Sunday, November 14, 2004

References on Islam

The contemporary literature on Islam is rife with ideological and religious bias. It is difficult to wade through the mountain of books on Islam and get to the truth. In the last several decades, the newly created Mid-East Studies departments of American universities are dominated by multi-culturalism and post-modern political ideologues. The vast output from academia – virtually all pro-Islamic propaganda – is completely useless with a few rare exceptions. Today, true scholars and objective writers exist either outside of the academy or in other departments. We must look to these brave few who are willing to stand up for the truth.

I highly recommend Ibn Warraq’sWhy I Am Not A Muslim”. Raised as a Muslim, Warraq now lives in the West and is an outspoken critic of Islam. He has a secular humanist approach. The name of the book is deliberately similar to Bertrand Russell’s “Why I Am Not A Christian”. Since the punishment for Islamic apostasy is death, he, like many other ex-Muslims, uses a pseudonym. There are several informative websites run by ex-Muslims: Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society, Ali Sina’s Faith Freedom, Apostates Of Islam.

Robert Spencer’s, “Islam Unveiled”, is an excellent book for people knowledgeable about Christianity. He contrasts these two religions – a very effective way to get a sense of the magnitude of Islam’s inherent flaws. See his website: Jihad Watch.
Serge Trifkovic’s, “The Sword of the Prophet,” reviews the full bloody history of Islam with a no-holds-barred approach. Read, for example, the horrific Muslim invasion of India. Historians have described it as the bloodiest atrocity prior to the 20th century. Remember, Hindus and Buddhists do not practice a “religion of the book”; strict Islam requires their conversion or death. Read his interview.
Bat Ye’or’s, “ Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide,” gives a voice to the suffering of non-Muslims forced to live under oppressive Islamic rule. Bat Ye’or, a leading Islamic scholar, rejects Islamic mythology in favor of sound historical analysis. Her website is an excellent source of information on Islam: Dhimmitude.
The above are excellent introductory books. For more indepth studies see Andrew Bostom, Bruce Bawer, Paul Sperry, Steven Emerson, and Sam Harris.

Introductory Articles on the Web:
Philip Carl Salzman discusses the tribal roots of Islam in his article in The Middle East Quarterly. He shows many of the cultural conditions that influenced the formation of this religious political ideology are still operative today. These include tribalism and its distinctive honor dynamics; conquests, domination, and the need to humiliate; warmongering and seeking validation in military victory.
Professor Moshe Sharon, a scholar of Islamic history, presents a frightening description of the worldview of Islam in: “The Agenda of Islam – A War Between Civilizations”.

This article, “ Islam Warriors Looking For Saladin” describes the origin and early development of Jihad. Non-Muslims find it hard to imagine the importance of such distant history. Muslims, however, talk as if events like the Crusades happened yesterday. Indeed, Shiites and Sunnis still feud over the rightful successor to Muhammad! Thus, it is critical to understand Muhammad and the first few centuries of Islamic conquests if we are to understand the Islamic threat.

It is not only the “Crusader” West that has suffered the wrath of Islam. This article gives a brief description of the horrific Islamic invasions and conquests of India: “ Islam’s Other Victims: India.” For information about the Islamic concept of Jihad read “ Spread By The Sword,” “The Global Jihad,” and “Islam's Imperial Dreams.” The prolific writer and scholar, Daniel Pipes comments on the propaganda in academia aimed at hiding the real meaning of the word Jihad in “ Harvard Loves Jihad.”

Islamism’s antipathy to the Western liberal democratic tradition and the rational secular worldview should be obvious. Yet, there is a dearth of insightful commentary on this matter. One notable exception, available online, is “ The War against Modernity”. The author, philosopher David Kelly, contrasts the Enlightenment worldview with the mindset of Islam (and religion in general). He writes, “The West may still be a culture of Christians, by and large, but it is not a Christian culture anymore. It is a secular culture. And that is what the Islamists hate most about us.” Kelly makes other subtle and valuable points in this important article.

How were we so blind to the events that led to 9/11? Most writers focus on the government’s failure. But it goes much deeper. For over 20 years experts on the Middle East have been willfully blinded by our academics. No one has done more to expose this treachery than Martin Kramer. His book, “Ivy Towers in the Sand”, is a classic expose of the bogus academic research of left-wing post-colonial propagandists that dominate the Middle East studies departments in today’s universities. To get a sample of his analysis read “ Islam Obscured”. Kramer shows that our intellectuals purposely blinded us to the threat of Islamism and the chief propagandist taught just 8 miles north of Ground Zero.

“Islam is a totalitarian ideology that aims to control the religious, social, and political life of mankind in all its aspects.” This is the first statement of Ibn Warraq’s forward to “The Myth of Islamic Tolerance” edited by Robert Spencer. Warraq shows how the myth developed in the West and what purpose it served those who propagated this lie. The romantic fantasy of the “noble savage,” the relative ignorance of Islam, the selective focus on an atypical time and place, the willful evasion of evidence of Islamic barbarity – all themes covered in just the forward. Then read the rest of the book!

Bruce Bawer, in “The Crisis in Europe,” explains the threat of Islam to European civilization.
For the role of Islam in terrorism see “The Terrorists' Motivation: Islam” by Edwin A. Locke and Alex Epstein. Also see my article “Root Cause.”

Finally, I've written extensively on my blog on various aspects of the Islamic threat that weren't fully covered by other authors. I index those articles via hyperlinks in my summary essay.