyped, they probably have a bias of the material. Many sides of each issue are presented and thoroughly researched. There is historical and modern evidence for a thought-provoking examination. The reader is somewhat hard to understand at times when driving 55+ with noise.
I found this book to be very well researched and informative. It presents Islam as strongly militant. This should not be a surprise given its roots. It's founder after all was unapologetically a military commander. Islam's adherents revel in his military prowess. Should it surprise us that a large number of his followers consider the taking up of arms a spiritual endeavor. A large number may consider Jihad a personal struggle against evil but Mohammad took up the sword on many occasions. It is consequently all too readily reached for by those who consider him there model. This is why all the apologetics for Islam as a ?peaceful religion? will ultimately ring hallow for most of its adherence and it cannot be believed.
A fascinating, if horrific, view under the veil. This is not a politically correct puff piece, but a hard look at the world's fastest growing religion. Spencer includes thought-provoking questions, like "Can an Islamic society be democratized?" Very relevant in view of the current situation in Iraq.
I found this author not too many months after the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington. Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith was the first and for me one of the best books available for a fundamental understanding of the basics of Islam. Robert Spencer (according to his website) "has been studying Islamic theology, law, and history in depth since 1980."
Like many Americans, prior to the 9/11 attacks I thought the conflict in the Middle East was largely political; not religious or cultural. Spencer dispelled that notion. Only false notions do not die easily as we can see with the current debate over the nature and the justification for attacks all over the globe perpetrated by devout Muslims in the name of Islam. Spencer is an invaluable resource. Audible readers are fortunate to have several of his books available at this site. Nadia May does a wonderful job reading this book.
I was interested in this book and the subject matter but found the sound and the narrator grating. The narrator's voice actually prompted me to stop the book, the first time I have ever done so in all the books I have downloaded. Listening to this book on my iPod through a Monster car radio connector was painful, in marked contrast to my other Audible books.
A Public Speaker and Executive Coach who is interested in humanities, history, astronomy, and comparative religions. A skeptical mind that is hard to convince and a true believer in the underlying commonalities among the human species
If you subscribe to the idea that the crusaders and conquistadors represent the true values of Christianity, and that the Stern gang and the Rabbai describing Arabs as "pigs, worms, and filthy flies" represent true Judaism, then this is your corresponding version of Islam. This book is poorly researched and clearly biased. It magnifies and focuses on the views of the "ignorant" and "narrow minded" and disregard those of the mainstream Muslims as if they don't exist. Islam, like all the major religions in the world, carries the seeds of good and evil in its texts. It depends on how we interpret its sayings and on the current circumstances that color our view of the world. A good example is the suicide bombings which are clearly forbidden and not accepted for Muslims under any circumstances and yet you can find a person who has enough credibility among a group of people who can twist and turn a verse to come up with a new meaning that justifies his agenda. I am not a religious person but I believe that humans subscribe to religions for the same reasons and that a common language can be created through sincere attempts of reconciliation. This book will increase the misunderstanding about Islam and will make it more hard for those who read it and accept what's in it to accept Muslims who in the final analysis are not that different from them.
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