A new book is out that argues the very pessimistic view of Islam that I already agree with: Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith by Robert Spencer.
Rod Dreher on National Review quotes from the book in his own fairly positive review of it:
"It would be too pessimistic to say that there are no peaceful strains of Islam, but it would be imprudent to ignore the fact that deeply imbedded in the central documents of the religion is an all-encompassing vision of a theocratic state that is fundamentally different from and opposed to the post-Enlightenment Christian values of the West."
From the Booklist review quoted on Amazon:
Besides the facts Spencer presents, his citations of the Qur'an; the hadiths, or sayings and deeds of Muhammad; and Islamic authorities across the liberal-to-fundamentalist spectrum verify attitudes and practices that secular Westerners and present-day Jews and Christians don't think of as peaceable, just, or decent. For instance, slavery and polygamy may be waning in Islamic societies, but they aren't disapproved of or banned because the Qur'an and hadiths endorse them. Islam hasn't adapted to change nearly as much as Judaism and Christianity have, and that accounts for its savage relations with the West. Spencer doesn't see either Islam moderating or the West regarding Islam realistically any time soon. Barring "some wondrous intervention from the Merciful One," he concludes, the immediate future "will be difficult." Alarmingly cogent.
From the Amazon book description:
In "Islam Unveiled," Robert Spencer dares to face the hard questions about what the Islamic religion actually teaches--and the potentially ominous implications of those teachings for the future of both the Muslim world and the West. Going beyond the shallow distinction between a "true" peaceful Islam and the "hijacked" Islam of terrorist groups, Spencer probes the Koran and Islamic traditions (as well as the history and present-day situation of the Muslim world) as part of his inquiry into why the world's fastest growing faith tends to arouse fanaticism.
"Islam Unveiled" evaluates the relationship between Islamic fundamentalism and "mainstream" Islam; the fixation with violence and jihad; the reasons for Muslims' disturbing treatment of women; and devastating effects of Muslim polygamy and Islamic divorce laws. Spencer explores other daunting questions--why the human rights record of Islamic countries is so unrelievedly grim and how the root causes of this record exist in basic Muslim beliefs; why science and high culture died out in the Muslim world--and why this is a root cause of modern Muslim resentment. He evaluates what Muslims learn from the life of Muhammad, the man that Islam hails as the supreme model of human behavior. Above all, this provocative work grapples with the question that most preoccupies us today: can Islam create successful secularized societies that will coexist peacefully with the West's multicultural mosaic?
About the Author
Robert Spencer is an adjunct fellow of the Free Congress Foundation and a Board member of the Christian-Islamic Forum. His articles on Islam and a wide variety of other topics have appeared in "Human Events," CNSNews.com, National Review Online, "Chronicles," and "Crisis." He has studied Islam for over twenty years.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 October 01 01:52 PM Religion Secular Ideologies|