Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest-Growing Faith - Robert Spencer

To proclamations that Islam is a religion of peace, Spencer responds (in chapters entitled with questions such as "Is Islam Compatible with Liberal Democracy?" and "Is Islam Tolerant of Non-Muslims?") with evidence, historical and recent, of harsh treatment of women, other religionists, and social minorities in Islamic societies. 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. Ray Olson


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