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The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades)  
Book cover
Author Robert Spencer
Series The Politically Incorrect Guide
Publisher Regnery Publishing
Publication date 2006
Media type Paperback

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades) is a book by Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch.



The book criticizes Islam as militant and oppressive, and provides a historical perspective of the Crusades arguing that they were a late response of European civilization to centuries of invasion and occupation which had begun at the turn of the 8th century in the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Sicily and France. The author attributes the civilizational clash between Islam and the West in the 21st century to a continuation of a 14 century long jihad began at the inception of Islam and discusses the difficulties of treating this topic in the current political climate.

Public reception in the United States

The book has spent 15 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list page, although it stayed in the "Also Selling" section for most of the time, and made it to the list proper only once.[1][2]

  • Karen Armstrong criticizes the book saying:

    Like any book written in hatred, his new work is a depressing read. Spencer makes no attempt to explain the historical, political, economic and spiritual circumstances of 7th-century Arabia, without which it is impossible to understand the complexities of Muhammad’s life. Consequently he makes basic and bad mistakes of fact. Even more damaging, he deliberately manipulates the evidence.[3]

  • Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in National Review Online:

    This is not a book for the faint of heart. Nonetheless, it is well done and extremely important [...] In this highly accessible, well-researched, quick-paced read, Robert Spencer dares to bring that critical thought to the equation.[4]

  • Tom G. Palmer, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, criticises the book:

    Not only is PIG-IC not a reliable guide, but it is an endorsement of the interpretation of Islam by the Radical Political Islamists (RPI). Indeed, were the radicals to search around for a recruiter from among the infidels, they could not have done better than Robert Spencer, who eagerly and brashly endorses their every claim and violent act as true to Islam and as an expression of true Muslim identity [...]Spencer’s book has one and only one effect. It doesn’t illuminate. It doesn’t explain. But it does enthusiastically endorse the interpretation of Islam offered by al-Qaeda. Robert Spencer is a one-man recruiting machine for Radical Political Islam.[5]

  • Steven Stalinsky of the Middle East Quarterly says about the book:

In providing readers an exposé of Islam that "won't be taught in school" or "heard on the evening news," Spencer paints the religion in a broadly negative light[...]He offers "a few modest proposals," excluding the role Muslim reformists/moderates must play for he worries that their theological foundations are weak. Still, the war on terror can finally be won only if allies within the Muslim world are supported; these reformists and moderates can create an environment in which it is possible to challenge the ideology of hate that fuels the very jihad that Spencer identifies.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "Regnery Best Sellers". Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  2. ^ "Paperback Nonfiction". The New York Times. 2005-10-16. Retrieved 2007-02-10.  
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Andrew C. McCarthy (April 26, 2006). "Not for the Faint of Heart". National Review Online. Retrieved 2007-01-13.  
  5. ^ Tom G. Palmer (November 2006). "The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law". Retrieved 2007-01-13.  
  6. ^ Steven Stalinsky (Fall 2007). "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades)". Retrieved 2007-12-05.  

External links



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