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Why I Am Not a Muslim
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on January 4, 2015
Ibn Warraq’s book has something to offend every theist. It is meticulously researched, and asks questions more relevant than when the book was written some 20 years ago.

While Warraq grapples for answers to the fatwa on Salman Rushdie, more horrific events in recent times have overtaken this issue.
Why are our leaders still scratching their heads and asking “why” Europe is fast becoming a large Islamic ghetto? Why are we questioning whether the Islamic State on a murderous rampage across the Middle East has anything to do with Islam? The answers are in this book.

My own interest in Islam was kindled 10 years ago when I narrowly missed becoming collateral damage in the jihad bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in September 2004. At the time I could not understand why the nice people amongst whom I had lived for more than a decade would do such a thing.

“Why I am not a Muslim” is the most detailed dissection of the scourge that is the Killer Cult. Warraq examines all aspects of Islam from origins to present day in painstaking detail. It is the most comprehensive book on the subject of Islam and the fate of the modern world that I have read.

It should be compulsory reading for every school student and political leader in the free world, before it is too late.
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on November 27, 2015
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 Islam. Because "Why I Am Not a Muslim" is an overt polemic against Islam and Middle Eastern Islamic culture, Ibn Warraq is a pen-name used to avoid a potentially fatal fatwa such as that which threatened Salman Rushdie for many years.

The contents of the book are organized in a comprehensible fashion and draw extensively on documented history. Warraq makes no attempt to pull any punches and his agenda is absolutely clear, so the reader can reasonably assume that in many instances there will be alternative views held by those with different agendas. The shear mass of the historical data presented was both impressive and at times bordering on the tedious. The bottom line is that Warraq shows how Islam as a religio-cultural political system with its many national permutations has put the brakes on Islamic societal progress in a great many ways in the Middle East and has ultimately brought it into conflict with the western world. If what is presented in the book is even half right, I can see that any person who accepts the Koranic premise that what is written therein is the absolute and final word of God will crash violently into the beliefs and practices of Westerners, and this explains a lot of the intolerant craziness we see in the Middle East today. This also explains the relative dearth of institutes of higher learning in the Middle East, the significant absence of scientific innovation and the near absence of literary critique such as Rushdie's "Satanic Verses".

I think it would be a mistake to take this book as the complete and simplistic truth about Islam. That being said, what I have learned from reading it has helped me a great deal in understanding the driving forces that have lead to the insanity going on in the war-torn Middle East. I heartily recommend it to the person who is interested, as I am, in gaining an understanding of the roots of the turmoil we experience in our world today.

Charles R. McCormick, MD
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on July 20, 2017
When I bought this book, judging from the title I thought it would be mostly a personal testimonial. I am pleased to report that it is much better than I expected, being a scholarly critique of the history and theology of Islam, from a person who was born a Muslim. Contrary to some reviewers, I did not find it difficult or too long. Indeed, I was fascinating by the entire, informative book.
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on March 12, 2013
I've read many books about Islam and Muhammad over the years including Karen Armstrong's book on the life of the prophet.
Ibn Warraq's book is leagues ahead of all the books I have so far read. The breadth and depth of the analysis is outstanding.
The chapter on the historical origins of Islam was very interesting and informative. The chapter on Islam and Human Rights and whether Islam is consistent with liberal democracy was excellent. The chapter on the doctrines of the Quran and the Hadith's were very good as was the chapter on the characteristics of Allah, I found the section of Predestination very interesting as was the monotheism/polytheism debate. Much of the points and counter points are given by quoting notable and learned scholar both Islamic and non-Islamic (many of whom were Christians). The Author's approach is very well balanced and at no point in the book do his arguments degenerate into the kind of vitriolic quasi-hate speech that some other writers/commentators make/do. On the back page it says that Why I am not a Muslim is Christopher Hitchens favourite book on Islam...which is always a good sign. The book is very well referenced. The only minor complaint I have was that the references section could have been expanded, which would have made further reading around the subject(s) easier. Other than that, the book was excellent. I cannot recommend the book enough and if I could give 6 stars out of 5.
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on December 10, 2015
Ibn Warraq's "Why I Am Not a Muslim" is a scholarly work strongly supported by numerous citations. He provides a critical examination of nearly all aspects of Islam, from its founding in 7th century Arabia through to modern times. Many non-Muslims jump to uninformed opinions about Islam, either for or against, that have no basis in facts. Read "Why I Am Not a Muslim" and you will have some basis for forming an opinion about Islam.
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on January 11, 2018
The author lays his opinions supported by facts, numbers or religious arguments in front of us in a straight way. This book is not about two opposing ideas clashing against each other, but one supporting the author’s argument. In that sense the title of the book does not mislead the reader, and it delivers what’s promised. I do not recommend this book to those easily offended by any non-confirming argument.
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on December 23, 2013
It was very interesting to read a Muslim man's response to why he does not want to follow in the tradition of the Koran. The people who mindlessly memorize that book seem equal to the fuindamentalists who memorize the Bible but neither iunderstand either book. As my mentor, Loretta Young once told me, if it says something good, that is from God. So if it has lines of condemnation for people different than us; like it has in the Koran and the items in the Bible against women, then those were inserted by a hierarchy not jiggy with Jesus' teachings.
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on May 6, 2010
Ibn Warraqs book perfectly demonstrates to all non Muslims what it is like to believe in a Religion which encompasses not only religious and personal value, but political and socio cultural as well. His objectivity, undeniably intelligent and witty commentary will leave interested readers gasping for air as he obliterates the myth propagated around Islamic dogma (religion of peace, anyone? If not we'll murder you) and the general reception has been absolutely fantastic. Few people can argue with just how serious people take the Qur'an which itself legitimatizes criticism of the religion as a whole. He also puts enormous pressure on the Muslims to confess to the ideals of the Hadeeth, which are symbolic of just how ridiculous this god they worship is.

In addition, Ibn Warraq bashes the myth that Islam used to be a vibrant and tolerant religion, and that Muslims, during the beginning of the arrival of their doctrine, where to a very high degree influenced by science. The Ummayid empire, for many years (about 100) this empire bashed through hundreds of libraries around the Arab peninsula, North Africa and Persia. It was only once the imperialists established an empire, did they begin to study science in earnest. Secondly, Muslims, even during the Golden Age of Islam, where far from being the tolerant, kind hearted people who would accept criticism of their faith, and to find out why you would just have to purchase this book.

A must read for anyone.
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on July 1, 2013
The book draws upon a number of sources, and it seems to me that information is reliable. If so, the situation regarding islam is dire and the information should be spread to all people. The weaker part is perhaps that the writer assumes that readers know some well-known figures in the islamic world, and it can be somewhat confusing (arabic names does sit well with me). Another weakness is where the writer goes into philosophy on monotheism in general, claiming to know how monotheism must lead to bad things. This seems to break away from the strength of the book: Informing about facts about the islamic dogmas and history.
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on January 26, 2015
This is the best overall explanation of the origins and dangers of Islam I have ever read. If you want to know the truth about this dangerous ideology, Ibn Warraq's books, this one in particular, are what you need to read. Especially interesting since this was written in 1995, that is, pre-9/11 attacks. Anyone who'd read this book before 9/11 would have known exactly what was going on, and who was responsible for starting the war. The threat from Islam will not just go away. Islam is a totalitarian, paternalistic, misogynistic, imperialistic socio-political ideology that justifies its actions with a thin veneer of religiosity. The only answer for this latest outbreak of Islamo-faschism is total military defeat and devastation of the people responsible for initiating and supporting the current war against Western civilization. If you want to understand how Islam came to be like this, read this book.
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