Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Why I am Not a Muslim” as Want to Read:
Why I am Not a Muslim
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Why I am Not a Muslim

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  909 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Those who practice the Muslim faith have resisted examinations of their religion. They are extremely guarded about their religion, and what they consider blasphemous acts by skeptical Muslims and non-Muslims alike has only served to pique the world's curiosity. This critical examination reveals an unflattering picture of the faith and its practitioners. Nevertheless, it is ...more
Paperback, 428 pages
Published March 1st 2003 by Prometheus Books (first published May 1995)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Why I am Not a Muslim, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Why I am Not a Muslim

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  909 ratings  ·  83 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Why I am Not a Muslim
♥ Ibrahim ♥
May 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: islam
This books is written by somebody like I am, a former Muslim. Somebody who got inside the Trojan Horse and came out and told the whole WORLD everything about Islam. If you are pressured in marriage into converting to Islam, by all means get a copy of this book and read it very well. When this book came out, it was a breath of fresh air; we never saw books on the market like that that said "Why I am not a Muslim". If you respect Bertrand Russell and his intellect who wrote "Why I am Not A Christi ...more
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Muslims are the first victims of Islam. Many times I have observed in my travels in the Orient, that fanaticism comes from a small number of dangerous men who maintain the others in the practice of religion by terror. To liberate the Muslim from his religion is the best service that one can render him. —E. Renan.

On the internet, and in real life, you will find Muslims who will confidently avow how impeccable their holy book is. You will also find them announcing that Islam is a religion of peac
Shoaib Nagi
What a load of crap. In short, Why I am Not a Fan of this Book:

1. Poorly poorly written: The prose is like that of a 18 year old college dropout who forgot to take the freshman 'Critical Writing 101' class. Disorganized and at times, felt like a rough collection of truths, half-truths and other people's opinions.

2. Inaccuracies: I, unlike many others who'll read this book, actually bothered to cross-reference some of what he has cited. To sum this argument up; at one case, Ibn Warraq, the idiot
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ibn Warraq still receives death threats for writing this book. Why?

Powerful. Shocking. Outrageous at times. This is a definitive sceptic's book on Islam for the layperson. It is written in beautiful scholarly language, though there is a Hitchens-like style and ferocity in its handling of matters on politics, human rights and islamofascism.

Ibn Warraq draws on an overabundance of historical sources, most being from the classical Islamic writers themselves, with the big names of ibn Ishaq, ibn Kath
Tariq Mahmood
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: islam
I guess the the main reason for reading works by Ibn Warraq is best summarized by the following statement by E.Renan.

Muslims are the first victims of Islam. Many times I have observed in my travels in the orient, that fanaticism comes from a small number of dangerous men who maintain the others in the practice of religion by terror. To liberate the Muslim from his religion is the best service that one can render.

I couldn't agree more with the astutue observation made above. Time and again I have
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing

This is an important work, though probably few will read it who should. Borrowing the title from Bertrand Russell's polemic on christianity, Warraq gives a unique learned-insider-turned-skeptic-turned-unbeliever viewpoint. The book would be difficult to read without some good background in religious history and without some knowledge of Islam in particular as the book focuses on persuading an audience of educated believers. However, even without that background the book works well to educate an
NJ Wong
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Islam is not a religion like Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism. Islam is an ideology, like Communism and Fascism. One major factor: the punishment for apostasy - i.e. leaving Islam to join another religion - or no religion - is the penalty of death. It is also why Muslims all over the world rise up to demand death for non-Muslims who criticise the barbarism of Islamic practices, but do not protest when Muslim terrorists slaughter innocents in the name of Islam.

This is a powerful book, written by
Apr 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Courageous book. Superb, rational critique of Islam. Raises Islam to a level of criticism and debate that has been historically stifled. What's at times even more impressive is how Ibn Warraq takes on European and Muslim apologists.

If the chapter on women in Islam isn't physically revolting, check your pulse.
Hussain Elius
Jul 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing

This was a long read, but not an uninteresting one, and that suits me just fine. It's one of the better books on skepticism I have read after Sceptical Essays, much less philosophical and much more scholarly. Most atheist books nowadays bash either faith in general or Christianity. Only a few books I know of, such as this, speaks against Islam in a comprehensive manner.

