An interview with Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer at Conservative Booknotes:
Robert Spencer, the author of the new Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), sat down some days ago with one of our editors to answer a few questions about his (then upcoming) book, on the understanding that we would post the interview on or near the book’s official publication date. In the interval, the Politically Incorrect Guide rocketed to bestseller status on Amazon (before it was officially published) and has already become one of our most popular selections, despite the fact that it’s being shut out by the MSM — and is too hot for even some conservative media to handle.
Here’s our interview:
A number of your books have been real hits with our members — Islam Unveiled was a very popular Main Selection, and most recently The Myth of Islamic Tolerance, a collection you edited, has been selling like hot cakes. How does Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) compare with those projects?
This is an in-depth study of the Crusades, of the elements of Islam that give rise to the violence to which the Crusades were a response, and of the cultural elements arising from Islamic belief that differ from key elements of Western Judeo-Christian culture. While I touched on some of these things briefly in Islam Unveiled and Onward Muslim Soldiers, this is a much more detailed book-length treatment of subjects which I believe are integral to the cultural challenge that Islamic violence and terrorism pose to the West today. We are not in danger of being defeated militarily. But we are in danger of being subverted from within, and a key aspect of that subversion is the casting of Judeo-Christian culture and history as aggressive and evil. This book sets out the facts to address that in a lively and accessible style — good for beach reading!
If you could disabuse the American people of just one politically correct assumption about Islam, what would it be? What’s the biggest piece of false information people take for granted?
It would not be that Islam is a religion of peace. The fact that it is not, I think, is abundantly clear at this point to those who are not willfully blind. But what is not clear is that Islam presents a fundamentally different vision of society that is incompatible not only with Judeo-Christian society, but with post-Christian Western society and universally accepted norms of human rights. The biggest piece of misinformation that people take for granted is that Islam is a religion like any other that can fit easily into the Western societal model of today, in which religion and the state are distinct.
What do we know about Mohammed? How does he compare with other important religious figures in world history?
Mohammed was quite unlike the founders of Christianity and Buddhism in that he was a warrior and a political leader who led armies and set out laws for the governing of the state. Because he is regarded by Muslims as uswa hasana, the perfect example, Islam has always had a political and military aspect. His multiple wives, including a nine-year-old he married at age 52, have also proved to be a deleterious example in the Islamic world.
Is it really necessary to point out Mohammed’s character flaws? Why enrage Muslims by insulting their prophet?
This is a very important question since influential figures have wrongly stated that it is not necessary, and even may be wrong in itself, to speak about Mohammed when trying to combat global Islamic terror. However, it is extraordinarily important that we speak honestly about Mohammed, indeed we must do so in order to call attention to the real sources of violence within Islam, which are found in the words and deeds of Mohammed. If we do not do that, there is no hope that the violence inspired by these elements of Islam will ever cease to be a threat to non-Muslims, as well as to Muslims who wish to live in peace with their non-Muslim neighbors. I am not trying to insult anyone; everything I say about Mohammed is abundantly established in the Islamic sources that Muslims themselves consider most trustworthy.
There is much more, should you choose to read it all.