3 out of 4 stars
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Islam vs Christianity: The Final Holocaust is authored by Vishnu and dedicated to “all those against fanaticism and the control by the clergy – in any religion.” This phrase summarizes the contents of this book. When I selected it for reading, I found it strange to see a writer with the name of a Hindu deity trying to write about two other religions. He claims to be neither a Christian nor a Muslim. Vishnu also denies being an expert in Islamic studies and expects the reader to have some basic knowledge on the subject. Nevertheless, he devotes two chapters to Christianity and Islam.
The first chapter describes the life of Jesus, the history of Christianity (including the East-West Schism), and the controversies related to doctrine and the books in the Bible. The second chapter describes the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the history of Islam (including the conflict between the Sunni and the Shia), the Scriptures, and the basic tenets of the faith. He mentions that the Sharia Law was created by the clergy several centuries after the death of Muhammad and questions how it can be treated as God’s Law. The author investigates the details of Muhammad’s succession, the formation of the Islamic Caliphate, and the use of force to convert people to the religion.
Vishnu’s main concern seems to be that Islam is a religion of peace, but history does not prove it. He distinguishes between “Muslims and Islamists” by stating that Muslims are known to live in harmony with people belonging to other faiths, but Islamists use violence and terror tactics to propagate their religion. I think the writer has devoted too many pages to the events surrounding the election of Muhammad’s successors and the role of his wife Aisha. It looks as if the story has been taken from several sources and repeated several times, which is irritating because this single theme is spread over almost 100 out of 240 pages in this book. This is what I dislike most about the presentation. Perhaps the author should have included a bibliography.
I appreciate Vishnu’s statement that Christianity as well as Islam have used violence in the name of religion throughout history, and it has been triggered mainly by fanatical clergy and political leaders around the world. He seems to emphasize that this behavior is contrary to the authentic teachings of the founders. However, Christianity seems to have matured to a certain extent through experience. He rightly questions the misunderstandings among Islamists regarding the concept of Jihad but tends to become emotional in the manner of expression. I think the chapter on Pakistan is biased and exaggerated. The concluding chapter with Vishnu’s analysis of the religious and political scenario around the world is what I liked most about the book.
Islam vs Christianity: The Final Holocaust will benefit from a round of professional editing. I found a few errors which were not distracting but do impact the quality of the book. Overall, despite not being scholarly writing, it is a good effort by the author and is simple enough for average readers. After critically analyzing the contents as described above, I am happy to rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to teenagers and adults interested in world peace. Social workers, teachers, and politicians may also find it interesting to read.
islam vs christianity - the final holocaust
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