Friday, May 9, 2008

Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out

I knew I wanted this book as soon as I heard it was being published and, thanks to the miracle of 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.


Boll said...

Qutb was so grounbreaking because he combined core Islamic beliefs with 20th. century political ideologies. Even though he goes on and on about the countless flaws in communism and capitalism; Qutb borrowed extensively from such secular ideologies in his writings. By doing so, Qutb reinvented Islam as a political force to be reckoned with, capable

Boll said...

of competing toe to toe with secular ideals in a world of nation-states and globalization.