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The Third Choice: Islam, dhimmitude and freedom Paperback – February 1, 2010

37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1926800004 ISBN-10: 1926800001

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Editorial Reviews


Durie in The Third Choice has produced a remarkably lucid, compact, well annotated, comprehensive and enduring book. --Jerry Gordon, New English Review  (edited by author)

I salute the courage of Mark Durie and the scholarship exhibited in The Third Choice, which offers solutions to difficult problems hindering the peaceful co-existence of two major world religions. --Archbishop Peter Akinola (added by author)

In The Third Choice Mark Durie examines the most crucial challenges of this new century. In clear language, free from political correctness, and backed by an impressive scholarly knowledge, he unfolds step-by-step the basic foundations of Islam and exposes their inner correlations with jihad and dhimmitude, two theological and legal Islamic institutions that shape traditional Muslim behaviour toward non-Muslims. --Bat Ye'or (added by author)

This extraordinary book stands as a vital wake-up call for an increasingly drowsy Free World. --Robert Spencer (added by author)

To say something worth reading about the relationship of Islam to other faiths an author needs a huge and broad amount of knowledge in different fields of expertise, needs to know how to integrate research findings from religion, sociology and humanities, and needs to be brave, politically incorrect and peace-minded all at the same time. Few people can offer all of this, but, as all of this is true for Mark Durie, I can recommend The Third Choice to everyone interested in the future of world politics. --Professor Thomas Schirrmacher (added by author)

From the Author

I wrote this book to help people understand Islam, and what it means to live under Islamic dominance if you are not a Muslim.  The Third Choice is written in a way which is accessible to people of all faiths or none.  It contains a lot of original material, which readers will not find elsewhere. 
For readers who are looking for an overtly  Christian response to the material in The Third Choice, I can recommend Liberty to the Captives, which offers spiritual keys to finding freedom from Islam. 
My earlier book Revelation considers the question of whether Muslims and Christians worship the same God. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: DEROR BOOKS (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1926800001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1926800004
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.6 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,249,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist and pastor of an Anglican church. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By ChrisLA on March 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Westerners have a hard time understanding why Muslims are so sensitive to criticism of their ideology. This new book by an Australian evangelical minister, Mark Durie, provides some valuable insights. The author recounts about a young scholar who was in Egypt and wanted to study the Coptic theological analyses of Islam. He went to the Coptic Bishop in Cairo and asked where he could locate such books. The Bishop told him that they don't exist. How could this be, with Copts living under Islamic domination for 1,400 years? This would be baffling to Westerners, but perhaps not to Copts.

Durie's book gets down to basics in "unpacking" the Islamist thinking about dhimmitude -- the non-Muslim's liability for refusing to submit to Islam -- and jizya -- money paid to Muslims to restore what was their Allah-given rightful inheritance (being the entire world). One of the requirements of dhimmis is that they never criticize Islam or Muhammad, explaining why to this day, any criticism of Islam is seen as a serious offense to Muslims. The book is well-documented and carefully reasoned. It is not your typical anti-Islam rant, nor is it at all preachy.

Non-Muslims must resist the incipient dhimmitude attitude in the West that we shouldn't offend Muslims by criticising their ideology. On the contrary, this fact-filled book will help non-Muslims speak the truth in love to Muslims who most need to hear that their ideology, based on the Quran and the Sunna of the Prophet, runs counter to prevailing attitudes of freedom, equality, and true brotherly love in the West. This message is timely and important.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Paddy Reader on May 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a very scholarly and methodical approach to explaining the concept of dhimmitude to anyone who will listen, Muslim or not. To be brutally literal, one could argue that dhimmitude per se only refers to civilisations who were under Islamic rule, and since the west is not, then use of the term is misleading. However, it is correct to suggest that dhimmitude is not only a geo-political or historical state, but a state of mind. It is a figure of speech, of sorts, to warn against an uncritical acceptance of Islamic claims. The book is not written for a pro-Christian echo chamber, but rather to those who believe (correctly) that all faiths are deserving of critical scrutiny and reasoned unbiased analysis.

