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Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest-Growing Faith Hardcover – October 25, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; 1 edition (October 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893554589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893554580
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #890,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"[A] bracing argument that can help Americans think through...the greatest religious, cultural, and political conflict of this century." -- The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, "The Naked Public Square"

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 81 people found the following review helpful By The Spinozanator VINE VOICE on December 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Islam has been described as "The heaviest chains that ever shackled humanity." The Qur'an's authority in the Muslim world far surpasses the authority the Bible has held in the West. These direct quotes (mostly the Dawood translation from Arabic) are from the Qur'an via "Islam Unveiled:"

Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate. (Sura 9:73)

The true believers fight for the cause of God. But the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan. (Sura 4:76)

When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads...(Sura 47:4)

Slay them wherever you find them. (Sura 2:190)

Arrest them, besiege them. And lie in ambush everywhere for them. (Sura 9:5)

Mohammad is God's Apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. (Sura 48:29)

But he forbids you to make friends with those who have fought against you on account of your religion and driven you from your homes or abetted others to do so. Those that make friends with them are wrongdoers. (Sura 60:9)

He that leaves his dwelling to fight for God and his apostle and is then overtaken by death, shall be rewarded by God. (Sura 4:100)

And theirs shall be the dark-eyed houris, chaste as hidden pearls: a guerdon for their deeds. (Sura 56:15-24)

The righteous shall recline on couches lined with thick brocade...Therein are bashful virgins whom neither man nor jinnee (spirit beings) will have touched before...Virgins as fair as coral and rubies. (Sura 55:54, 55, 56) (no mention is made in the Qur'an of what heaven is like for women).
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247 of 291 people found the following review helpful By M. D Roberts on March 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The book's cover displays a chilling photograph of the eyes of Mohammed Atta, one of the Islamic terrorist hijackers involved in the September 11 2001 atrocities. A fitting lead into this study of Islam and the underlying hatred behind these and other acts of terrorism.
The writer has been a student of Islam for some 20 years and tries to explain without bias, what he personally declares as some of the misconceptions surrounding Islam. Whilst I might not agree with everything that the book contains, it is very well written and an extremely useful reference for those wishing to study these issues.
The book states at the outset that most Westerners know very little about Islam and had little or no idea of the depth of hatred and hostility facing the West prior to September 11. The writer proceeds to declare that whilst the very many innocent Moslems should not be held guilty by association following these terrorist attacks, the likes of Osama bin Laden and co. actually meant precisely what they said & far from being extremists or perverters of Islam, they actually interpret Islam's tenets correctly.
The book addresses how for many decades, endless incidents of violence, murder & terrorism have been publicly declared as `having nothing to do with Islam'. Claims still being echoed by senior Western politicians who blindly insist that Islam is a `peaceful religion' ignoring Islamic calls for worldwide domination and the destruction of the West and Israel. The book stating that to bracket Islam and peace is just wishful thinking with reference to the Islamic fighting against it's neighbours along the perimeter of the Islamic world, citing the violence against Hindus in India, Communists & Buddhists, Chinese, Jews and some `Christian' entities.
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77 of 88 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I am sure that those mono-star reviewers that have attacked Mr. Spencer have not gotten beyond the cover of the book. To anyone who saw Mr. Spencer on CSPAN, it is clear that he is not anti-Muslim or anti-Islam. Mr. Spencer was adament in his talk that he was not referring to the one billion plus Muslims in the world, but a minority of radicals/fundamentalists (he said 10-15%) that were interpreting the Quuran too narrowly or selectively for their own political gain. Muslims would be wise not to call what Mr. Spencer says rubbish as most of his arguments are gleaned directly from the Holy Quuran itself. Mr. Spencer is not advocating any religion as superior or denegrading Islam. He is bringing up important points that most would like to ignore for fear of appearing politically incorrect. Radical Islam can never be a minor issue in a religion with over a billion adherents. Mr. Spencer's figure of 10% would still mean over a million Muslims demonizing the West.
The cries on this board to remove Mr. Spencer's book say far more about the mindset of some Muslims than anything meaningful about the work itself. They clarify one of Spencer's main themes-
moderate Muslims prefer to stick their heads in the sand instead of confronting the radicals in their midst.
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73 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Big Dave on December 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In his final chapter, Spencer writes: "[i]t would be too pessimistic to say that there are no peaceful strains of Islam, but it would be imprudent to ignore the fact that deeply imbedded in the central documents of the religion is an all-encompassing vision of a theocratic state that is fundamentally different from and opposed to the post-Enlightenment Christian values of the West."
And that about sums up the book. At every turn, Spencer acknowledges that Islam has plenty of adherents who believe in Western-style liberalism: live and let live, separation of church and state, allegorical interpretation of harsher scriptural passages or an understanding that such passages are no longer in force, etc. But he doesn't talk about them, because the point of this book is that Islam has a dark side. Which is to say, many Muslims believe in and practice a pretty savage faith.
This, of course, is no surprise at all, if you read the news. The Miss World-induced riots, "honor killings" in Jordan, death threats made against Salman Rushdie and other writers, female circumcision in North Africa, the Saudi girls burned to death in their school because the police wouldn't allow them outside without veils, the teenage girl sentenced by a Pakistani court to be gang-raped as punishment for a moral indiscretion of her brother, you name it; the Muslim world has quite a few barbarians.
What Spencer does that is interesting is examine the Islamic world in respect of various social or political issues -- human rights, liberal democracy, feminism, separation of church and state -- setting out the abuses of some Muslims and showing how those abuses, while they may look horrible to Westerners and to liberal Muslims, are fully compatible with Islam's fundamental documents, the Qur'an and the hadiths.
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More About the Author

