Sir Walter Scott’s Crusades and Other Fantasies

Sir Walter Scott’s Crusades and Other Fantasies
A book event with Ibn Warraq

Wednesday, November 6th
6:30 – 7:45 p.m.
At The Westminster Institute
6731 Curran Street, McLean, VA 22101

In his newest book, author Ibn Warraq explores the extraordinary stories of the Crusades, as well as the source materials, in the historical novels of Sir Walter Scott. He makes a fascinating comparison between the novels and what is known from the Arab sources and biographers of Saladin and the Crusades. Then he discusses the work of many other scholars of this period on the Crusades and on Islam. Warraq also discusses antisemitism and the Jewish plight during the Medieval era, their oppressed status under Islamic rule, on through to the early Christian Zionist movement in literature, focusing especially on the work of George Eliot and Charlotte Elizabeth. Warraq ends by discussing the primary importance of freedom of expression and how that is threatened in the modern world. He holds up the South Park Affair as a prime example of the West’s tendency to fold before Islam “like some third rate poker player who throws in the cards at the first aggressive bluff….”

Ibn Warraq is the author of eight previous books, including The Origins of the Koran (1998), The Quest for the Historical Muhammad (2000), and What the Koran Really Says (2002). Warraq’s op-ed pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and The Guardian, and he has addressed distinguished governing bodies all over the world, including the United Nations in Geneva and Members of the Dutch Parliament at The Hague. In 2007 Mr. Warraq completed a critical study of the thought of Edward Said, entitled Defending the West, which Paul Berman, author of Terror and Liberalism, described as “a glorious work of scholarship, and it is going to contribute mightily to modernizing the way we think about Western civilization and the rest of the world.”