©2009 Robert Spencer; (P)2009 Tantor
This is a very honest and balanced look at the reality that is Islam. And Islam is what it is because of the Koran. While the Koran is what it is because of the life, teachings and example of Mohammad, the founder and dictator of the Koran (he was illiterate and could not read or write).
The author, Robert Spence, is not quite as conservative as I am, but his research, explanations, opinions and conclusions are quite sound. He is very gracious toward the "moderate" Muslim while not yielding to Political Correctness or white-washing the very real problem of Jihadist Islam. He makes a clear case to prove that Jihad cannot be legitimately understood apart from Mohammad's war on the infidel and his call for his followers to follow suit, which explains the constant war (including that which has existed among the differing Islamic sects since the "wars of apostasy" after Mohammad's death) and bloodshed throughout the 1,400 year history of Islam.
The narrator, Lloyd James, is one of the best in the business. A very well-read, clear narration on his part put the icing on the cake for a 5 star rating of this audio book.
Refreshing in its complete absence of political correctness, this book illuminates the most pressing issue in contemporary times. I'm giving it as gifts to friends and politicians.
If you are interested in learning more about Islam, albeit in a critical way, this book is worth a listen.
The "Infidel's Guide" points out a number of inconsistencies within the religion -- and-- its founder, as well as states the major tenets of the religion of Islam, and some common misperceptions. It gives a brief history of Islam, and states what Muslims consider holy about the book and its prophet, while the narrator states what he considers false about this religion from a Biblical perspective.
If you are a Christian wondering about the impact of Islam, and would like to learn more about this religion, and why it is a false religion, this book is also recommended.
As an aside, the tone of this book (as the title may suggest) is not one of respect for Islam or its founders, but seems to me to convey a transparency and frankness about the disparity between the two religions. The tone, seems to me, conveys one that is similar to how Muslims feel about Jews and Christians (many verses from the Koran are mentioned about this).
There are those who would shrink from the message in this book - that the Koran is not a religion of peace, that a major theme of Islam is to subjugate all those of a different religion. This book, mostly in tedious way, goes through the Koran in detail. It analyzes the many positions on the Koran, e.g. that sections of it (regarding killing infidels, for example) are read "out of context." It looks at the sections that are contradictory, or that are used to validate the claim that the Koran is just a book of wisdom. The Infide's Guide is somewhat dry and somewhat tedious, as it analyzes the positions and then cites the verses in the book that support or refute these claims.
No one can say that this book is a rant against Islam. That is what makes it so compelling. It is a scholarly, dry, and altogether horrifying look at what the Koran really says. You can't deny it, because the citations are there, and there are many.
This is a must-read for those who want to cut through the rhetoric and conflicting emotional appeals and learn the basic content of the Koran. While the author takes a clear editorial position, the only conclusion that this reader can make is that the editorial bent is driven by a criticial reading of the Koran.
The narration is adequate for the task.
Choosing this book, I thought I was going to get insight into how Islam works for Muslims in helping them connect to God, with an in-depth look at the Koran in a manner that explains Koranic concepts to non-Mulsims. That was not exactly the case.
While this book is very much in-depth and meticulously written and soundly argued, there is very little about the spiritual or mystical aspects of Islam. It is very clear in its forward or preface that this is a cautionary book about the entrenched violence, disdain for the infidel and outright deception that is sactioned in the Koran. How Koranic verses are very clear and often repeated in their hatred of the infidel and how Muslims are compelled by the Koran to subdue all to Islam by sword or subjugation, not matter what.
I did appreciate learning about the Koran, its compilation, Muhammad and the 7th century environment in which Islam was first proselytized. Spencer hits on all the high points of concern for Christians and Jews, women and of course terrorism. He gives Koranic references constantly, including the commentary of the Hadith as well as many Muslim scholars and theologian's points of view on the Koranic verses. As well, there are interesting biographical elements to Muhammad's story here too.
So the book is extremely rich in knowledge. And for that I am thankful and enjoyed learning about Islam. But it was painful to wade through the basic tenant of the book, that infidels are in grave danger. What Spencer never squares is the fact that hundreds of millions of Muslims (22% of world population according to Wikipedia) live in peace throughout the world, with no intention of Jihad.
The final nail in the coffin is that in his conclusion, Spencer talks about the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who has alarmist views on Islam and has been often liked to a Nazi in his views on how to deal with Islam. If you are thinking of reading this book, just take a look at the titles of Spencer's other 12 books on Islam (I wish I did). You'll get the idea. If that's what you're looking for, then this book is for you. If you are looking for insight into the spiritual of Islam, best keep looking.
After Paris and San Bernardino I was ready to learn about Islam. Since then I've read or listened to at least 4 of Robert Spencer's books as well as one by Islamic apologist, John Esposito. Spencer's knowledge of Islam, the Koran, Sharia law is encyclopedic & he's also pretty funny.
Takes a while to get through it, but the information and knowledge gained in this book is invaluable. A sobering wake up call to the threats Western civilization faces if we do not recognize what true Islam really teaches, and take action to protect ourselves.
The desire to ignore a threat. The wish for something to be real when it's not. The believe the hiding your head in the ground and pushing the ideas we want to believe is dangerous and threatens our security. If you have a child that could possibly be involved in drugs your constant repeating that it is impossible for that to be so and that he is a good boy would not make it real. Our politicians both Bush and Obama are enabling the ultimate threat to our security and peace.
"Well researched but no overall cohesion"
This book has been we researched but it seems to jump around a lot. It doesn't give you a sense of the Quran as well as Bill Warner's books do. For instance text wise the Quran only makes up 14% of the overall body of Islamic texts. The rest is mostly the Hadiths and Sira. This book does not even mention that. watch Bill Warner's free videos on YouTube to get a better sense of the Quran.
"Very insightful book"
Really worth listening to and provides much insight into how counter productive extreme political correctness is in the face of radical Islam and how the western world refuses to tackle an obvious problem by hiding it's head in the sand.
"Misconceptions about Islam dispelled."
We live in interesting times. It is essential to inform ourselves about the ideas that motivate those who wage war in the name of Islam. What ever your political views or your faith, I think you will gain a valuable insight from reading this book. A Muslim reader would particularly benefit from exploring the ideas put forward by the author.
"Thorough coverage of the koran"
Spencers trot through the Koran is highly informative although focused on Medina Muslim concepts. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in the theological underpinning of Jihad and misogyny
"Beat your wives gently."
Interesting book well narrated.
The Complete Infidel's Guide to ISIS, by the same author. Reading both books is a good idea, as they compliment each other very well.
Don't think so no. He did an alright job.
This book never gets boring.
Obama and Tony Blair should read this.
"Incitement to religious hatred"
I write as a critic of Islam but can safely say that this book adds nothing but vitriol and demonisation to a complex and sensitive debate. Spencer advocates dis barring any Muslim person from entering the US on the grounds of faith. His is the binary Manicheasim of the moral absolutist, and, in his own way is a threat to peace.
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