My book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) is on the New York Times Bestseller List (paperback nonfiction) at number 15 for the week of October 9. This is its seventh week on the list and second in the top 15.
Why is such a book needed? I got a reminder from my friend Patrick Williams, who sent me this email this morning. How the young lady he decribes skipped over Sura 9 and so many other passages (48:29, 98:6, 4:34, etc.) in her Qur’an reading is beyond me, but I have seen it happen to other people.
I sat in on a dance performance, and went to lunch with two of the dancers -“” both lovely, blonde Minnesotans, raised Lutheran. The one I knew well is still a devout Christian, but the other got to talking about her religious “quest,” and revealed that at the suggestion of a Pakistani man she knows she has been reading the Koran. “It’s so beautiful, and so tolerant”¦ I just can’t stand the bigotry and closed-mindedness of so many people in the West towards Muslims.”
I was speechless. This doesn’t happen often. Half an hour before, I’d been sitting, watching her do classical ballet, wearing clothes that would be illegal in any Islamic society, dancing to music that might never be performed. Here we sat in a British style teahouse eating smoked salmon sandwiches”¦. And this woman began to say that she was considering converting to the religion of burkhas, honor-killing, and jihad.
Whatever I said about life in Saudi Arabia, which I reminded her was the Islamic Vatican, or the fact that Mohammed (unlike Jesus) ENDORSED and LED the first brutal deeds done in his name, or the Islamic destruction of India”¦ had no effect. She kept insisting that whatever people practiced, it didn’t match up to what she read in this lovely book”¦ So it didn’t matter. Anyway, what about the Crusades, yadda-yadda”¦.
At length, I realized something. In looking only at the text (and not very carefully at that) and not at the practices and traditions of a faith, she was trying to construct her own private Islam — one in which she could look at the sacred text, interpret it in her heart, and practice it as she saw fit. Try that in a society ruled by Sharia, I reminded her, and you will be killed.
Then I told her that if she wanted to the read the Koran, she should certainly get hold of your book -“” and weigh the poetic words not against crude media stereotypes, or ignorant attacks on Islam, but against a serious, well-researched study that offered the other point of view. I hope she follows my advice.
Then something came to me, after which we had to change the subject. I thought it might interest you. I told her:
“I”m sorry, but hearing a Western woman talk about how she might want to become a Moslem is”¦ like hearing a black American talk about how he might like to try being a slave.”