About the speaker
Author Ibn Warraq‘s most recent book is The Islam in Islamic Terrorism: The Importance of Beliefs, Ideas, and Ideology. In it, he takes the dogmas of jihadists seriously and critically examines the Islamic sources upon which they draw. Ibn Warraq is perhaps most famous for his best-selling work, Why I Am Not a Muslim (1995), an early warning to the West about the dangers of political Islam and multiculturalism. He has edited and contributed to several books of Koranic criticism and on the origins of Islam: The Origins of the Koran, 1998; The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, 2000; What the Koran Really Says, 2002; Which Koran? 2011; and Christmas in the Koran, 2014.
Bernard Lewis has written that, “Ibn Warraq exemplifies the rarely combined qualities of courage, integrity, and intelligence.” Ibn Warraq’s Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism, 2007, was described by distinguished professor Paul Berman 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.” In Why the West is Best, 2011, Ibn Warraq addressed the need for Western civilization to regain its civilizational self-confidence. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has said that “Warraq’s books have defended Western civilization and have reminded us what we are fighting for.”
He is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Westminster Institute, a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and a contributing editor to The New English Review. He studied Arabic and Persian at the University of Edinburgh.
Now, we’re particularly pleased to have as our speaker tonight a gentleman who is currently senior research fellow at the Westminster Institute, Ibn Warraq, who was kind enough to come down from New York to be with us tonight. So he commutes. He’s senior research fellow here. He’s also senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.
Now, he has an extraordinary background, including studies with Montgomery Watt and many of you who have studied Islam will know Montgomery Watt is one of the most significant scholars in that field. Ibn Warraq was a student of his. He is the author of many books ten of them on the subject of Islam.
As you know, his most recent book which he’s presenting on tonight is “The Islam in Islamic Terrorism, the Importance of Beliefs, Ideas and Ideology.” We have some books for sale and for Ibn Warraq signing after his lecture tonight.
Now, among the books for which Ibn Warraq is famous one going back 25 years is, “Why I am not a Muslim” also, “The Origins of the Quran: The Quest for the Historical Muhammad,” “What the Quran Really Says,” “Defending the West,” a critique of Edward Said’s “Orientalism,” “Why the West is Best” and other such works. Ibn Warraq studied Arabic and Persian at the University of Edinburgh, Edinborough.
We’re delighted to have him tonight to speak on the subject I just warn you I will be the one officiating at the question and answer session. Please keep your questions brief tonight so that a number of you you have a chance to ask questions and Ibn Warraq has a chance to answer them but I’ll be the one calling on you to do that. Please join me in welcoming Ibn Warraq.
Good evening and thank you. What a splendid introduction. Robert just mentioned Montgomery Watt. I said a lot of harsh things about him. Perhaps enough Freudians can make what they want. He was my professor and I really didn’t like him much. I wasn’t a particularly great student either. I went off in a in a knit in disgust and did another degree in philosophy with Roger Scruton as my tutoring. Anyway, I will be talking about my book.
The arguments of the book are fairly fairly straightforward. I think and if they all spelled out in detail in the analytical table of contents so it makes my job much easier. Tonight in in a sense but I have a lot to get through. All the same the I begin with a couple of quotes from two to two people one was an expert Marc Sageman. Bob has written about him. I do know perhaps his presence tonight and the other one was from a reader who it turned out was a a fellow at the Claremont Institute in in California here is what Marc Sageman says Marc’s age when a government counterterrorism consultant asserts that tourism is not quote, “the result of the beliefs and perceptions held by the terrorists.”