What is your opinion of author Robert Spencer's books?

So I’ve been reading Not Peace, But a Sword on my Kindle after seeing it advertised here on Catholic Answers. For anyone who is familiar with his works, what do you think of them? He seems to have done extensive research on Islam, but his words seemingly resonate with such profound bias and his claims are so clear-cut that I find myself naturally suspicious of the accuracy and reasonableness of what he claims. What do you think?

I just recently finished that same book, I thought it was informative without being inflammatory and since my father in law firmly believes the Catholic church invented Islam I didn’t really trust his sources anymore so I thought I’d give Mr. Spencer’s book a read and like I said I found it very informative. Peace.

It probably seems biased because it’s not a massive, analytical book: it flies through and hits up the major points of contention to show the ways in which Islam and Catholicism are incompatible with one another. The author is noticeably short in his style of writing. A comprehensive look on the finer details would involve pursuing a doctorate. The goal of the book is to correct people that may have adopted an irrationally optimistic perspective of Christian-Islam relations. Muslims are not entirely an ally against secular liberalism.

Islam is an ally of secular liberalism against us!

I have not read any of his books, but I do visit his web site on occasion. . Spencer spent time and effort learning Arabic so he could read the Qur’an without depending on English translations. So, when he writes about or debates the content of the Qur’an and the supporting texts (e.g. Hadith) he knows of what he speaks.

Here is the National Catholic Register’s review of Spencer’s book Not Peace But a Sword:The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam

( ncregister.com/site/article/the-christian-muslim-gulf/.)

Spencer is both revered and reviled. That is not surprising because of the subject that he deals with. I personally think he is a credible source relative to the culture divide between Islam and Western Civilization.

I hope this gives you some insight into what Robert Spencer is about.

Islamism (different from your average, well-to-do Muslim living his/her own life) is using Western secularism as a pawn and in many cases has adopted its techniques. They use the courts to sue to advance their agenda and have caught onto the race card even though Islam isn’t a race.

The secularism of the First World doesn’t stand a chance against Islamism. We’re loonnggg past the weeks past 9-11 where editorial cartoons show the Taliban living like its the 13th Century.

Islamism (different from your average, well-to-do Muslim living his/her own life) is using Western secularism as a pawn and in many cases has adopted its techniques. They use the courts to sue to advance their agenda and have caught onto the race card even though Islam isn’t a race.

The secularism of the First World doesn’t stand a chance against Islamism. We’re loonnggg past the weeks past 9-11 where editorial cartoons show the Taliban living like it’s the 13th Century.

Islam is nothing of the kind.

Rather than worry about conservatives and liberals why don’t we just all worry about being Catholic or Christian. Believe me, neither of the mentioned parties above have a thing to do with Faith, despite any efforts they make to prove otherwise. They are both about money and power. Period.

Freedom of Speech is imperative to the truth which resonates with a formed conscience, which leads to inform and strengthen and it illuminates those who would restrict freedom with hate, true bias and speech laws.

Frankly Spencer is very mild in light of the hate speech promoted by many such as Farrakhan.

As far as the value of his writing, I think its of great value not because I believe every word is the absolute truth, but because he leads readers to seek a deeper understanding and to other prominent writers. Such as Fr. Samir SJ for example and so forth.

He’s as qualified to write about Islam as Mr. Dawkins is to write about Catholicism.

The problem there is that most are usually not qualified to speak on behalf of anyone but themselves. :slight_smile: What qualification does one need to decide Robert Spencer in not qualified? :shrug:

Just for the record on qualifications. CAF whom “explain and defend the truth” has Robert Spencers book, and on the “Bestseller list”.


Qualified? Yes or No?

I’m not sure, qualified opinions anyone?

