- Muhammad: Prophet of War
- The Qur'an: Book of War
- Islam: Religion of War (hey wait... I'm sensing a theme?)
- Islam: Religion of Intolerance
- Islam Oppresses Women
- Islamic Law: Lie, steal, and Kill
- How Allah Killed Science (a3udhubillah)
- The Lure of Islamic Paradise
- Islam--Spread by the Sword? You Bet.
Part II: The Crusades
- Why the Crusades Were Called
- The Crusades: Myth and Reality (err... reality, then myth?)
- What the Crusades Accomplished--and What They didn't
- What If the Crusades had Never Happened?
- Islam and Christianity: Equivalent Traditions?
Part III: Today's Jihad
- The Jihad Continues
- "Islamophobia" and Today's Ideological Jihad
- Criticizing Islam May be Hazardous to Your Health
- The Crusade We Must Fight Today (excuse me, but WTF?)
So the book goes like this: first, set up Islam as an evil, hateful, intolerant, oppressive, pseudo-religion. Convince the reader that Muslims were initially out to "get" everyone, like a plague or a virus that just sort of attacks anything. Or maybe like the Borg. Yeah, just like the Borg. Then, after sufficient fear and loathing has been inspired for Muslims, explain that really, Christianity's crusades--those were the good guys and they were just fighting back against those wretched Muslims who were like the Borg trying to take over Jerusalem. (Remember how the Enterprise had to go back in time to stop the Borg from taking Earth in First Contact?? Yeah, something like that.) So not only were Muslims just evil to start with, they were manifesting that evil by attacking Christians, and the noble Christians were fighting back. (I'm getting a bad taste in my mouth...)
Then, once you've set up the good vs evil precept, with the Christians (and in a small way the Jews because we have to be at least a little bit Zionist and heartily American) as the good guys, and the Muslims as the bad guys, then you propose action. You say, look, they are fighting us! They've always been fighting us! They're still fighting us! And they're being sneaky and they're trying to get our more intelligent leaders (like Condi Rice or Kofi Annan) to believe that Islam really isn't evil, it's nice and peaceful. Insidious Muslims! People are starting to think Muslims might be good and people might actually want to start tolerating them (yah, really God forbid?) so we must fight back! We must, is his cry.
What a moron. Yeah, I have no need to be polite at this point. This guy thoroughly ticks me off.
So, armed with a pen and some sticky notes, I attacked the book. Primarily the section labelled "Islam Oppresses Women" because it's certainly the topic of them all I know the most about. I replied to the following subtopics:
- the great islamic cover-up: spencer informs the reader that muslim women have to cover... is that bad or something?
- child marriage: spencer claims men can marry pre-pubescent women and have intercourse with them, based on a ayah about what to do if a woman is divorced before her period starts
- wife beating: says that women who complained about bad husbands were "not the best" that's right, he said the women were not the best. erk. gives an example of hadith that mysteriously has no source
- an offer they can't refuse: calls women property
- don't go out alone: cites shafi'i opinion (so he says) that men may forbid their wives to leave home
- temporary husbands: mocks the ruling on three divorces being permanent
- prophetic license: claims Muhammad saws had concubines in addition to wives, which he somehow thinks is unfair (as if the women had no choice?)
- temporary wives: mut3a
- rape: four witnesses needed: i've had it to here (my arm up high) with this topic, which has been hammered to death again and again on whyislam. it's completely and utter nonsense, a total fabrication
- female circumcision: says muslims think it's part of religion even though he acknowledges most don't practice it. points out it's an african thing, but neglects to mention that non-muslim africans do it too and it's almost entirely cultural. says men clip women to reduce their sexual pleasure. that's sick, what man would do that, really? how dumb.
- long term prospects: dim
I have at least one post-it on almost every page of this chapter, sometimes refuting, sometimes commenting on the sheer stupidity of the comment, sometimes explaining the context. If/when whoever bought this book decides to read it, they'll get a mouthful from me. I made a few additional comments throughout the rest of the book. Overall, I'm disgusted, and disappointed.
I don't know what to do.