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October 27, 2006

On Robert Spencer's 'Spencer: The Truth About Muhammad'

Topics: Understanding Islam

Keeping in mind that radical Muslims take literally the readings from the Koran, Hadith, and the sira, and that Muhammad is presented as "an excellent model of conduct," it is extremely important that we in the West be better informed of his teachings in order to know more about the beliefs of our enemy - the jihadists.

It is for this very reason that mohammad-khadija.jpgCharles at Little Green footballs points to two reviews of Robert Spencer's excellent new book, The Truth about Muhammad, Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion:

By Andrew Bostom: Scrutinizing Muhammad's example and teachings.

By Bruce Thornton, at Victor Davis Hanson's web site: The Wolf Pack, What it means to live by Muhammad's words and deeds.

Charles writes that he's just finished the book and although he's read extensively on the subject of Mohammad and the origins of Islam, this biography - drawn entirely from primary Islamic sources, tought him "quite a bit about the actual life of Islam's prophet":
For those of us who've also studied Christianity, the contrasts are striking between the founders of these two religions--especially when presented, as in Spencer's book, in a coherent and consecutive narrative (which the Koran is not). Given the current climate of fear surrounding any criticism of Islam, this book took real courage to write, and to publish. And naturally, the mainstream media are doing their best to ignore it.
I've also read Spencer's book and found it to be extremely relevant to today's climate of ignorance and misconception on all things Islam, as perpetuated by the media. This climate needs to change if we are going to better deal with the threat before us. As Thornton notes in his review of Spencer's book, it is in the Koran, Hadith, and the sira or biography of the Prophet Muhammad that he is presented as "an excellent model of conduct," and as the Koran puts it, his words and deeds forming the pattern for all pious Muslims to follow.
"Muslims," according to Muqtedar Khan of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, "as a part of religious observance, not only obey, but also seek to emulate and imitate their Prophet in every aspect of life." The facts of Muhammad's life, then, are paramount for understanding the beliefs that warrant and validate jihadist terror.

As Spencer traces Muhammad's life, we see the behaviors practiced by today's jihadists, who continually cite the Prophet as their justifying model. The arrogant intolerance of any other religion finds its source in Muhammad's assertion to Muslims, "Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah." The rationalization of violence by invoking the hostility of unbelievers is also warranted by Muhammad: because of the rejection of him by his tribesmen the Quraysh, Allah "gave permission to His apostle to fight and to protect himself against those who wronged them [Muslims] and treated them badly." Hence the various offenses fabricated by today's jihadists to justify their aggression against the West. But Muhammad justifies not just defensive warfare but also violence in the service of the faith: "'Fight them [unbelievers] so that there be no more seduction,' i.e., until no believer is seduced from his religion. 'And the religion is God's,' i.e. until God alone is worshiped." We see here the jihadist's hatred of the West and globalization, whose political freedoms and hedonistic prosperity "seduce" believers from the faith.

As Spencer concludes, "The Qur'an . . . commands much more than defensive warfare: Muslims must fight until 'the religion is God's' -- that is, until Allah alone is worshipped. Later Islamic law, based on statements of Muhammad, would offer non-Muslims three options: conversion to Islam, subjugation as inferiors under Islamic law, or warfare." So much for the protestations of tolerance and co-existence constantly peddled by jihad's Western publicists.

Be sure to read all of both reviews.

Posted by Richard at October 27, 2006 2:35 PM

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