Ibn Warraq argues what's wrong with Islam itself, and not just the Islamists, quoting hundreds of verses in Quran and Hadith
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The chapter on Women in Islam alone should make you cringe.
This is the best book on Islam I have read. Although it's a scholarly text it's packed with references and does not sugarcoat the early history of Islam.
Mohammad was a genocidal maniac and a political opportunist. He did not leave peace after him and his worst contribution was claiming that the Koran was inspired by God.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this book because the author presents his case in a logical and informative way. The short chapters are arranged in sequence and further divided into sub-chapters. It makes reading easy and you get to go back and forth between chapters much faster - especially on Kindle.

As for the content, the author eloquently lists the major ills that Islam has brought into the world, which are pretty much consistent with just about every other organized religion that has ever established itself into a
Gary Patton
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who would learn why Islam is neither loving nor peaceful to non-Muslims nor Muslims.
Recommended to Gary by: a friend
Shelves: jihadism, religion
Ibn Warraq, a convert from fundamentalist Islam, explains passionately and vividly why Islam, not just Islamists, needs to be feared by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

He helps his readers to understand using documentation of unarguable facts why Islam is not the benevolent, peaceable and non-violent religion the media, plus Islamic Imams, scholars and every School of Jurisprudence tells us it is.

Mr. Warraq outlines clearly from the Qur'an and Hadith, Muslims' key Holy Books, what Allah, their Dei
Mohit Sharma
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Balanced and polemical.

There were a lot of redundancies when same things were described or proclaimed over and over again.

Also I didn't understand the point of the chapter on homosexuality. If Islam as a culture was unofficially tolerant of homosexuality, what point does it make in context of this book?

Aug 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
As author himself admits, this book is composed mainly of excerpts from various sources, with the author taking the role of their presenter while discussing different subjects concerning Islam. I would reccomend it (although it is my first book on this subject) as a kind of introductory work and a source of further reading material to everyone interested in learning more about Islam from a critical standpoint.
Feb 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Although extemely thorough and insightful, the author's basic premise is often skewed because of his own anti-Islam bias and impatience with the simple idea of faith. Regardless, the material was very edifying and I found the latter chapters on Al-Ma'arri and Women in Islam riveting. Even bought myself a copy for future reference.
Peter Delorenzo
Jul 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Warraq explains the history of Islam and the true nature of the religion. Comprehensive.
Ahmad Sharawneh
Feb 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
silly and has been debunked 1843903904 times
Steve Kohn
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
On page 353:
"An imam, a prayer leader of Muslims, in [a western European city], dismissed [the host country] as 'a sick and divided nation,' and only the imposition of Islam can heal it. For him, 'The implementation of Islam as a complete code of life cannot be limited to the home and to personal relationships. It is to be sought and achieved in society as a whole.' The government must be brought into line with what is appropriate for an Islamic, not a secular state. Every Muslim must ‘extend th
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. Why? I will be honest, I have been trying to find sources to educate myself on Islam. I read two great books by Nabeel Qureshi, also a Muslim that fell away from his faith but fell into Christianity. So, I wanted another perspective, someone who fell away but into atheism. There is no comparison here when it comes to intellectual honesty. Most people would assume the person moving to atheism would hold the intellectual honesty far better. It simply is not the case in ...more
Mar 09, 2013 rated it liked it
It's difficult to live up to Russell, but Ibn Warraq makes a good go of it. One pitfall (and this is undoubtedly unavoidable, when discussing this topic) is that it's impossible to pin down exactly what we're talking about when we talk about "Islam" (or Christianity, or Judaism, or any other religious tradition). Islam is amorphous, internally inconsistent (with reference to the Qur'an and Hadith), and subject to a great number of interpretations. Yet, it isn't an *infinitely* elastic subject: i ...more
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
The title is a derivation of Bertrand Russell's "Why I Am Not A Christian" and Ibn Warraq essentially layout an apologia for leaving fundamentalist Islam and offers insight into why the religious-political movement is dangerous.

