Why I Left Jihad
20 August 2010
Why I Left Jihad: The Root of Terrorism and the Return of Radical Islam by Walid Shoebat is a book that I was really looking forward to reading. It is a book that I really, really wanted to like. But despite its four-star rating on Amazon.com, I find myself unable to give it more than a star or two.
The positive aspect of this book is that it is filled with great information and insights. The negative aspect of this book is the horrible presentation of this information. Why I Left Jihad is in desperate need of a good editor to give the disjointed text some coherence, which feels almost like it is a transcript of spoken messages given at different times and places. The title page does list one June S. Neal as the editor — if this book truly has been edited, I would hate to have seen the unedited version! It is really a shame, because this could have been a great book if the necessary time and effort had been devoted to it. As it is, it feels very rushed and jumbled — and seeing that it is 400 pages long, that's a lot of jumble to wade through.
Furthermore, from the title of the book — Why I Left Jihad — I would have assumed that it would be more about his personal life, his life under Islam, how he became a Christian, and all that. He does touch on these subjects briefly at the beginning of the book, but the vast majority of the book is NOT about his own life — this book is NOT an autobiography. But I will quote a page that IS autobiographical so you can have a taste of what Walid has to share:
I lost my family, my friends, my community, my culture, my money and my land. How ironic. The Jews did not take these things from me, my own family did. I am branded as a traitor by Arab Christians, by my own family, and by the Muslims in my community. This treatment by my fellow Arabs, be they Christian, Muslim, or atheist, is indicative of Islam's fatal flaw. If Islam truly were a peaceful religion, then my family might consider me a disappointment, but my own brother would not threaten to kill me, my family would not have confiscated my land and demanded I come back to Bethlehem and declare, "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet." If I do not believe in Islam anymore, why should I lie and declare such a thing? The answer is because Muhammad clearly demanded that one who changes his faith must be killed. What part of "kill" does the West not understand? Is it any wonder why I have to stay in hiding and be so careful even though I live in a free society here in America?
Let me say as much as I can before they come to get me. I choose to speak out because I know what is wrong. And what is wrong has nothing to do with Israel's "occupation of the land;" it is Islam's occupation of the mind. There are other victims, just like me, millions of them, and like Hitler's Jugend — they are all kids. They are taught the same songs about killing Jews as I was. When will we get rid of the education propaganda promoting both destruction and self-destruction? Will it take a generation? Ten? Until then, there will be no peace, no matter what kind of land settlement the world tries to enforce. Not when Muslim children undergo this occupation of the mind. There is no solution unless we liberate the children from an evil and growing menace and stop the cycle.
Great stuff, coming from the mouth of one who knows. A fair chunk of the book is a recounting of the persecution of Jews during the past 2000 years. That is important information too, but you might wish to read a book that deals specifically with that subject, perhaps one like The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day or Anti-Semitism: Myth and Hate from Antiquity to the Present.
The majority of Why I Left Jihad deals with Islam and the Last Days. For compelling and in-depth look at this vital topic, you could do no better than to read The Islamic Antichrist by Joel Richardson (click on the title to read my review). I can't recommend The Islamic Antichrist highly enough — it is definitely a MUST READ!
So, this brings my brief review of Walid Shoebat's book to a conclusion. If you want to read a vast number of books about Islam, then you won't want to skip this one, especially since it was written by a former Muslim. But if your time and/or finances are more limited, you might want to pass on this one and consider some of the other books I mentioned here instead.