ROBERT SPENCER is the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of thirteen books, including two New York Times bestsellers, The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (both Regnery). Recent books he has written include Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins (ISI) and Not Peace But A Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam (Catholic Answers). His latest book is Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In (Regnery).

Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. intelligence community.

Spencer is the Vice President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). He is a weekly columnist for PJ Media and FrontPage Magazine, and in addition to his books, has written many hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism. His other books are Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter); Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery); Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't (Regnery); Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs (Regnery); and The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran (Regnery). He is coauthor, with Daniel Ali, of Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics (Ascension), and editor of the essay collection The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims (Prometheus). He is coauthor, with Pamela Geller, of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War On America (Threshold Editions/Simon & Schuster). Spencer's books have been translated into many languages, including Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Korean, and Bahasa Indonesia.

Along with his current weekly columns, for nearly ten years Spencer wrote the weekly Jihad Watch column at Human Events. He has completed a weekly Qur'an commentary at Jihad Watch, Blogging the Qur'an, which has been translated into Czech, Danish, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. He has served as a contributing writer to Steven Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism. His articles on Islam and other topics have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Post, the Washington Times, the Dallas Morning News,, Real Clear Religion, the Daily Caller, the New Criterion, the Journal of International Security Affairs, the UK's Guardian, Canada's National Post, Middle East Quarterly, WorldNet Daily, First Things, Insight in the News, National Review Online, and many other journals.

Spencer has discussed jihad, Islam, and terrorism at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Ministry. He has also appeared on the BBC, ABC News, CNN, FoxNews's O'Reilly Factor, the Sean Hannity Show, the Glenn Beck Show, Fox and Friends, and many other Fox programs, PBS, MSNBC, CNBC, C-Span, France24, Voice of Russia and Croatia National Televison (HTV), as well as on numerous radio programs including Bill O'Reilly's Radio Factor, The Mark Levin Show, The Laura Ingraham Show, Bill Bennett's Morning in America, Michael Savage's Savage Nation, The Sean Hannity Show, The Alan Colmes Show, The G. Gordon Liddy Show, The Neal Boortz Show, The Michael Medved Show, The Michael Reagan Show, The Rusty Humphries Show, The Larry Elder Show, The Barbara Simpson Show, Vatican Radio, and many others.

He has been a featured speaker at the University of California-Irvine, Temple University, Dartmouth College, Penn State University, the University of California-Los Angeles, Stanford University, New York University, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia, State University of New York-Binghamton, State University of New York-Stony Brook, DePaul University, the College of William and Mary, Washington University of St. Louis, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Boise State University, and many other colleges and universities.

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