an old violent tyranny promoting war,
transformed into a militant extremist religion

I wish to explore the religion of Islam, Muslims, with the insight of one who has been there. One who did not simply turn away but speaks out with clarity and understanding of Islamic history. He is Ibq Warraq, author of a perceptive book, Why I Am Not A Muslim. His essay on secularism which I read in a publication of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, revealed an entirely different history of the religion than I had been led to believe. He proposes to develop a liberal and secularist position in the Muslim world and the way to do that is to open minds to the true origins of the Islamic religion. I quote:

Ibq Warraq insists that the Islamic civilization reached magnificent heights despite what the prophet taught and what the theologians developed not because of them. He is working on an anthology of critical articles on the Koran for Prometheus Books and is open to suggestions as to its content. He especially welcomes an English translation of Taha Husein's critique of the Koran. He explains the need for translations in English and other languages because there are over 300 million Muslims in the world who do not speak, read or write Arabic. And why not translations of freethought classics into Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Bengali?

Contact Ibq Warraq The Council for Secular Humanism P.O. Box 664 Amherst, NY 14226-0664, USA

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Reviewed by: Naomi Sherer

All quotes used with permission of author