Imagine! Two new books shed light on the Prophet of Islam! The Boston Globe has a review of both:
The path of the prophet
Two new works seek to uncover the man who was Muhammad
By Ilan Stavans | October 29, 2006
By Eliot Weinberger
Verso, 64 pp., $10.95
Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time
By Karen Armstrong
HarperCollins/Atlas, 249 pp., $21.95
Muhammad by Eliot Weinberger, Amazon.com Sales Rank at the hour of this writing: #752,092. The publisher calls it “a luminous portrait of the Prophet, in the Islamic tradition….Muhammad is a shimmering, lyrical biography of the Prophet, composed from the words of Muslims throughout the centuries.”
Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time by Karen Armstrong, Amazon.com sales rank this hour: #6,480. Booklist says of it: “It puts the best face possible on its subject. The Muhammad it projects gave his followers ‘a mission: to create a just and decent society, in which all members were treated with respect.'”
Funny thing: I’ve heard there is a third new book out recently about Muhammad. This hour it is ranked #56 at Amazon. Now, of course the Globe can review any book it wants, and decline to review any book it wants, but I can’t help but wonder why the paper would choose to run a review feature on books about Muhammad that deals with two books that have aroused much less reader interest (thus far, to be sure) than a third book on the same subject.
Could it be because Weinberger’s and Armstrong’s are both hagiographical and that third book isn’t? I can’t help but wonder.
CLARIFICATION: The salient issue here is obscured somewhat by the fact that I wrote the third book to which I refer above. The issue here is not that my book didn’t get a review in the Globe. As I said above, they can review or not review any book they want. This post is about media bias, and the mainstream media’s unwillingness to discuss anything that might appear unfavorable to Islam.
UPDATE: Please don’t write to Ilan Stavans. It has come to my attention that some of you have done so — if I had thought to do so I would have asked you not to in the first place. But in any case, he responded quite favorably to one person who emailed, saying: “Thanks for your e-mail. I’d love to see Robert Spencer’s book, lathough I don’t know if the Globe would be ready for a review.” I will see to it that he gets a copy.