Islam Unveiled Page 10 4;https://publishersrow.com:443/islam_unveiled...

In Islam Unveiled, Robert Spencer dares to face the hard questions about what the Islamic religion actually teaches — and the potentially ominous implications of those teachings for the future of both the Muslim world and the West.

x ISLAM UNVEILED in Islam. Far from being extremists or perverters of the faith, they inter-pret its tenets correctly. From its inception, Islam has been a revealed religion with a text, the Qur’an, which is considered the Word of God and therefore sacro-sanct. The Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, and then the caliphs who immediately succeeded him at a time of war and imperial expansion, were simultaneously head of state and religious leader. Down the centuries, and still today, in spite of exposure to nationalism and the formation of a variety of nation states, that combination has remained an ideal form of governance for many Muslims. Islam has never known the separation of church and state which has determined the political and social evolution of the West, leading as it does from absolutism to democracy, from obe-dience to civil rights and from blind faith to reason. Judaism and Chris-tianity were also originally revealed religions. The Reformation and the Enlightenment were the most well- known manifestations of a long process of rational inquiry that gradually altered the general understanding of the relation between church and state, permitting the concessions and com-promises toward those of other faiths upon which a civil society rests. For many centuries, absolutism served Islam well enough, and there are great achievements to show for it, such as the science and architec-ture of the Muslim Middle Ages. Certain of their superiority, Muslims felt they had nothing to learn from the despised and barbarian West. By the time they realized that this was a mistake of historic proportions, it was too late to do anything about it. Stultified in their absolutism, alto-gether backward, Muslims and their lands were almost entirely overrun by one or another Western empire. This prolonged contact with the West has changed the landscape with such physical features as oil wells and airports and skyscrapers, but only a minority of individuals have adopted Western values and ways of thinking. Through the twentieth century, Muslims struggled to regain con-trol of their history from the Western empires. In the outcome they won their independence, but not their freedom. Absolutism remains the rule. Some Muslim countries have religious rulers, others have nationalist and secular rulers, but all ( with the doubtful exception of Turkey) are despo-tisms, in which the rule of law is a matter to be negotiated. Everywhere the secret police and the military are an ominous presence. This is what inhibits the creative energies of Muslims and prevents them doing jus-tice to themselves. Anyone who knows Muslim countries, however, will

Islam Unveiled


About Book Islam Unveiled

Front matterTitle pageCopyright pageDedicationContentsForewordAuthor's NoteContentsWhat Does Islam Really Stand For?Is Islam a Religion of Peace?Does Islam Promote and Safeguard Sound Moral Values?Does Islam Respect Human Rights?Does Islam Respect Women?Is Islam Compatible with Liberal Democracy?Can Islam Be Secularized and Made Compatible with the Western Pluralistic Framework?Can Science and Culture Flourish under Islam?The Crusades: Christian and MuslimIs Islam Tolerant of Non-Muslims?Does the West Really Have Nothing to Fear from Islam?AcknowledgementsNotesIndex
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