Category Archives: Reviews

Taqiyya about Taqiyya

by Raymond Ibrahim // RaymondIbrahim.com 

I was recently involved in an interesting exercise—examining taqiyya about taqiyya—and believe readers might profit from the same exercise, as it exposes all the subtle apologetics made in defense of the Islamic doctrine, which permits Muslims to lie to non-Muslims, or “infidels.”taqiyya1

Context: Khurrum Awan, a lawyer, is suing Ezra Levant, a Canadian media personality and author, for defamation and $100,000.  Back in 2009 and on his own website, Levant had accused Awan of taqiyya in the context of Awan’s and the Canadian Islamic Congress’ earlier attempts to sue Mark Steyn.

For more on Levant’s court case, go to www.StandWithEzra.ca.

On behalf of Awan, Mohammad Fadel—professor of Islamic Law at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law—provided an expert report to the court on the nature of taqiyya, the significance of which he portrayed as “a staple of right-wing Islamophobia in North America.”

In response, Levant asked me (back in 2013) to write an expert report on taqiyya, including by responding to Fadel’s findings.

I did.  And it had the desired effect.  As Levant put it in an email to me: Read more →

Book Review: Intelligent Design or Unintelligent Design?

by Terry Scambray // New Oxford Review, October 2013 

Darwin‘s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, Stephen C. Meyer. Harper One, 2013. 412 pp.

 Stephen Meyer has followed his highly acclaimed, Signature in the Cell, with a worthy sequel.   The sequel, Darwin’s Doubt, blends the findings from molecular biology found in his first book with discoveries in paleontology, anatomy and other 9780062071477_p0_v3_s260x420disciplines in order to make the case for intelligent design as the best scientific explanation for life’s origin and development.  And Meyer does this in his usual clear and composed voice while explaining some complicated material without the distracting emotion that often distorts the study of origins.

 ”Darwin’s Doubt” refers to Charles Darwin’s admission in his consequential book, On the Origin of the Species, that the fossil record contradicted his theory that life began with simple organisms and it then progressed through endless transitions on up to the present.  As he admitted: “The abrupt manner in which whole groups of species suddenly appear in certain formations has been urged by several paleontologists – for instance Agassiz, Pictet, Sedgwick – as a fatal objection to the belief in the transmutation of species.  If numerous species belonging to the same genera or families have really started into life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of descent with slow modification through natural selection.” Read more →

“The End of Sparta” — A Review

A classicist’s exemplary historical novel.

by Albert Louis Zambone // BooksandCulture.com

imagesClassicists should infuriate other humanists, in the way that the handsome scholar-athlete who volunteers to help dyslexic children and is a genuinely nice guy should infuriate the guy who just made it onto the football team and has a hard time keeping up his GPA, or the kid with the great GPA who can’t do a pull-up—but they don’t hate him, because he’s just so good. That, at least, is how this historian feels whenever he reads a classicist.

These feelings of bitter self-recrimination are a normal part of the intellectual life, according to most intellectuals, but especially strong within me because I have just finished Victor Davis Hanson’s The End of Sparta, first published in 2011 and issued in paperback this spring. It was an absolutely infuriating experience. Isn’t enough for Hanson to have conceived of a genuinely original theory for the development of classical Greece? Can’t he be satisfied with roiling the waters of military history with his arguments for a “western Read more →

Mideast Nuclear Holocaust

by Raymond Ibrahim // FrontPage Magazine 

A Review of The Last Israelis by Noah Beck

lliAfter constant exposure to critically important news, it begins to lose all meaning and sense of urgency.  Hearing the same warnings over and over again—especially when the status quo seems static—can cause a certain desensitization, a resigned apathy that ignores the warnings in the wishful hope that they won’t materialize.  This hope becomes more optimistic (and passive) with each passing day that the warnings do not materialize.

One of the most evident examples of this phenomenon is the threat of a nuclear Iran.  For years, the international community has been hearing about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons; for years, the world has been hearing Iran make bold, genocidal threats—most notoriously, that it will wipe the state of Israel off the map. But so far, Iran reportedly still has no nukes, and no large attack has been launched on Israel.  Thus, many have become desensitized to the situation—including those charged with ensuring that a nuclear Iran never becomes a reality. Read more →

Christian Tragedy in the Muslim World

We are living through one of the largest persecutions of a religious group in history.

by Bruce S. Thornton // Defining Ideas

 

riot-620x413Few people realize that we are today living through the largest persecution of Christians in history, worse even than the famous attacks under ancient Roman emperors like Diocletian and Nero. Estimates of the numbers of Christians under assault range from 100-200 million. Read more →

Same old warfare?

by Victor Davis Hanson // TLS

A Review of three books:

Saltpeter: The mother of gunpowder by David Cressy (Oxford University Press, 237pp)

Napalm by Robert M. Neer (Belknap Press, 310pp)

Warrior Geeks: How twenty-first-century technology is changing the way we fight and think about war by Christopher Coker (US: Columbia University Press, 330pp) Read more →

The Orthodoxies of a Cult

by Terry Scambray

New Oxford Review

Faith, Resistance, and the Future: Daniel Berrigan’s Challenge to Catholic Thought.  Edited by James L. Marsh and Anna J. Brown. Fordham University Press. 416 pages.  Read more →

Can the Human Mind Explain Itself?

by Terry Scambray

New Oxford Review

A Review of Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, Thomas Nagel. Oxford University Press, 2012.  128 pages.  $24.95 Read more →

Book Review: The Savior Generals – The Tough Who Got Going

by Mark Moyar

Wall Street Journal

For a police chief, keeping the streets of Beverly Hills safe will probably never qualify as an act of great leadership, if only because the task itself lacks a certain degree of difficulty. Read more →

The Orientalism of Barack Obama

by Terry Scambray

New Oxford Review

Of course the documentary movie, 2016: Obama’s America, was timed by the conservative, Dinesh D’Souza, to discredit the president. Nonetheless, there can’t be much doubt that the president’s vision of America is driven by his attitude toward the perceived sins of European colonialism and his fear that America has now assumed that mantle. Read more →