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The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  329 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews

"Meticulous, comprehensive, indispensable. 'I read the Koran so you don't have to,' Spencer writes—but even for those of us who have read the Koran, this is a richly illuminating work."

—Bruce Bawer, author of Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom and While Europe Slept
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Regnery Publishing (first published September 21st 2009)
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Lee Harmon
Jun 07, 2011 Lee Harmon rated it liked it
I was disappointed in this book. Whether it’s true or not hardly seems to matter; I was still disappointed.

Spencer hopes to introduce casual readers to the words of the Koran, and he has nothing good to say about it. He compares it to Mein Kampf. Here are some of the chapter titles:

The Muslims’ Worst Enemies: The Koran on the Jews
The Koran on Christians: They’re Not So Hot, Either
The Koran on Women: Crooked and Inferior
The Koran Teaches Nonviolence—Oh, and Violence, Too

Here’s the bottom line: If
Oct 31, 2009 stormhawk rated it it was amazing
Unlike many readers of this book, I have read the Koran. I did so some time after 9-11; I have first-hand knowledge of many of the things that Mr. Spencer points out. He does so very clearly and concisely providing examples both of the clear language of the Koran and apologists' spin-doctored versions of the verses.

Jul 18, 2011 Stefani rated it really liked it
Shelves: paperback, swapped
Pretty much the introduction of this book says it all when the author says, "This guide will inevitably be branded as anti-Islamic, as well as bigoted, hateful, and Islamaphobic.....Whether the Koran really says what this guide claims can easily be verified. And if this guide accurately reports its contents that couldn't possibly be an act of hatred or bigotry."

That is the statement of the century. It is very easy to determine if this author is telling the truth, and having read the English tra
Apr 25, 2010 Jc rated it it was amazing
Together with Ibn Warraq's "Why I Am Not a Muslim," this is a must read for non-Muslims who wish to understand the background, history, and possible results of the violent forms of Islam that are claiming power today. Well written and a fascinating (and frightening)read.

[NOTE: I forgot to add that I do have one problem with the author and his book: while his criticisms of islam do fit with my other reading, the author tries to sneak in support of conservative christian ideas. I tend to just igno
Dawn Roberts
May 15, 2012 Dawn Roberts rated it really liked it
Since I am an Infidel, I thought this book would be a good overview of the Koran for me. I have long intended to read the Koran itself, but lose my motivation for three reasons. First, the Koran is not a collection of chronological teachings, but provides bits and pieces of Muhammed's wisdom without context. Also, Islam teaches that the Koran is to be read only in Arabic. Finally, Islam accepts the Koran as incomplete without the illumination of the Hadith, which has no canonically agreed conten ...more
Nicole Marble
It's hard to know how accurate or 'true' this explanation of the Koran is. The translator/author is neither sympathetic or empathetic towards the Koran. But the final chapter might be the most telling as the author chastises President Obama as 'naive' in attempting to have a dialog with Muslims. And proposes that all Muslims be excluded from the US as a matter of self defense.
In other words, this book has an 'agenda' - one I reject.
Sep 07, 2010 Thom rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Some facets of this religion are incompatible with our form of government. The Mormons were willing to give up polygamy to live as Americans. Are Muslims willing to give up enough to live in peace with us?
Jan 21, 2015 Joe rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened-to
A thorough book. An interesting book. A biased book. A necessary book.

The author, Robert Spencer, makes no bones about the fact that he has an agenda: He wants to show people the TRUTH about Islam. Did he succeed? Well, yes and no.

Yes: I know much more about Islam than I did going in which was sadly very little. However, I'm exactly the intended audience for this book, i.e. someone who is interested in why so many people keep referencing the Koran as their motivation for killing.

