Friday, February 1, 2008

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam by Robert Spencer

by Stan Starygin
This is definitely a book with an agenda. The author's views are a combination of academic research, deep-seated emotion and juxtaposition between the teachings of Mohammed and Jesus. There are several themes that the book hammers away: (1) violence committed by Muslims is, most of the time, based on Islam, (b) members of the Judeo-Christian culture must take pride in their heritage lest they waste it away, (c) Judeo-Christian governments around the world don't do enough to recognize Islam and its tenets as a threat in their own rights, (d) there are many misconceptions about the Crusades as they weren't as violent as some might cut them out to be.
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who is not sufficiently versed in Islam through less agenda driven sources, the Quran itself and the writing of eminent Islamic clerics since many of the approaches taken by this book were employed to prove a point the author makes at the outset of the book, rather than explore and analyze points of inquiry into Islam. This is a great source for those who are looking for validation for the Bush Administration post 9/11 policies and want to find them all in one place laced with a more than sufficient amount of fervor.
Having read several dozen of Islam-related titles I enjoyed this book, mainly, not for the author's attempts to debunk "the PC myth of the Crusades", but for its sheer energy that this work emits even in the parts of it where the author is on a limb and even those where Spencer is flat-out wrong. It is almost cute to see the gusto with which Spencer ignores fairly well-known sources which don't work for his arguments side-stepping them in favor of those -- sometimes of more obsure nature -- which do. This is the nature of any argument, though, and one should have a sharp and trained eye to distinguish between solid arguments and their lame counterparts. Read up on the background of Islam in other sources and you will get a kick out of this book like I did!