Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Opening Quote

In the West, we have never been able to cope with Islam; our ideas about this faith have been crude, dismissive and arrogant, but we have now learned that we cannot remain in an attitude of such ignorance and prejudice ... If the September 11 atrocity leads to a new understanding and appreciation of Islam in the West, something good will have come out of this tragedy. (Karen Armstrong, "Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet")

This is quite a strong quote to start the book with, and it sets the context of the book. It says that we are crude, dismissive, arrogant and prejudiced towards Islam. Wow! That is quite a claim. Are we really like this? I guess some people are and others aren't. I know plenty of people who are not crude but just don't know what to think about Islam. What do you think?


  1. Do you think people could be crude without knowing it? Maybe by developing broad generalised opinions based on small amounts of information filtered through the media? I guess that's just a lack of knowledge..

  2. I saw George Negus interviewed on TV, in 2005, when he had just finished this book on Islam.
    George is an atheist, by his own admission. He also admires John Lennon's philosophy, as expressed in the song, "Imagine".
    So, here is an atheist, writing a book about a religion.
    He gets even the basics wrong.He assumes that Muslims and Christians share the same god.
    That is ruled out by Christ's statement, "None shall come to the Father (God), except through me".
    He is also ignorant when it comes to the requirement to fight, as is stated in the Koran. Surah 8:65 "O Prophet! Urge the believers to fight. ...they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve." Christ taught his followers to forgive and to love.
    A book by Negus about a religion (Islam), is like a book by Tiger Woods on Australian Rules Football.

  3. Are you going to maintain this blog? Are you maintaining it now? In the event that you are, I would recommend the book, Road to Damascus (Elaine Imady), to you. It is the memoir of a New Yorker, who married a Syrian, and converted from Christianity to Islam. The marriage has last something like 50 years -- it is a good read, and I believe it shows insights and gives information that is otherwise really hard to get.

  4. In fact the majority of Westerners are quite open and positive toward Islam; I would say that Karen Armstrong is making a false claim here!

    Furthermore, why does she think that 11 September should in any cause us to appreciate Islam. This is the typical attitude of a twisted mindset caught in the spell of the Islamic religion. If this is opinion of Karen Armstrong is correct, who am I then to judge the British BNP (British National Party) in which a recent spokeswomen addressed the Holocaust as not entirely negative since experimenting with Jewish wictims increased or knowledge on make-up and plastic surgery, yet another example of a twisted head.