Islam, an Evil Religion?
Jude Wanniski
May 3, 2005


Memo To: Editors of Human Events
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Your "Book Service"

In recent weeks, several times I have received promotions for your "Conservative Books" and could hardly believe my eyes that you are peddling a whole line of anti-Islamic books to your readers. Right on top I'm offered "MOHAMMED: THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT THE FOUNDER OF THE WORLD'S MOST VIOLENT RELIGION." There is even a note that the book is "NOT STOCKED IN MOST BOOKSTORES." No wonder. This is the ugly truth about Human Events, a weekly political newspaper that Ronald Reagan considered one of his favorites, and so did I. Allan Ryskind, one of your founders, now retired, was my classmate at UCLA. I wonder if he cringes the way I do when I get your internet offerings of such garbage.

I'm sure you would say you have nothing to do with the advertising, but if I were you, I'd call Tom Phillips, who owns the paper, and suggest he consider how his Human Events is contributing to the Clash of Civilizations and devaluing the publication in the process. What the book club might do is reprint the out-of-print book "Mahomet and His Successors," by Washington Irving, in 1849. There your readers will find a clear-eyed treatment of Mohammed, founder of the most ecumenical, inclusive religion, written before its political clash with Zionism over the Holy Land that should be sacred to the three great monotheistic religions. Here in the opening of Chapter VIII, for example, Irving describes the "Outlines of the Mahometan Faith":

Though it is not intended in this place to go fully into the doctrines promulgated by Mahomet, yet it is important to the right appreciation of his character and conduct, and of the events and circumstances set forth in the following narrative, to give their main features.

It must be particularly borne in mind, that Mahomet did not profess to set up a new religion; but to restore that derived in the earliest times, from God himself. "We follow," says the Koran, "the religion of Abraham the orthodox, who was no idolater. We believe in God and that which hath been sent down to us, and that which hath been sent down unto Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was delivered unto Moses and Jesus, and that which was delivered unto the prophets from the Lord: We make no distinction between any of them, and to God we are resigned."

Irving notes that Mahomet "at an early age had imbibed a reverence for the Jewish faith, his mother, it is suggested, having been of that religion. The system laid down in the Koran, however, was essentially founded on the Christian doctrines inculcated in the New Testament; as they had been expounded to him by the Christian sectarians of Arabia."

The American people -- Christian, Jew and secular -- know so little of Islam, although it is the fastest growing religion on the planet. How odd, don't you think, that one of our foremost early authors would go to the trouble of learning about it and writing it for his fellow countrymen a century and a half ago. And today, there is a cottage industry in our midst promoting a fear and hatred of Mohammed and Islam, and Human Events is one of its principle venues. I hate to say it, folks, but this is the dictionary definition of bigotry. Here is a link to one of their sales sheets, as a reminder:

Mohammed: the ugly truth about the founder of the world's most violent religion