No: The author s
Feb 05, 2010 Cris rated it liked it
Spencer himself believes his book will be branded as "anti-Islamic", "bigoted," "hateful," and "Islamophobic" because much of the information contained in his book in regards to how the Koran should treat infidels is very negative. He addresses these accusations of hate-mongering directly in his first chapter arguing that the accuracy of his guide account of the Koran's contents can be easily verified. And if Spencer's guide is accurate, than it can't be an act of "hatred" or "bigotry".

While not a complete compendium of Islam, for anyone who is interested in how the current conflict came about and how a group with the same God as Jews and Christians could want to kill you because.. well, God said so..(huuruph?)this is a great place to start.

I think any modern English speaking person is aware that most people do not follow their religion to the letter, bacon egg and cheeses and Saturday traffic at the mall -2 general examples-but to pretend that there isn't a significant factio
Samuel Harris
May 15, 2010 Samuel Harris rated it liked it
A lot of great insight in this book about the Koran, looking at all the different English translations and the variety of interpretations of Koranic teaching. Even looks at an Obama speech that quotes the Koran... I wonder if anyone told him the next line after the one he quoted? Basically he quoted a line of love thy neighbor... but the very next line is if HE is Muslim... Jews and Christians can suck a lemon.
Max Wilson
Dec 16, 2011 Max Wilson rated it it was amazing
A very good critical analysis of the Koran. Spencer illuminates the extent to which western apologists, including President Obama, have sanitized the contractory directives in the Koran. This books contributes well to a larger understanding of wold politics, including why Isreal will never be safe (Jews are called apes and pigs in the Koran), how Pakistan can simultaneously accept aid from the US and harbor/promote anti-US insurgents, and why Islamic totalitarianism continues as the greatest thr ...more
Ben B
Jan 29, 2011 Ben B rated it did not like it
Not what I expected. Well researched and documented, but narrow minded. Documented that the fundamentalist position is intolerant and inherently violent, then jumped to the conclusion that the fundamentalist interpretation is the only valid interpretation. I am glad I read this book (actually, listened to the audiobook), because it provided a different point of view than the one I previously held. But if this were the only point of view available, I think it would be terribly misleading.
Tony Derricott
I listened to the audio book driving to and from work over a period of a number of days. It's 7CDs - 8 hours so it must have taken 2 or 3 weeks. Given that driving doesn't always allow you to pay full attention to the "book" I learned a number of things; mostly that the Koran doesn't seem that different than the Bible, nor Islam than Christianity. In the words of -- I think it was Jerry Maguire -- "Can't we all just get along?"
Oct 14, 2010 Jenna rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I felt this book was both true and biased at the same time.
I did learn a lot about the contents of the Koran and though he said that he read the Koran so you wouldn't have to read this book just made me want to read the Koran so that I could really see what is written in it myself. He gives some viable comments and queries, sometimes I feel like I need a second opinion. It was an interesting read.
Nov 03, 2014 George rated it really liked it
I have to say that one of the main things I got from this book is how radically different Islam is from Christianity or any other religion. It seems strange that I see so many comments to the contrary here. Either these people read a different book than I did or they haven't actually thoroughly read the Bible as they seem to insinuate they have in their comments.
This is a very thorough book that refutes Islam with Islam and done so with scholarship and respect to its adherents. It's scholarly but not dry and a copy of the Koran on hand would be most recommended in conjunction.

Tom Fox
Jun 01, 2015 Tom Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Required reading for the 21st century

