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Three books to understand Islam: counterjihadist Robert Spencer weighs in
Muslim pilgrims perform the evening prayer near the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca on November 12, 2010. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Three books to understand Islam: counterjihadist Robert Spencer weighs in

Spencer's recommended reading.

Several months ago, we spoke with prominent counterjihadist, and to his ideological foes, chief "Islamophobe," Robert Spencer, in order to get his book recommendations on Islam and the Middle East.

Spencer is the Director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, author of thirteen books, including two New York Times bestsellers, "The Truth About Muhammad" and "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)," and contributor to a variety of publications including PJ Media, Frontpage and Human Events.

His latest book is "Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In," which you can read about here.

Below, Spencer provides the three books he believes are essential to understand Islam, and some commentary on each of the titles he selected.

1. The Qur'an (Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi translation)

A reasonably good translation [of the Qur'an] with revealing commentary by the renowned 20th century Pakistani politician and Islamic scholar, Syed Abul Ala Maududi, is "Towards Understanding the Qur’an." Check out especially the forthright avowal of the imperative to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers in the commentary on Qur’an 9:29. And for full background, see my book "The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran."

2. The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam by Bat Ye’or

This is the history, replete with numerous primary source documents, of the conquest and subjugation of the Middle East by Muslim invaders. It vividly and harrowingly shows the grim reality of the doctrines of jihad and dhimmitude that are taught in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

3. The Life of Muhammad by Alfred Guillaume

This is a translation of Ibn Ishaq’s eighth-century "Sirat Rasul Allah" ("Life of the Messenger of Allah"), the first biography of Muhammad. The picture that the pious and devoted Muslim Ibn Ishaq paints of Muhammad is truly shocking – albeit unintentionally. Ibn Ishaq relates it all without any trace of embarrassment.


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