Durie makes no attempt to feign "tolerance", nor pander to those multicultural sensitivities which so stifle honest debate these days. However, he does go to lengths to show compassion for Muslims at a personal level, without patronising them. Where Durie does not compromise, is insisting that "interfaith dialogue" is not a path to learning objectively about Islam regardless of how fashionable this might be to career religionists. He insists that personal study of Islam's own scriptures, overlaid against a backdrop of past and current Islamic behaviour, is the only way to fully understand. Durie doesn't fail at providing real world examples of Islamic behaviour or incidents to underpin his points, and his work is fully referenced. In fact, the scope and depth of his references and their relevance is quite alarming. You might say that this book does not pontificate or editorialise, so much, on the rights or wrongs of Islam, instead crediting the reader with the intelligence and autonomy to work out those moral issues for themselves.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful By B. Hooper on March 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book I've been waiting for since before 911. (Yes, I read "Jihad in the west" by Fregosi before 911 and few other important books.)

Open it up and find out what people like Ravi Zacharias, Andrew Bostom, Robert Spencer and Bat Yeor are saying about "The Third Choice".

It maybe the most important book on Islam ever written. I've read more than a few and it is the best one I've ever read. It explains the real reason we are fighting this war on terror. It also explains why so many Jews and Christians have good things to say about Islam. (Yes, that's always confused me too.)

Buy a copy or 100. Every academic, journalist and politician ought to read this book. Atlas Shrugs calls it a "Blockbuster". She's right.

Everyone needs to read this book, even those Muslims who believe that the Sharia is great. Maybe they've never heard about the detrimental effects it had on non-Muslims and Muslims. (Yes Muslims, because extremists don't allow any criticism of the Sharia most Muslims have never even dared to think that there might be a serious problem with trying to implement the Sharia no matter how well meaning or moderate the implementers are.)

Like the dvd "The Third Jihad", "The Third Choice" introduces people to the difficult issues gently. Durie does not avoid the difficult issues or water them down but tells us plainly, from history, what it was like to live under the Sharia and why we must resist it at all costs. After reading this book people will be more inclined to consider what Mark Steyn, Robert Spencer and Bat Yeor have to say.

Just buy it!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By art lewis on January 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This man knows how to write. His sentences are transparently clear and sometimes distilled to an almost magical purity of meaning. It's not a long book and it's easy enough for people with no knowledge of Islam, yet experts will probably be able to learn a lot from it too, because of the author's outstanding mastery of his material. The book manages the feat of combining tremendous readability with great scholarly thoroughness. It also manages the feat of being both more hard-hitting and yet more compassionate than any other book out there on Islam.

The Third Choice should be a top contender for best single introduction to Islam and also to the Islamic textual and historical basis of "dhimmitude." Dhimmitude means turning non-Muslims into second class citizens subject to various kinds of legal and social discrimination. The institution is reminiscent of Jim Crow era segregation or South African apartheid, but dhimmitude is based on religious rather than racial discrimination, and is often considered by Muslims eternal and unchangeable till the end of time, because sourced in the eternal word of Allah in the Qur'an, and in the example of Muhammad in the canonical Islamic traditions about Muhammad's life.

The Third Choice employs Durie's conscientious and insightful style to make a powerful case that Islam and creeping dhimmitude pose growing dangers to civil liberties and open societies. He makes the case through a consideration of core Islamic texts, Islamic history, modern media reports, and his own experience living in Indonesia. Durie evinces a profound knowledge of the core Islamic texts and what those texts direct Muslims to do about unbelievers. Despite the book's relative brevity, it's almost miraculously comprehensive and thorough, pulls no punches, and reveals the darkest underbelly of Islam with unmatched effectiveness and yet with genuine compassion. A work of genius.
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