©2009 Robert Spencer; (P)2009 Tantor
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.
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.
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).
I'll probably listen to it again, there are a lot of layers to the analysis, the first read will give a good overview.
The history of how the Koran actually came about and how many muslims have not read it in their native language.
No, it's a little too analytically intense to do in one sitting.
No. It's a book that's very clear on the authors stance. All points are clear as a bell.
I knew nothing of the Koran before I got this book. I need another viewpoint before I can recommend it.
This book was not quite what I expected but I was satisfied with the read. I would recommend it to any Infidel looking for more information on the Koran. Since reading this book I have read the Koran, and several other books about the Koran and the life of Mohamed. From these other reads I can say that author was unbiased and presented true information in the material covered. I think that in light of current world affairs this book would be good for every one to read.
This book gave me the tools and information I needed to make an educated decision as to the nature and goals of Islam via its
I generally am a skeptic. An author must Prove his points ,in a book such as this. For that matter, in any non-fiction. I expect a bias , towards the particular author's point of view. As long as I know where he's coming from, that bias is OK. I can , and will , seek out other points of view, and make up my own mind.
When it comes to Islam , however, my mind is made up, and was, before this book. The author gave me many new insights , that I previously didn't have, , but only confirmed what I already knew to be true.
His opinion , in the last few minutes of the book, on what we Infidels can do , here in the U.S. , are well thought out, and reasoned. I believe them, however , to be wholly inadequate.
They are, however, much more realistic , than our "Leaders" , here and abroad, running around , proclaiming Islam a "Religion of Peace".
That is akin to proclaiming L. Ron Hubbard's " Scientology ", a real Religion, when, in fact, Hubbard set that whole farce up to escape the 90% Tax Rate, back when he was writing well.
Forgive the analogy. Though Islam is akin.
My only real complaint , is due to my advanced age, and , therefor, my forgetting what certain terms mean. The author refers to them, without reminding us , late in the book , as to what they mean. As I listened to the book over many days, I hope to be forgiven for forgetting what those Arab terms meant.
To sum it up , if you think 9/11 was a fluck, think again. My eyes were opened that day. If yours were not , this book will open them, if you dare .
God help us , if it doesn't.
"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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