Spencer dissects the Koran without the lens of political correctness in this quick read. The notion that Islam is a religion of peace and only a few outliers hold radical views simply does not hold up in the light of the Koran's own suras and the even more extreme hadiths. This is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the importance of separating government and religion, which is wholly antithetical to Islam.
Mar 30, 2011 Allison rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much. I was looking for a book that broke down the Koran in terms that I could understand. Although this book was written by Robert Spencer, who is not Muslim, it was quite interesting to hear his point of view. I suggest anyone who reads this book should intend to read a book on the same subject matter written from the perspective of a Muslim author.
Fred Grube
May 18, 2013 Fred Grube rated it it was ok
This book did little to answer the main questionI had on whether or not the Koran commands Muslims to kill all infidels. The author does not come off as a non biased source for answering such a question. To his credit he does quote the Koran hundreds of time and even gives the chapter and verse, but in the end, very few of my questions were truly answered to my satisfaction.
Mar 18, 2011 Michael rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I agree with many other reviewers on here that this book contains a lot of interesting and well researched information and is a good introduction to the Koran for the uninitiated, but that it is also extremly biased. If you read this try to get some alterantive opinions as well to hear the arguments from the other side as well before you form your own opinion.
Jeff McCormack
Sep 12, 2014 Jeff McCormack rated it really liked it
Great information that I am sure many people do not know. Pretty much clears up the confusion between why some say the Koran promoted peace and those that say it does not. Shows plenty of examples of how political leaders use out of context quotes to promote their beliefs about the Koran, and delves into the history, formation, and practices of the Koran.
C. Derick
Jun 11, 2015 C. Derick rated it it was ok
While there is good explications of some of the most "conservative" religious jurisprudence, there is a lot of cherrypicking and double standards in this one. For example, the comparisons to Christianity and Judaism often flatly omit similar tradition within those religions. Where many liberal readers of Islam cherry-pick only towards charitable and ecumenical hadith and Koranic verses, this seems to primarily invert that. It is not that there are not people who do believe some of what Spencer i ...more
Feb 01, 2014 Lisa rated it did not like it
Goodreads needs to add the tag "abandoned" to their want to, currently, or read list. Abandoning a book is something I rarely do, but I could take no more of this book after three chapters. I was expecting a book that informed the reader about the Koran not denigrated it through subtle wording and snide remarks. I found the writing style and word choice not only insulting to my intelligence but also disrespectful. I am a Christian and have no intentions of converting to another religion, but I d ...more
Aug 18, 2015 John rated it liked it
Similarly to the Bible, the Koran is open to interpretation depending on the passages you read or focus on. It's clear this author focused on those passages that would present the Koran as preaching hate and intolerance of anyone who does not follow its teachings. But I have read other books that focus on some of the same passages and others of the Koran to show that it teaches tolerance and acceptance of other religions. Where is the truth? I suppose it is in the eye of the individual believer. ...more
Brett's Books
Aug 06, 2011 Brett's Books rated it really liked it
Pretty interesting, light-hearted study of the Koran for Western readers, mostly underscoring the differences. I learned a lot about Islam I didn't know.
Jun 21, 2010 Mark rated it liked it
speaking as an "infidel" i thought it was a really balanced view of the Koran. Worth the time for sure
Rich Raymond
Sep 19, 2011 Rich Raymond rated it liked it
A very heavily anti-Islam slant. Interesting, but I would question the objectivity.
Jul 08, 2013 Staren rated it really liked it
This author and his books are quite famous and critisized both among Muslims (and this is understandable) and among Westerners (which want to break the Islam-related chain of violence and hatred). I would agree with the said Westerners previously; although, after reading the book, I have big reservations about it. In short, the author is very convincing and rational in his arguments, and I have nothing against them. However, I feel desperation now: it's very soothing to think about inevitable pe ...more
Aug 29, 2014 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is likely that I shall have to buy a print version of this work, or something very similar, in order to confront defenders of the Muslim faith in what seems their ongoing deceit in what their followers intend. For some inexplicable reason we seem to have listened far too long to a political class which seems wish only to stick our collective heads further into the sand. The author seems guilty of no hyperbole in pointing out what Islam has been saying for hundreds of years, and likely will no ...more
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Robert Bruce Spencer is an American author and blogger best known for critiques of Islam and research into Islamic terrorism and jihad. He has published ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers, and is a regular contributor to David Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine. In 2003 he founded Jihad Watch, a blog which aims to bring public attention to what it describes as "the concerted effort by ...more
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“The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.” 0 likes
“The Koran tells Muslims to “make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies” (8:60).” 0 likes
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