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Koran Curious: a guide for infidels and believers Paperback – July 4, 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An eye-opening revelation of the origins of Islam and the true meaning of Koranic scripture. Werleman demonstrates how even Muslims understand so little about their faith. This will be a widely discussed book." --Bangkok Post

"CJ Werleman has crafted an absorbing biography of the man behind Islam and the development of the Koran. Although there are hundreds of plain-speech retellings of the political, interpersonal and spiritual developments of Jesus, few have dared to tread into the same territory regarding the prophet Muhammad." - Derek Murphy, author of Jesus Potter Harry Christ. --Derek Murphy 'Jesus Potter Harry Christ'

"This has to be a groundbreaking book on Islam. Werleman takes you on an entertaining journey that covers the life of Muhammad, and how that shaped the words of the Koran. A must read for Muslims and the West." --Phil Torres 'A Crisis of Faith'

About the Author

Author of the best-selling God Hates You - Hate Him Back
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Dangerous Little Books (July 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956427669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956427663
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,271,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard CJ Werleman on Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio podcast from August 2011 and was intrigued by some of the things he shared with the host about Islam and its founding prophet, Muhammad. I was anxious to read his book with the hope of finding a concise and simple discourse on Quran and Muhammad to recommend to fellow atheists, skeptics and freethinkers. Ideally this would be a writing free of the nasty anti-Islam polemics and also more engaging than the typical scholarly works that act as sleep-aides after the first few pages. Unfortunately this is not the one, as I'll point out below.

I. Style & format

The book lacks a formal bibliography, and while it does provide sparse, in-text citations, it is always nice to have a bibliography for those who wish to investigate the sources directly and/or for further reading. More disturbing is the total absence of any reference to the English translation of Quran used (there are many) or the sources used to construct Muhammad's biography (hint: they ain't in the Quran!). I do see two references to Karen Armstrong's works ("A History of God" & "Islam: A Short History") - am I do assume that this was his extent of external sources on studying Islam and Muhammad? Where are the citations to Hadiths and Sira traditions from which we get most details of Muhammad's life? The certitude with which the author writes about the traditions on Muhammad and the origin of the Quran requires multiple references to make the case.

There is no summary or conclusion. Werleman abruptly ends this work at Sura 114 without so much of a comment about his final views on Quran and Islam and Muhammad. This is something you'd expect from a junior high level term paper, but certainly not a book designed to investigate such an important topic.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first one-third of this book that describes the history of Islam is fascinating. It really sheds light on the religion, its origin, and its founder Mohammad. I was really enjoying the book until I got to the part where the actual Koran was summarized. The Koran is simply not a very fun book to read, and is HIGHLY repetitive. I mean, how many times can you say that believers are going to heaven and disbelievers are going to hell? I swear that the Koran repeats this simple idea a hundred different times. The author had a hard task to make such a boring book interesting. He did an okay job.
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I have been studying the Koran line-by-line in a variety of translations. I have also been looking at a variety of interpretive works. I can already tell there is a tendency among certain writers to soft-pedal the obvious issues the modern world should have with this text. There are a few things my reading of the Koran have made abundantly clear:

1. Non-muslims are going to hell, big time. This is repeated over and over and over. It's extremely tedious to slog through this. Perhaps this repetition is the result of it originating in an oral tradition, but the effect of reading the text straight through is that Allah is a sadist who likes to think about burning people, replacing their skins, and burning them again.

2. The CONSTANT repetition of how Jews and Christians intentionally distort the truths presented to them by their prophets forces me to conclude that the Koran is an antisemitic and antichristian screed. Whatever the facts of Muhammad's life may have been, the Koran as written is an unconscionable piece of antisemitic hatred.

3. About Women. The most offensive part of Werleman's book was his mealy-mouthed treatment of Muhammad's marriage to a 6 year old and later RAPE of her as a 9-year-old. He should be ashamed of himself. Any woman who can read the Koran, the relevant portions of the Hadith, be acquainted with the impact this has had on women for centuries of clerical interpretation and decide she wants to be treated this way should consider having a CAT scan. True, the Koran's verses against female infanticide and its passages about how women are worth half a man may have been advances over the way women were treated in Arabia 1400 years ago, but there is NO WAY Muhammad should be known as some proto-feminist. That's simply absurd.
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I have read other books by the author that were at least interesting but this one has nothing new and is mostly a condensed version of the Koran. The author showed himself to be a devout coward with his hands off approach to Mohammed and Islam. Werleman is an attack author but this time he had his tail between his legs.
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Having enjoyed other books by this author--- where he excoriates the absurdities of Old Testament and New Testament--- I was actually saddened to read this lame apology for Islam and "The Prophet." From the first pages of Koran Curious, Werleman backs off his previously witty and generally astute style of writing, offering the lame and craven mission of helping his readers "understand" the Koran and put Muhammad's life "in context." Where are the fiery denunciations of religious delusion? Where are the condemnations of the absurd "Religion of Peace" nonsense? I'm afraid poor CJ has succumbed to the very real fear that a truly courageous book like "Why I am Not a Muslim" would bring out the ire of those offended by a cheeky and damning expose. And, don't tell me that it is only the extremists who have hijacked this religion. The mad and self serving rants of "The Last Prophet" (and his deluded followers) are pure garbage, and can certainly be interpreted as hateful in many respects. One of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse he ain't! (Read Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, Dennet and Ayan Hirsi Ali).
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