Spencer is a student of Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, an apologist and prolific author. Spencer has authored several books on Islam and his arguments are well documented. He is an expert on Islam, even if he does not use conciliatory language to express his views.
Spencer and Kreeft held a lively debate on Islam a few years ago. It is well worth watching for anyone who is interested in learning something about Islam.

see it here thomasmorecollege.edu/blog/2010/11/08/peter-kreeft-and-robert-spencer-engage-in-lively-debate-on-islam/)

Well, according to Pat Condell, “Robert Spencer was debating an imam on the radio once, and the imam indicated Spencer had an advantage because Islam was Spencer’s specialty”.

Sounds like a ringing endorsement to me! :thumbsup:

None of which actually addresses my comment. Mr. Dawkins has written a lot of books, given a lot of lectures, and had lots of debates on Christianity. Don’t see too many people on here citing him as an expert on the faith. How exactly is Mr. Spencer more qualified on Islam than Mr. Dawkins is on Christianity? Has he, unlike Mr. Dawkins, bothered to go get any sort of degree or formal training on the subject matter he has been studying since the 80s? Has he, unlike Mr. Dawkins, actually had his works reviewed, accepted, and used by experts who do bother to get degrees and formal training on the subject matter?

That assessment I believe is rather unfair (personally, I think Dawkins is coco for cocoa puffs, i.e., wanting parents who teach their kids about faith charged with child abuse), but to each his own. I like Spencer (I believe he is an Eastern Catholic).

Unfair in what way? Mr. Dawkins’s and Mr. Spencer’s educational and professional credentials are pretty much the same in regards to the fields they are covering. Neither has any degrees in the field and neither is taken seriously by those experts who do have said degrees.

Dr. Dawkins is a biologist/professor and an atheist. Mr. Spencer I believe has studied Islam or rather has an M.A. in religious studies, that therefore makes him more qualified to speak on such issues than Dawkins. Moreover, I think Spencer is a lot more honest in his approach to Islam than many Islamic scholars. There is much out there that is supposedly scholarly but is funded by Saudi money, in fact, even many university departments on Islamic studies is funded by the Saudis.


I enjoyed it. It put things in perspective. He seems to know his stuff without seeming weighty. I think his discussion is succinct and logical.

Others have too quickly joined in the chorus to include islam in some sort of coalition of the willing against secularism. We have to be careful of this and this book is a perfect introduction to why we should be cautious.


Here is a review of Robert Spencer’s works taken from a Muslim magazine:

"'The Summation and Result of Spencer’s Work’:

In studying Spencer and his polemics, one gets the all too familiar feeling of listening to the ravings of a fanatic mullah (Muslim cleric) with angry motives. Like the rabid mullahs, Spencer has no sense of true scholarship and is blinded by his own cynical agenda, playing on his audience’s fear, prejudice and angst. If readers want a thorough primer of the extremist rationalization of Islam, Robert Spencer is their man. With just a slight shift, he could very well serve as a spokesman for Al-Qaeda.

The results of Spencer’s disinformation campaign are increasingly apparent. When compared to six months after 9/11, the percentage of people in America that now believe Islam encourages violence, has doubled. Right wing politicians have seized on the hysteria and made platforms out of the rhetoric Spencer has been sowing for the past decade. There are now calls to preemptively ban shariah by constitutional amendments and never-ending absurd accusations that President Obama, is a secret Muslim intent on “Islamizing” the United States.

Even more disturbing, though, is that Spencer’s propaganda inspired Anders Breivik, the right-wing terrorist who killed eight people in the 2011 Oslo bombing and another 68 at a youth camp by shooting. Breivik cited Spencer’s blog more than 160 times in his anti-Islam manifesto and views his terroristic massacre as “saving” Norway and Europe from “the Muslim takeover”. And it is this disturbing irony that lies at the heart of the likes of Robert Spencer and Breivik, that they both mimic those fanatic imams and jihadi terrorists that they claim to be fighting against, using the same false logic, double standards and heinous behavior to fan the flames of hatred and terror.

Robert Spencer has become an American mullah. He is the perfect counterpart to the fanatics spoiling the Muslim world, using the same tactics and rhetoric, misquoting the same verses, and citing the same dubious sources. And now he inspires the same hysterical and bloody results."

Excerpted from:



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