Robert Spencer is self styled scholar on Islam, since 9/11 he has garbed the opportunity to ride the gravy train of anti-Islam crowd, like many on CNN and Fox news. He neither lived in middle east nor he speaks the language, nor he has any academic backings for his claim. He is popular among hate mongers. Like many of his other books are full of stereotype and out of context references mainly because he is not a scholar on any thing other then spreading hate! He has been dismissed on numerous occasion by well know academics and but he seems to be popular with crowds of little analytical capacities.
In general I found the book very informative, and I learned a tremendous amount about the history and nature of Islam - its legacies, its laws, its core beliefs, and its outlook on non-believers. The information about the Quran and the other texts of Islam was very interesting. One of the most important take-aways is that it is hard, and unwise, to generalize about Islam. It is a multi-faceted religion or, more accurately, way of life. It has its good elements and its very troubling elements. I had two isues ith the book. First, it continually compared Islam with Chrisitanity. I suppose its useful to be able to debunk those who try to equate the two, but the author spent too much time defending Chrisitanity. Second, I would have liked to get more information about Islam today vs. Islam of the past, or at least a better deliniation between the two. I want to understand Islam today and, while this book definitely helped me do that, I would have liked more current information.
Listening to this book was time well spent. The author provides outstanding insight to the religion of Islam, articulately compares it to Judaism and Christianity, and explains an various interpretations of the Koran. This book both amazed and frightened me. If you are seeking an explanation of why Islamic terrorists behave the way they do, listen to this book!
This is a very accurate accounting of Islam and behavior/mentality of its followers in my opinion. It also reveals disturbing practices that I didn't know about. The writer drew extensively from the Koran, which is read word for word abundantly. Very interesting, informative and a justification for concern.
Spencer is a board member of the Christian-Islamic Forum. He has been studying Islam for twenty years.