Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: Virgins? What Virgins?

By Sandy Amazeen Sep 16, 2010, 8:23 GMT

Book Review: Virgins? What Virgins?

In this wide-ranging collection of insightful, controversial, and often-witty essays, the renowned author of Why I Am Not a Muslim has created a representative selection of his best work on the Koran and various problems posed by the interaction of Islam with the West. The title of the collection comes from an article that originally appeared in the London Guardian on recent textual studies of the Koran. This research suggests ...more

Eighteen of Ibn Warraq’s stimulating essays are presented in this thought provoking volume that dares examine the Islamic religion without the veneer of being politically correct. Perhaps the most insightful points Warraq raises is the mistaken impression many people entertain regarding the universal nature of religion, how at the heart they all embrace the same ideals. This erroneous assumption is amply illustrated by historical and current events that demonstrate the vastly different cultural and intellectual views espoused by Islam. Beginning with a warm autobiographical introduction, Warraq’s essays look at everything from the controversial Danish cartoonist to reasons to leave Islam.

For readers unfamiliar with Warraq’s work, this excellent introduction will provide a better understanding of the culture behind the religion, often with just a touch of dry wit as demonstrated in his well-reasoned conclusion that a harem of virgins might not be awaiting faithful males. The essay on human rights is particularly sobering and well worth the price of this book.

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