I knew I wanted this book as soon as I heard it was being published and, thanks to the miracle of amazon.com and the blessing of an international APO address, the other day I was tearing open the package. I could hardly put it down until I finished reading it. Now Christians, atheists, Buddhists, or unsure of what they believe and what’s next, these are the stories of courageous people who took a bold stand. They are courageous because, unlike Moses, Jesus or Buddha, Muhammad’s opinion of them was short and to the point, “If anyone leaves Islam, kill them.”
On the other hand, speaking of books, a coworker last week gave me a biography of Sayyid Qutb. Qutb is the Egyptian academic widely credited with “founding” the modern jihadi movement of radical Islam. I couldn’t get into the book; to me it was boring. It was just another story of an unhappy person unsuccessful in love who rejected an American culture he could not understand and found solace in rediscovering the values of his religion. I put the word “founding” above in quotes because to me Qutb didn’t found or create anything. A gifted writer, he merely took 1400 year old teachings and expressed them in a way that caught people’s attention and gained a following. There’s nothing new about his writings at all.