The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran

by Robert Spencer

★★★

I was disappointed in this book. Whether it’s true or not hardly seems to matter; I was still disappointed.

Spencer hopes to introduce casual readers to the words of the Koran, and he has nothing good to say about it. He compares it to Mein Kampf. Here are some of the chapter titles:

The Muslims’ Worst Enemies: The Koran on the Jews
The Koran on Christians: They’re Not So Hot, Either
The Koran on Women: Crooked and Inferior

The Koran Teaches Nonviolence—Oh, and Violence, Too

Here’s the bottom line: If you want to know what’s in the Holy Book of Islam, read Spencer. If you want to know what Muslims believe, read Karen Armstrong. Islam is a religion of peace, which—like Christianity—attracts a few extremists. Like Christianity, its holy texts are in places downright abominable. Like Christians, practicing believers generally learn to ignore or spiritualize the ungodly portions of their scriptures.

Spencer says about his work, “You will find nothing in this book about Islamic ritual practices or prayers. This is an Infidel’s guide, focusing on where the Koran came from and its specific portions that are—or should be—of concern to Infidels.” It is, by Spencer’s admission, one-sided, and not reflective of general Muslim practices.

Tomorrow, I’ll balance this with a discussion of the Texts of Terror within the Bible, so we can realize how much Christians ignore in their holy book. It might help put things in perspective.

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