Daudi mounts a spirited, logical defense of Islam in the face of Western propaganda.
A retired urologist, Daudi approaches Islam as a neutral, methodical observer. The West and Muslim-majority nations are not destined to be at odds, he argues; in fact, they fought on the same side against Soviets and Communists. The religious right’s unquestioning support for Israel and the fact that Islamic countries safeguard 75 percent of oil reserves may be major factors behind the recent demonization of Islam, he says. It is unjust to label Islam as intrinsically warlike, Daudi holds, because violence is universal; Muslims are often the weaker combatants who suffer the most in conflicts such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Chechnya and the West Bank. Indeed, in state clashes, Muslim-majority nations like Turkey and Iran have been the losers. A country’s number of neighbors is a better predictor of aggression than its dominant religion, Daudi says, and border disputes and power struggles (including ethnic cleansing) between social groups are among the geographical and historical prompts for conflict. Daudi uses statistical terminology and impressively detailed tables to enhance his objectivity. Although Islam and violence may be correlated, he finds no proof of a cause-and-effect connection, and he upholds that hypothesis by listing acts of bloodshed. Rates of Islamic brutality have remained stable since 1800, and recent villains such as Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida have claimed far fewer victims than American, British and Israeli invasions. Those and other Western nations, through regime changes and accepted acts of war—even Hiroshima—have been responsible for huge numbers of casualties. Meanwhile, Muslims make up less than 20 percent of terrorist organizations. Thus, Daudi concludes, there is nothing inherently martial about Islam. Instead, control of resources motivates American-led wars on Islamic countries. Though sometimes verging on conspiratorial, his arguments are rational and supported with clearly presented statistics. However, his failures to discuss violence in the Quran or differing interpretations of the doctrine of jihad seem to be curious omissions. Anecdotal or journalistic elements would make this treatise more readable for lay readers, who might be interested in stories as well as facts.
A dense secular defense that makes important points about how the West scapegoats Muslims.