THE ARGUMENT FROM AUTHORITY USED AGAINST OPPONENTS OF ISLAM 114
AD HOMINEM ARGUMENTS THAT INSULT OPPONENTS ARE ALSO UNSOUND 118
HOW HISTORICALLY ACCURATE IS WHY I AM NOT A MUSLIM? 119
HOW RELIABLE IS THE TESTIMONY OF MUSLIM FOREIGN STUDENTS? 120
IS CONDEMNING ISLAM EVER “RACIST”? 124
IS SELECTIVE RACIAL PROFILING OF MUSLIM ARAB AMERICANS WRONG? 125
BRITISH PUBLIC OPINION POLLS DOCUMENT MUSLIM RADICALISM 126
SHOULD HUMAN GOVERNMENTS GIVE PEOPLE THE FREEDOM TO VIOLATE GOD’S LAW? 139
GOD’S POSSIBLE INTERVENTION IN ANY NUMBER OF POSSIBLE TURNING POINTS IN OTHER CIVILIZATIONS 140
COULD HAVE THE MONGOLS SO EASILY CONQUERED THE WEST? 141
SO CAN A DOUBLE STANDARD BE DEFENDED AFTER ALL? 154
MORALLY JUDGING BY USING THE SAME YARDSTICK 157
APPENDIX: IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD?
THE RATIONAL CASE AGAINST THE QURAN’S INSPIRATION
HAVE MUSLIMS AND ACADEMIC LIBERALS WHITEWASHED ISLAMIC HISTORY? Is Islam is a religion of peace? That’s the generally proclaimed politically correct party line. But does Islamic history really bear this out? Do Muslims condemn (successful) acts of imperialism in their own history as much as liberal western intellectuals condemn European and American imperialism in recent centuries? Or is Western imperialism singularly morally condemned because it acted last (and most successfully)? Why does the American liberal and cultural elite apparently fear the American Religious Christian Right working through normal democratic processes politically more than militant Islam’s terrorism, even after 9-11? Why should medieval Catholic Crusaders or Western Imperialists be more condemned than the Arab and Turkish Muslims who invaded and took over vast areas via jihads? Indeed, why are jihads good, but crusades evil? Aren’t all holy wars really equally unholy? Are Muslims historically merely the passive victims of Western and Christian imperialism? Or were they aggressors in the past, and later paid the price for their aggression when the nations they conquered or attacked retaliated? It’s time to unveil generally hidden truths about Islamic history and culture. The powerful solvent of historical truth and evenhanded moral evaluations dissolves many historical claims about Islamic civilization promoted by both Muslims and liberal Western academics. This book makes the case that many intellectuals and historians have whitewashed Islam’s history while blackening the Christian West’s by comparison when the same moral standards are applied to both civilizations.
CHAPTER 1 WERE MEDIEVAL MUSLIMS REALLY TOLERANT WHEN JUDGED BY MODERN STANDARDS? MEDIEVAL MUSLIM VS. CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS TOLERATION Undeniably, medieval Catholicism showed itself extremely intolerant of other religions, as its general treatment of the Jews and wars against Muslims show. But according to the normal historical claim, Medieval Islam was much more tolerant. It did have a system of toleration in place for Christians and Jews (although not officially for pagans so much, which would include Hindus). But this system of toleration simply can't be confused with the systematic religious toleration that came of age in Western culture during the Enlightenment and afterwards, such as epitomized in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
It’s very unlikely that the Islamic world would have devised this political theory on its own because in orthodox Islam the religious establishment (i.e., "church" in the West) isn't separate in authority from the state, even as a matter of theory. When Jesus told his questioners to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and the things that are of God to God (see Mark 12:17), He revealed a difference in authority, even as Paul acknowledged that the powers that be as had authority derived from God (Romans 13). It's much easier to untangle the church from the state in Christendom, even in Catholic countries, than to separate the religious establishment from governmental authority in Muslim countries. For example, consider the pressure to adopt the Sharia on Muslim countries that are or were officially secular, such as Egypt. The great exception, Turkey, was a result of Mustapha Kemal's persecution campaign against Muslim practices, and was just an imported version of preexisting Western practices and political theory. For example, at least until very recently, a Muslim woman in Turkey wasn’t allowed wear a headscarf to a public/tax-supported university.