Islam Unveiled by Robert Spencer
I wanted to see how this book contrasts with the history of Islam that I reviewed a few weeks ago. Although the book was published in 2002, Robert Spencer paints a very bleak picture of Islam which might as well still apply today.
Spencer argues that the history of Islam is extremely violent from the time of Mohamed until the present. Nowadays, many people argue that all religions are inherently as violent as each other, and that what really matters is how religions are used. Spencer argues that this isn't the case because Islam teaches a system of morally relativistic ethics while Christianity, Buddhism, and Judaism teach universal ethics.
Islam protected women's rights when it was first implemented, and was better than the various Arabian pagan religions. When Islam was implemented, women saw an improvement in their living conditions, but their customs stagnated. Now all other women have surpassed Muslim women in rights, but Islam has stayed backwards.
While Spencer's case is very powerful, he is sometimes guilty of cherrypicking the worst examples possible. I wish he used more statistics and actuarial science to make his case. While I overall agree with many, if not most, of his arguments I don't necessarily think that he is the best messenger of these ideas.
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