Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: the Struggle for the Soul of the West: Book Review
Religion is an aspect of the human population that has a long history and has shaped the world for generations. Many wars have been fought in the name of religion, with the most important of these being between the Christians and the Muslims. The basic reason for the fighting has been for the control of the population perceived as being stronger than the rest of the human race, and this is the Western population. The western hemisphere has been regarded as the centre of education and culture including religion for generations. In William Kilpatrick’s book, religion is alluded to in a very critical manner, with the two main conflicting religions receiving attention. This paper reviews William’s book: ‘Christianity, Islam and Atheism; the struggle of the soul of the West’.
The author begins by listing some of the misconceptions that the West has had about the Islamic faith and compares these with the Christian faith. A key consideration is how the two faiths have been in existence for a long time, yet the Christian faith is described as reducing in strength in the west while the Islamic faith is growing at a fast rate. The author describes the Islamic faith as a masculine faith that is force-oriented, and the Christian faith as a feminine faith that is weak and easy to run down due to the weak beliefs that the believers have.
The author also describes the changes that each of the two religions has experienced over the centuries, and how these have allowed them to penetrate the West (William 2012). He further portrays the Islamic faith as having different factions but sharing a similar agenda of making the religion a universal one. On one side are the extremists who have no respect for life, property or rights, and their only consideration is their faith, while on the other side are the moderates who sympathise with the extremists and propagate the faith in a more peaceful manner. The author places blame for the poor performance of Christianity against Islam on the abandonment of the beliefs and faith that the Christians have made. He states that Christians have made themselves easy targets due to the failure to follow their own doctrines and obey the laid down Christian laws. Some of the Christians are also described as Islam sympathisers and facilitators (William 2012).
The Weston society is described as having abandoned the Christian religion and the vacuum is easy for the Islamic faith to fill. Christians are also described as having a general concept of peaceful coexistence with the Muslims their brothers, with the Muslim society considering this as a weakness and using it against them (William 2012). They have, therefore, used this aspect of the Christian faith to bring it down and ensure that the Christians are not able to defend their faith. The Christians are left with a shattered faith that they feel is not worth defending from the offending Islamic faith.
The author also describes Christian apologists who he claims have allowed Muslims to cause a decline in Christian morals in the west, and an eventual Islamisation of the same region (William 2012). The end result is the Christian faith bowing to the pressure of Islam, and a large number of converts coming from the Christian faith than any other faith in the world. Some of the Islamic operatives in the west are described as being in the business of whitewashing the population to ensure that they are not able to obey any other religion apart from Islam.
The author describes a war between Islam and Christianity, which he compares to the cold war between the Soviets and the United States. He claims that the Islamists are using cold war tactics to win the religious battle. The Christians on the other hand are unaware or oblivious of this, with the religion being unable to win the hearts of the few moderate Muslims. He also states some of the measure that should be taken to ensure that the spread of the Islamic religion is halted, including the plot to have people expose how this religion is hollow and with no benefit to the society at large. The use of propaganda is encouraged to make the Muslims lose faith in their religion so as to make some of them abandon it and maybe join the Christian faith. The author, however, compares some of the efforts that have been made to this effect and describes them as being fruitless (William 2012). The measures have instead made more Christians to join the Islamic faith rather than the Muslims to abandon their faith
The author farther goes ahead to portray the Islamic faith as a threat to the existence of the human race, and states that the religion is likely to start off a global conflict as is being currently experienced in different parts of the world. According to him, the religion should be wiped off the face of the earth, and this he estimates would take decades if not centuries. Based on the rate at which Islam has grown, one would not consider it to be on the declining end but rather on the rise. The author, therefore, proposes a halt to the progression of the religion on the Western region and hemisphere (William 2012).
The author appears to be biased to the Christian faith while writing the book, and can, therefore, not be said to be impartial.
Some of the reasons for the suspected baseness include how he describes the Islamic religion as being a violent one and the expressed desire to stop its expansion. He proposes several measures to be put in place to stop its advancement and how Christians should deal with it (William 2012). The book is biased towards the Christian faith, and the author acknowledges this faith as the only deserving faith. There is also suggestion of what is to be done to stop the growth of Islam, with the author linking Islam to violence. Another indicator that the author is biased towards the Christian faith is how he chooses words to describe the two religions. To the author, the Christian faith is the only legitimate religion, and the Islamic faith is only meant to serve as a war religion. He also states that Christianity has gone wrong in allowing Islam to grow in its midst, and suggests a number of measure that could be taken to stop this and prevent future expansion of the Islamic faith.
Are his research and his opinions well-founded?
The author uses a series of researches and makes several opinions while writing the book. One question is whether his resear4ch and opinions are well founded. Based on the facts that the writer uses in the book, the research is well founded. The author uses factual research while writing his work and this is in relation to the wide number of articles that he puts in his work. Despite the presence of well-founded research in the book, it is a personal observation that the author’s opinions are not well founded. The author uses factual information but draws conclusions that are not related to these facts.
Did you find the book convincing?
On reading the book, I did not find it convincing based on a number of reasons. First is that Islam is not as violent as portrayed in the book, and thought there have been few isolated incidents where the faithful’s have been involved in violence, it was not without provocation. The religion is also founded on peace, and the preachers emphasize on the coexistence of the human race.
I also found the book disappointing due to a number of reasons. One is that the book portrays a specific group of people as having a religion that is less desirable than another group. This would amount to interference with their right of worship, and their human rights. It is also a personal opinion that all human beings are equal, and they should have equal rights to practice their religion any place in the world irrespective of the type or who they worship. The thought of trying to eliminate one religion is also wrong.
The disappointments that I have with the book include the suggestion that the Muslim population should be discouraged from practicing their religion. Another disappointment with the author and his work is the manner in which he portrays the Islamic faith with little evidence to support his opinions
I would also disagree with the author on the foundation of the Islamic faith. He states that the faith is a violent one, but this is a misconception as I have known the faith to be a peaceful one. Being a Muslim myself, I would like to disagree with the author on that one. I would also like to disagree with the author that the faith is founded on the desire to expand and cover the whole planet. While Islam would be the best religion for the world to have, there is no doctrine that shows there is a desire to have the world under it by force.
New things learnt
There are new things to learn in the book, and these include that the Islamic faith is the fastest growing in the world. The others include the resentment that some of the Christian brothers view Islam with. Some of the other new things learnt include that the Islamic faith is a threat to the other religions including Christianity, and this is reported to make the believers of these faiths uncomfortable.
Change of opinions on any subject after reading the book
After reading the book, several personal opinions changed. One is that there is a peaceful coexistence between the various religions in the west particularly the Christian and Islamic faith. The author clearly portrays the two faiths as being in conflict and with no possible coexistence between its members. Another opinion that drastically changed is the peaceful nature of Christians that I believed was an attribute of any Christian. After reading the book, it is clearly evident that some of the Christians have bad intention for their Muslim brothers. My opinion of the rate at which the Islamic faith is expanding also changed with the book, and it is now evident that the religion is the leader in the world in terms of new recruitments and patriotism to the faith.
Did the book make you want to read other books by the same author?
William Kilpatrick San Francisco may have written other books with different titles over the years. Though some of these books may have different subjects from that in this current book, reading the book aroused a desire to read some of the other books to see the extent of the opinions and research content. Some of the other reasons that the other books would make good reading is to see if there is any controversy as with the current book. This will also enable a good objective judgment of the writer.