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Islam: What the West Needs to Know (2006)

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An examination of Islam, violence, and the fate of the non-Muslim world.

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Credited cast:
Abdullah Al-Araby ...
Himself - Director, The Pen vs. The Sword Publications
Walid Shoebat ...
Himself - Author
Robert Spencer ...
Himself - Author
Serge Trifkovic ...
Himself - Foreign Affairs Editor, Chronicles Magazine
Bat Ye'or ...
Herself - Author


An examination of Islam, violence, and the fate of the non-Muslim world.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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islam | See All (1) »


An examination of Islam, violence, and the fate of the non-Muslim world.




Not Rated


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Release Date:

15 January 2006 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,184 (USA) (7 July 2006)


$12,184 (USA) (7 July 2006)

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Did You Know?


Robert Spencer: They are only at peace with their neighbors in so far as they are either ignorant of what Islam teaches about how Muslims should behave toward unbelievers, or they have explicitly rejected, consciously rejected those elements of Islam. There are in short peaceful and moderate Muslims, but no peaceful moderate Islam.
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User Reviews

Talking heads, but a well-argued message
13 July 2006 | by (Columbia MD) – See all my reviews

This one does seem to get extreme votes in one direction or the other, doesn't it? Production values are minimal. This is almost completely talking heads, a bunch of people telling us what they think we should know. Ms. Bat Ye'or's heavily accented English is subtitled. That's fine: she had something worthwhile to say. The most interesting speaker was an ex-PLO terrorist.

One bit which stuck in my craw was a survey of world trouble spots where Islam was involved, which included Bosnia, Kosovo, and Chechenya. Of these, I think it is inane to imply that the Bosnian massacres were at all the responsibility of the relatively unarmed Muslim population, which suffered the worst slaughter. I have less sympathy for Kosovars and still less for Chechens, but I've no doubt that responsibility for the violence in those areas must be shared to some degree.

Also, speakers were sometimes a bit silly about the uniqueness of Islam in allowing for some normally sinful acts such as lying. I'm sure Jews and Christians could find instances where lying is necessary as being the lesser evil.

Aside from that, the basic point, that Islam is a religion and a political system which mandates the subjugation of non-Muslims, which lacks the pluralist values we take for granted, was made convincingly.

Particularly useful in understanding Islamic thought was the explanation of how one Koranic text can supersede another. Thus nothing in the Koran can be trusted to be valid doctrine without a knowledge of everything revealed subsequently. And the Koran is neither arranged chronologically nor do most editions date the texts, so no one who has not devoted much study to the Koran and the history of its composition can know what doctrines are valid.

There was practically nothing in the film about the treatment of women under Islam, a matter which certainly merits attention. Muhammad's sexual relations with a nine-year-old "wife" were briefly mentioned.

All in all, the film justifies its title.

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