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Why I Am Not a Muslim Paperback – March 1, 2003
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- Christopher Hitchens in The Atlantic Monthly
". . . a courageous and prophethic call to value and protect human rights, especially the rights of women."
- National Catholic Reporter
"The problem with a book such as this is that it will most likely never reach those most in need of it. How many libraries will stock it, or dare stock it if they knew its contents?"
-The New Humanist
". . . transcends The Satanic Verses in terms of sacrilege. Where Rushdie offered an elusive critique of Islam in an airy tale of magical realism, Ibn Warraq brings a scholarly sledgehammer to the task of demolishing Islam. Such an act, especially for an author of Muslim birth, is so incendiary that the author must write under a pseudonym; not to do so would be an act of suicide"
- The Weekly Standard
" . . . a completely compelling case for the conclusion that Islam is flatly incompatible with the establishment and maintenance of the equal individual rights and liberties of a liberal, democratic, secular state."
- Salisbury Review
"Ibn Warraq has done for Islam what Bertrand Russell did for Christianity, but at much greater personal risk. . . . His [fate] would be that of Salman Rushdie's were he to reveal his true name rather than the pseudonym he uses. This book is must reading for all who would understand the possibilities and the dangers of affirming multi-culturalism in today's world."
-The Human Quest
"At long last a writer has risen to the challenge posed by this religion of compulsion. He has put together in one book all the objectionable rules of Islam, and has made it into one of the best books about Islam that I have seen in many years. We must be extremely grateful to Ibn Warraq for his revealing book."
- Humanist in Canada
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Top Customer Reviews
"Atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers - call them whatever they prefer, virtually all of them share one very large blind spot: they are almost all ex-Christians, and therefore they measure their shiny new non-belief not against belief in general, but against Christianity in particular. It is thus ex-Christians who write the literature that, to the world at large, represents the views of non-believers. Literature that is specifically intended to present the arguments against religious belief tends in fact to present the arguments against Christian belief."
To be sure, Dvorkin's claim has a very solid foundation in fact: most of the modern anti-religion and atheist doctrines and theories stem from a disillusionment and deconstruction of the Christian faith. From Voltaire to Bertrand Russell ("Why I Am Not A Christian", 1927), the main object of scrutiny and scorn has been the Gospel of Christ, a set of tenets and moral teachings Voltaire famously referred to as the "most ridiculous, the most absurd, and bloody religion that has ever infected the world." Fortunately, for Voltaire, there has been a vast body of research and testimony to substantiate his sacrilegious claims. Unfortunately for Voltaire, not all of them are directed at the Christian faith.
The Eastern faiths (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism) make no claims of exclusivity, i.e. that salvation can only be found in their dogmas. The Western faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), however, do. Each proclaims itself the utter and infallible word of God and seeks to subjugate the world to its will. That's where Ibn Warraq comes in.Read more ›
The author tells us his real intellectual heroes are John Stuart Mill and Karl Popper. Mill wrote the 1859 essay "On Liberty," a lively defense of what American's call the "First Amendment rights" of freedom of conscience and expression. Popper wrote his two volume "The Open Society and Its Enemies" during his exile to Australia in W.W. II. Popper's thesis was that both human dignity and the validation of our general beliefs requires that our procedures of conjecture and criticism remain open and dynamic. The greatest failing of Islam, on this author's account, is that it aims to produce a closed society in which conjecture and criticism is impossible. Since Mill and Popper represent the essential thrust of modernity, Islam's greatest problem is how to come to terms with the modern world.
This is where the author's history of islam becomes so important. It is what makes his critique of Islam so much better grounded than Russell's critique of Christianity. It turns out Islam has been struggling to squelch dissent and diversity from its very beginning. Christians could not behave this way during the first four centuries of their existence, because they did not wield significant political power until then.Read more ›
Warraq talks about the origin of Islam, its pagan background and the influence of Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism on Muhammad. He talks about the origin of Allah in Arab culture, about the early days of Muhammad as a preacher and his rivalry with another storyteller "Al Nadir" and his revenge against him. Warraq traces back the origin of many Islamic rituals to Arab superstitions and Muhammad's strange belief in jinns, demons and other shadowy beings. He also describes how Muhammad rehashed the biblical nonsense about creation, Noah's Ark, birth of Christ etc. while misunderstanding a lot of it, like confusing Mary the mother of Christ with Miriam sister of Aaron, or the Christian belief in Trinity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What happens when an open-minded person meets the West? This. A celebration of the modern culture bequeathed, unbeknownst to most, by the hard work of the Church, and an army of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Grimmy
Ibn Warraq's "Why I Am Not a Muslim" is a scholarly work strongly supported by numerous citations. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sandalphon
I have read over 100 books on Islam, including three Qurans, and much of the Hadiths. THIS IS THE SINGLE BEST BOOK ON ISLAM OUT THERE, BAR NONE. Read morePublished 2 months ago by JohnTruth
After reading Edward Said's book, "Orientalism", this was a breath of fresh air. I found this title in the bibliography of Sam Harris' published dialogue on tolerance in... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Charles R. McCormick, MD
Ibn Warraq covers all the bases in destroying credibility of Mohammed and Quran. He's a little scattered in the approach and repeats the same thought a few times, but the shear... Read morePublished 4 months ago by R. Marten