Review: Islamic Roots of Antisemitism by Andria Spindel
Mansur, a professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario, is an outspoken and courageous analyst and critic of political Islam, an interpreter of Islam for Westerners, and a Reformer within his own faith community. In this, his second book of what i think of as “a warning,” he clearly and cogently details the history of Islam, including the religion, politics, and perpetual conflicts. In fewer than 200 pages, the professor distinguishes between Islam and Islamism, the roots of antisemitism, the rise of extremism, the domination of Arab culture and its interpretations of Islam in today’s complex, multi-cultural, global world. As the number of Muslims increases, potentially giving demographic dominance to Islam, Mansur shouts warnings of the dangers of an ever-spreading, terrifying, Literalist, supremacist Islam which threatens the West, rejecting modernity, destroying rival versions of Islam and the Muslims who would interpret the prophet Mohammed’s teachings for the modern world.
The divisions in Islam are at war with one another; the West is often in the middle, but represents for the extremists, all that is tainted, evil, impure, idolatrous. What is rational, subject to examination and debate, scientific validation or just curious questioning, is abhorrent to the Islamic fundamentalist. Mansur provides a thoughtful, well documented understanding of how philosophical and scientific exposition gave way to authoritarian doctrinaire theology.
Christendom was awakened and challenged during its Reformation. Judaism in its Orthodoxy went through the Enlightenment and reason prevailed. Islam has balked at the challenges of Reformers, resisted change, or even moved rapidly backwards under dominant theologians who promise their faithful a new World Order, an Islamic Caliphate, and both heavenly rewards and a life on earth lived within the strictures of Sharia Law bringing them closer to Allah, their idea of God.
Professor Mansur does not provide answers, does not even sound hopeful in my view, but he clearly and important spells out the the problem, its roots and its trajectory. The people and governments in the West best take note, and step forward to meet this unchecked challenge to life and liberty.