Friday, September 08, 2006
New Book -The Truth about Mohammed
"Spencer uses only Muslim sources for the facts about Muhammad’s life—the Koran itself, plus the hadiths and other Islamic documents that Muslims themselves accept as reliable. The resulting picture is at once instructive and horrifying."
A new book about Mohammed Prophet of Islam is coming out soon. Here is the advance review by Elizabeth Kantor. Read on.
Robert Spencer outdoes himself in this book—in courage (who else would dare to write a warts-and-all biography of Muhammad?) but also in marshalling solid evidence that the real “root causes” of jihad violence are in Muhammad’s own character and the teachings of the religion he founded. Spencer uses only Muslim sources for the facts about Muhammad’s life—the Koran itself, plus the hadiths and other Islamic documents that Muslims themselves accept as reliable. The resulting picture is at once instructive and horrifying. It’s often said that Islamists are bent on imposing the standards of the 7th Century on the modern world. The Truth about Muhammad actually shows the reader the savage time and place in which Islam emerged. Spencer opens a window on 7th-Century Arabia: the brutality, the superstition, the abuse of women. He shows precisely how both the conditions of Muhammad’s time and the prophet’s own actions continue to shape modern Islam. Did you know that Muslims used to face Jerusalem, not Mecca, to pray?—that is, until the breakdown of an accord between Muhammad and a Jewish group. (The repercussions of that failed agreement are still being felt in Muslim-Jewish relations today.) And were you aware that the requirement of four male witnesses to prove a sex crime comes from a “revelation” Muhammad received, clearing the name of his favorite wife? (Today, up to 75% of the women jailed in Pakistan are there because they’re victims of rape—who are judged to be fornicators and adulteresses because they can’t prove rape by Muhammad’s nearly impossible-to-meet standard.) A similar “revelation of convenience” allowed Muhammad to marry his own daughter-in-law. This book is full of fascinating and informative facts and connections between what happened in the 7th Century and what’s going on in Islam today. The tragic fact is that, for Muslims, religious awe—respect for the majesty and justice of God—is inextricably bound to the savage culture Muhammad came out of, to his own flawed character and to his violent and lust-driven teachings. To defeat the jihadists who want to kill us, we need to understand them. The Truth about Muhammad is an important contribution to that project.