Book Reviews

Book Reviews

3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Literary Apologist for Secular Christianity. Emmet Scott, ''The Impact of Islam''., 25 May 2014
This review is from: The Impact of Islam (Paperback)
The Literary Apologist for Secular Christianity. Emmet Scott, ''The Impact of Islam''.

Not since Doughty has such a diatribe against Islam been unleashed on an unsuspecting Muslim readership. Emmet Scott has written a poorly referenced work with exaggerated, unsubstantiated, old saws we have heard for centuries through Pococke, Mandeville, Muir and Lawrence.

It has more than the conventional, secular Christian litany of anti-Muslim jibes. The only real substantiation of any part of his thesis comes from the well known nut case anti Islamicist, Gisèle Littman. Scott joins the mortal fabulist, Christopher Hitchens, as a co-contender for the most Islamophobic writer of the twenty-first century. How could any rational historian fly in the face of centuries of received wisdom, allied with DNA evidence from his many blood descendants still living today, in his claim that there never was a Prophet Muhammad?

Emmet Scott has stated that during the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries Christendom had no concept of the ''holy war'' and, as such, these had been promulgated by Muslims. He claims that Islam promoted ''toxic ideas'' such as the holy war, which he believes was completely unknown to Christianity. But the first Crusade by the English king at the end of the eleventh century was nothing if not a holy war to recapture Jerusalem from the control of Islam. I despair of the modern historian who can make such outlandish claims in ''The Impact of Islam'' which I fear might be the next ''Satanic Verses''.

In his new book ‘’The Impact of Islam’’, Scott makes some amazing conclusions about received Islamic history. He looks at what he calls the “progressive Islam myth’’ and outlandishly makes the claim that it was Christianity, not Islam, which brought civilisation to Europe between the tenth and eleventh centuries. This ignores the tremendous achievements of Islamic Spain in al Andalus when Islam was at a pinnacle of successful cultural and religious hegemony and brought new libraries and medical knowledge to European culture. Admittedly, these influences were not introduced exclusively by Islam, but to a lesser extent by other religious and cultural influences too.

Allegations of piracy and slavery against Islam are fine coming from a writer whose liberal Western schema gave us colonialism, and the cross Atlantic slave trade, resulting in prisoners dying in thousands aboard the piratical, Elizabethan, square rigged brigs.

Incredibly, Scott says that a substantial proportion of Muslims agree that Islamic attacks in modern day Europe are sanctioned by the Qu’ran. No attribution or reference is given, nor does he show any empathy towards the efforts mosques and madrasas are making to counteract this issue, particularly amongst the young. He does not refer to any press releases by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), and other bodies such as the Muslim Institute, totally denying such atrocities and assuring the public of their un Islamic nature.

This apologist for secular Christianity takes a line that is unbalanced on any reading of the Qur’an that specifies strict conditions for warfare, and Scott is actually defying the historical context of sixth-century Arabia’s internecine struggles.

However, his most outrageous remark is that the Qur'an makes no sense, and ''disconnected and puzzling incidents’’ are completed by the Hadith. But this is also part of a revered canon of Islamic literature, so I argue in return that his book amounts to a hate crime against Islam that should be reported to the Metropolitan police.

He continues with a list of what he terms the ‘supposed’ deeds of the early Muslims; thereby, with the doubt he wants to place on recorded historical fact, making an Islamophobic attack on Muslimdom.

To make matters worse, he propounds the highly unoriginal thesis that Islam was spread by violent warlike attacks, accompanied by forced conversions. The Qur’an categorically forbids the spreading of the faith by the sword in Sura 2. 256 of the Qur'an which warns: "There must be no coercion in matters of faith. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error".

Referring to Islam as a ''totalitarian political ideology with religious overtones’’ is a misconception of the nature of the Islamic faith. No! Islam is religion. It is also a way of life through sanctity, belief, cleanliness and redemption. It is unfortunate that this unschooled Christian apologist does not have the modesty, or sense of piety to check himself from such appalling falsehoods.

Jaffer Clarke
 

GEOFFREY CLARKE’S RIDER HAGGARD

Geoffrey Clarke attended the 2012 Society meeting at Rastrick, West Yorkshire. He gave a very interesting talk on his proposed literary biography of Rider Haggard.

 

Very recently, Geoffrey has published “Rider Haggard: His Extraordinary Life and Colonial Work” (Amazon 2015). This slim volume of 88 pages is packed with interesting facts about Haggard’s life and works. The material is arranged thematically, giving a slightly different view of our author and public benefactor. When you finish reading this book you will wonder just when did Haggard have the time to do all that he did.

 

The book is well-written, well-presented, thoroughly researched, and very enjoyable.

 

This book is a must for all Rider Haggard fans and is very reasonably priced at £5 or £6 or so.