Anyone curious about Islam would do well to read the book. It details the development of both the Koran and the haidaitha and how that relates to the founder of the religious-political movement. He also details the intellectual West's strange attraction in historical ter
Oct 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, religion
This book is an interesting window on Islam, and really calls into question its viability in the modern world, despite the appearances of vigorous growth. This phenomon seems to be not much different from the growing trend towards Christian fundamentalism, which seems to be happening also against a backdrop of increasing doubt about many if not all of the major tenets of the religion.

What the book does not do at all is to pay attention to the many worthwhile teachings in the Sufi tradition, whic
Adrian Hart
Mar 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Although this book is an enlightening read on some of the more unsavoury aspects of Islamic culture, I have to say I'm not a fan of the author's writing style. His writing has a dry textbook-like quality to it that completely lacks any life or humour. I had to push myself to get through this one. It took me a week and a half to read it, and it felt like the longest week and a half of my life. I also would have liked to see a chapter on Qutbism and its influence on modern Islamist ideology (even ...more
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-and-owned
"Why I am Not a Muslim" is probably one of the highlights of religion criticism. It is very analytical and larded with secondary literature, but the author achieves his goal: to fully dissect Islam (and some bits of Christianity and Judaism). Its relevance today cannot be ignored and some sections are disturbing indeed (namely the real implication of jihad and how an Islamic state views itself and the other part of the world). Although chapters 10 & 11 appear somewhat tedious, others (like on Ar ...more
Jan 14, 2009 rated it liked it
I had a little trouble getting started with this book. I didn't find Warraq's writing style particularly engaging or very well organized. However, I read on and eventually enjoyed the book. I learned a lot about Islam and Muhammed and certainly gained a new perspective on the religion and it's relationship to world history and politics. Ultimately, Warraq's arguments against belief in Islam and for the strict separation of church and state are quite convincing.
Akshat Upadhyay
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
An eyeopener. This book has the credentials, the necessary references and bibliographies to make it the best ( so far) critique of Islam. The books starts a bit heavy and full of facts and comparisons between Islam and Christianity and Judaism but its only when it delves into interpretations of specific passages of the Koran and the devious methods of the Prophet that it becomes more readable and interesting. And the end chapter on the pitfalls of multiculturalism is really good.
Jos Rienties
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good book, it refers to the letter of Bertrand Russell "why I am not a Christian" I do think that Ibn Warraq on occasion goes a bit overboard. Sadly enough however todays events show him to be correct.
Daniel Jafari
Apr 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
a compelling book for all Muslim-born and Muslim skeptics.
Ratia Vox
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Comprehensive, to say the least.
кай жук
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
"Perhaps one of the greatest obstacles in Islam to progress toward liberal democracy is its emphasis that it is the final word of God, the ultimate code of conduct: Islam never allows the possibility of alternatives."

There is a lot that can be said about a book like this and I found myself wanting to comment on the text repeatedly, but I found that ultimately unhelpful. Warraq has collected a very impressive anthology of texts that are critical of Islam. I usually find quoting other people weake
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
  • The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
  • Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics
  • A Case of Exploding Mangoes
  • Fields of Color: The theory that escaped Einstein
  • Jerusalem: The Biography
  • Pakistan: A Hard Country
  • Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids -- And How to Break the Trance
  • Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science
  • Debt: The First 5,000 Years
  • God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam & Modernity in the Middle East
  • Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
  • The God Delusion
  • The Road to Mecca
  • Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Ipazia
See similar books…
Ibn Warraq is the pen name of an author most famous for his criticism of Islam. He is the founder of the Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society (ISIS) and is formerly a senior research fellow at the Center for Inquiry, focusing on Quranic criticism. Warraq is currently the Vice-President of the World Encounter Institute. Warraq's commentary on Islam is considered by some to be overly ...more

News & Interviews

There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
42 likes · 15 comments
“The harsh truth that this is the only life we have should make us try and improve it for as many people as possible.” 6 likes
“I wish more people would belabor the obvious, and more often.” 6 likes
More quotes…