The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims

The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims

2.3 6
by Robert Spencer

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This collection of essays by some of the world’s leading authorities on Islamic social history focuses on the juridical and cultural oppression of non-Muslims in Islamic societies. The authors of these in-depth but accessible articles explode the widely diffused myth, promulgated by Muslim advocacy groups, of a largely tolerant, pluralistic Islam. In fact,


This collection of essays by some of the world’s leading authorities on Islamic social history focuses on the juridical and cultural oppression of non-Muslims in Islamic societies. The authors of these in-depth but accessible articles explode the widely diffused myth, promulgated by Muslim advocacy groups, of a largely tolerant, pluralistic Islam. In fact, the contributors lay bare the oppressive legal superstructure that has treated non-Muslims in Muslim societies as oppressed and humiliated tributaries, and they show the devastating effects of these discriminatory attitudes and practices in both past and contemporary global conflicts.
Besides original articles, primary source documents here presented also elucidate how the legally mandated subjugation of non-Muslims under Islamic law stems from the Muslim concept of jihad — the spread of Islam through conquest. Historically, the Arab-Muslim conquerors overran vast territories containing diverse non-Muslim populations. Many of these conquered people surrendered to Muslim domination under a special treaty called dhimma in Arabic. As such these non-Muslim indigenous populations, mainly Christians and Jews, were then classified under Islamic law as dhimmis (meaning "protected"). Although protected status may sound benign, this classification in fact referred to "protection" from the resumption of the jihad against non-Muslims, pending their adherence to a system of legal and financial oppression, as well as social isolation. The authors maintain that underlying this religious caste system is a culturally ingrained contempt for outsiders that still characterizes much of the Islamic world today and is a primary impetus for jihad terrorism.
Also discussed is the poll tax (Arabic jizya) levied on non-Muslims; the Islamic critique of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the use of jihad ideology by twentieth-century radical Muslim theorists; and other provocative topics usually ignored by Muslim apologists.
This hard-hitting and absorbing critique of Islamic teachings and practices regarding non-Muslim minorities exposes a significant human rights scandal that rarely receives any mention either in academic circles or in the mainstream press.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Spencer, author of Islam Unveiled, edits this collection that sets out to debunk the theory that Muslims are tolerant of non-Muslims. Although the theme merits exploration, this book does not clarify it. The essays' authors frequently cite jihad and dhimmi as intolerant principles within Islam, but do not define them. Vague references to these ideas do not explain why Islam is inherently intolerant. Several authors also quote the Qur'an out of context and describe Muslims with large generalizations. Yasser Arafat, of the PLO, is presented as representing Muslim attitudes-a characterization most Muslims would probably disagree with. Comments describing alleged troublesome behavior by Muslims lack sources and citations. Some authors ignore basic Islamic concepts; Bat Ye'or, for example, says that the dhimmi treatment was considered "justified by the superiority of the master-race," although the Qur'an strictly states though that all races are equal in Islam. The collection includes multiple essays by the same author, including 17 by Ye'or. The resulting repetition and monotone provide little insight and a disconnected feel. This book would have been more persuasive and less alarmist if it had exclused half the essays. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Prometheus Books
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6.41(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.45(d)

Meet the Author

Robert Spencer is a freelance writer, the director of Jihad Watch, and an adjunct fellow of the Free Congress Foundation. His previous books include Onward Muslim Soldiers, Islam Unveiled, and Islam: A Guide for Catholics.

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The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having recently acquired Robert Spencer's most recent work entitled 'The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam ...' in addition to his study 'Islam Unveiled ...', I was hesitant as to whether this book would be able to provide me with any more relevant information upon Islam. However, having accessed the vast amount of information contained in this book I am personally glad that I took the time to make this additional purchase. As already described by others, much of this study consists of a considerable array of articles/essays by a number of knowledgeable and learned people with much experience of Islam and it's many facets. A knowledge that emanates from the text of this well written and extremely easy to read investigation. Rather than taking the personal opinions of the authors at face value, where possible I have personally taken the time to measure the context of the quotes from the Koran and their context, against those illustrated in the commentaries provided. My prime concerns being the subjects of Islamic 'tolerance' of non-Muslims as specified in the title, and it's parallel issue of being a 'peaceful' religion. I found the results of my analysis to be both informative and illuminating. The book proceeds to cover many aspects such as the alleged 'oppression of Middle East Christians', the 'persecution of Jews and Christians under Islam¿, 'Jihad and human rights', the strength of 'Islamism' at the United Nations and an article labelled 'Judeophobia Today = Anti-Judaism/Anti-Zionism/Anti-Semitism A growing culture of hate'. The latter issue, for example, alleges that under an increasing 'Judeophobia' and the purported guise of 'anti-Zionism', a 'culture of hate' is seeping into Europe and the West. (For those interested in a further study on this particular issue I would respectfully recommend the book entitled 'Eurabia The Euro-Arab Axis' by Bat Ye'or.) An article is even provided which addresses the establishment of CAIR (Council of American-Islamic Relations) and their described agenda of 'promoting a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America'. The latter being cited as necessary due to the perception that 'misrepresentations of Islam are most often the result of ignorance' by non-Muslims. This subject is addressed in some depth and makes interesting reading. Attention is also paid to how alleged Islamic 'intolerance' and fundamental beliefs allegedly underlie the Arab-Israeli conflict itself, where it is emphasised herein that solving the conflict in the Middle East does not depend upon the 'cession of land'. The underlying 'hostility' pertaining to the Jews is cited as being 'appalling' and being described as a reflection of the ideology engendered by Jihad throughout the ancient Muslim conquests of lands populated by Christians and Jews on the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. Reference also being made to the historic treatment of these populations under Islamic rule. Indeed, the variety and number of subjects addressed in this work is impressive in it's own right and all are provided with a considerable list of references. As with the other titled Islamic studies from the same source mentioned earlier, many will perhaps find the contents to be contentious or even offensive. To those readers I can only recommend that the views expressed here be thoroughly examined by the individual reader by taking into account the references and sources provided herein, together with any independent information that may be deemed relevant. I can but personally commend and endorse this book for it¿s depth and scope. A study which I consider to be essential reading at this time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author must have been dreaming of utopia when he was writing this book for which section of people in the world are free from defects? You cannot label a religion or a culture based on a few instances that have obviously been hand-picked to reflect a certain bias and to promote a certain agenda. Nor can you judge a people based on what some of their corrupt leaders have chosen to do. What would one then write about societies where crimes against children and women are committed openly and in large numbers? It is best to read the types of books that clear biases and myths we harbour in our own minds rather than those which tell us to judge other people harshly which help to better a situation for the general masses than worsen it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Islamic Law is for Muslims--from the beginning of Islam those who wanted to benefit from living amongst Muslims in an Islamic setting could do so but they had to pay a tax, much like our property taxes today. Spencer has spent an inordinant amount of his life fighting Islam which he sees as a big threat. There is one man behind him paying him big bucks to write his drivel. Don't believe a word this man says about Islam. Read The Cross and the Crescent by Jerald Dirks to compare Islam with Christianity scripturally.Muslims are not to be feared they are to be admired.
Guest More than 1 year ago
fastest growing faith in the world yesterday, today, and tomorrow is the answer to this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most of Spencer's works on Islam are totally biased. No he does not know the truth of Islam because obviously he hasn't read the Quran. Don't take this book seriously because this author clearly is trying to distort the image and true meaning of Islam. If you really want to know more about Islam first look at the man who founded Islam: Muhammad (PBUH) and refer to the holy Quran.