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MannyRayner

Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten

Islam Is of the Devil: Know the Spiritual Truths That Will Bring the Christian Church Back to Its God-Given Position

Islam is of the Devil: Know the Spiritual Truths That Will Bring the Christian Church Back to Its God-given Position - Terry D. Jones There's a lot of stuff in the media at the moment about Terry Jones and his plans to organise a Koran bonfire on Saturday. I was curious to know more. I'm not going to buy his book - I don't want to give money to this person - but checking out his website is free. Here are some quotes from Ten Reasons To Burn A Koran and my spontaneous reactions:
Two

The Koran does not have an eternal origin. It is not recorded in heaven. The Almighty God, Creator of the World, is NOT it's source. It is not holy. It's writings are human in origin, a concoction of old and new teachings. This has been stated and restated for centuries by scholars since Islam's beginnings, both Moslem and non-Moslem.
I'm not competent to say whether the Koran is recorded in heaven, or is holy. For a small fee, however, I would be prepared to advise Dr. Jones and his colleagues on the correct usage of "its" and "it's". Details like these often make a surprising difference to the credibility of inflamatory political/religious documents.
Four

The earliest writings that are known to exist about the Prophet Mohammad were recorded 120 years after his death. All of the Islamic writings (the Koran and the Hadith, the biographies, the traditions and histories) are confused, contradictory and inconsistent. Maybe Mohammad never existed. We have no conclusive account about what he said or did. Yet Moslems follow the destructive teachings of Islam without question.
Pots and kettles, anyone?
Six

Islamic Law is totalitarian in nature. There is no separation of church and state. It is irrational. It is supposedly immutable and cannot be changed. It must be accepted without criticism. It has many similarities to Nazism, Communism and Fascism. It is not compatible with Western Civilization.
It pains me to say this, but I don't find his point entirely unreasonable. I remember being quite shocked to discover that there is no separation of church and state in Islam, and I must agree with Dr. Jones: this isn't compatible with Western civilization.

Even if I'm surprised to find that I don't dislike every single one of his arguments, it's reassuring to see that Americans right across the political spectrum are condemning him in the strongest possible terms.