 Customer Review

 

Format: Paperback
Author takes walk down memory lane with book set in Swansea
By South Wales Evening Post | Posted: January 02, 2016

The former Dynevor School in Swansea.
Comments (0)
A NEW book from a Swansea author is a nostalgic look at "a freer time" of rugby, pubs, jokes, and exploits in the city.
Geoffrey Clarke's career prior to penning books has taken him around the world, bringing with it fun, but also terrifying experiences.
A former teacher at Cefn Hengoed school, Mr Clarke served as a schools' inspector in Iran at the time of the revolution, recalling gunfights in the streets outside his home.
Then, after working in Saudi Arabia as a TV presenter, he had to leave after being mistaken for a spy.
Having written a partly fictional autobiography entitled A Yawoo Life, Mr Clarke, now aged 76, has published another book that blurs the line between fiction and the facts of his life, called Swansea Sound.
"It deals with a lot of the rugby matches, the people, the various jokes, and the different pubs that we went to at the time," he said. "If you are from the 1970s and '80s, growing up, you will find a lot of it interesting.
"It's about the whole way of life in those days — it was a freer time."
Former Dynevor schoolboy Mr Clarke, who hails from West Cross, found therapy writing Swansea Sound.
"When writing it, I was going through the memories, going down memory lane, but some of the things that have happened to me weren't so wonderful," he said.
Swansea Sound can be bought online Amazon at www.amazon.co.uk/ Swansea-Sound-Geoffrey-Clarke- ebook/dp/B00ZZO4KKC

Read more: http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Author-takes-walk-memory-lane/story-28450635-detail/story.html#ixzz3wHAcvlvdl

 


5.0 out of 5 stars . C'est tres important a savoir que cet thésis ..., 5 Sept. 2015

GEOFFREY CLARKE’S RIDER HAGGARD

Geoffrey Clarke attended the 2012 Society meeting at Rastrick, West Yorkshire. He gave a very interesting talk on his proposed literary biography of Rider Haggard.

 

Very recently, Geoffrey has published “Rider Haggard: His Extraordinary Life and Colonial Work” (Amazon 2015). This slim volume of 88 pages is packed with interesting facts about Haggard’s life and works. The material is arranged thematically, giving a slightly different view of our author and public benefactor. When you finish reading this book you will wonder just when did Haggard have the time to do all that he did.

 

The book is well-written, well-presented, thoroughly researched, and very enjoyable.

 

This book is a must for all Rider Haggard fans and is very reasonably priced at £5 or £6 or so.

By 
This review is from: Qui est Charlie? Sociologie d'une crise religieuse (Perfect Paperback)
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C'est tres important a savoir que cet thésis reste comme la seule veritable analyse de la situation laiique et religieuse de la France. Aucun Muselman en France ou en Angletterre vous allez dire que la situation reste exactement comme cela exposé par Emmanuel Todd.

L’idée c’est en place que la liberté d'expression existe dans l'Ouest par rapport à la croyance par de nombreux Musulmans à travers le monde qu'il existe une loi qui est toujours active dans tous les pays qui interdit toute publication ou déclarations qui tendent à ridiculiser ou de diffamer l'islam.

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Alors, c’est fondamentale a connâitre que chez les Muselmans Anglais son thésis est veritable at bien aimée.

It is very important to know that this thesis remains as the only true laical and religious analysis of the situation of Muslimdom in France or England. The situation remains exactly as stated by Emmanuel Todd.

The idea is in place that freedom of expression exists in the West compared with the belief of many Muslims around the world that there is a law that is still active in all countries that prohibits publication or statements that tend to ridicule or defame Islam.

So it is fundamental to know that for English Muslims his thesis is true and well liked

 

 

 

This review is from: The Taqwacores: A Novel (Paperback)
It is refreshing to read a Muslim novel, yes, Muslim novel, rather than, say, a Christian or a Jewish novel. The novelistic form rose from Christian, Puritan roots and, so, the Muslim novel may well have resonances with that form.

However, "The Taqwacores" appears to be a novel about immaturity, Western struggle for young, unconnected Muslims who have an innocent purity of 'Deen' or religion.

Breaking so many taboos in Islamic culture about music, co-habitual relations, social behaviour, religious practice (women leading the Kutbah or prayer meeting, for example) that it makes for an uneasy, revolutionary and iconoclastic reading for the traditional Muslim critic. One wonders if Michael Muhammad Knight will be taken as an apostate.

Young people do make music, do wear tatoos and Mohican haircuts, do pray behind women and do take the prophet's name in vain, but let them do so until they come to see that there are aberrations, and that Islam calls for righteousness, plain living, clean family relations and normalised sexuality.

Jaffer

 

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that needs to be placed along with Robert Tressail's 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists',28 Nov. 2014
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This moving and heart rending book needs to be placed along with Robert Tressail's 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' as an expose of poverty and degradation among the English working poor in the twentieth century.

Having lived through the privations of poverty in the Great Depression, Harry Leslie Smith does not want to see a return to those acutely troubled times.

Not many books can make me cry, but this one does. What Harry went through to save him and us from the vagaries of economic downturns brought on by aggressive wars by self seeking politicians in the name of saving the West from tyrants and terrorists need not happen again, he says. The welfare state is being abolished by slavish subservience to big business. The banks have robbed the country blind and the tax evading corporations do nothing for the society wherein they operate, he avows.

But he suggests that it is happening again. As I write on the ridiculously imported fetish of 'Black Friday' the excesses of capitalism and consumerism are far outweighing the gains made by previous left wing governments to create a welfare state.

Harry suggests that the need to vote is paramount; that fair and equitable taxes, for both rich and poor, are the way forward. And because he has lived for so long he has my and my generation's respect and admiration for his fortitude, survival instincts and cussed desire to live long and well. Vivat!