The Closing of the Muslim Mind - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

The Closing of the Muslim Mind

How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis

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The book you must read to understand the Islamist crisis—and the threat to us all

“Brilliant and groundbreaking.” —National Review Online

“A book that may offer the key to both understanding and perhaps defeating the ongoing war of terror against the West.” —American Spectator


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Islam’s Intellectual Suicide—and the Threat to Us All

People are shocked and frightened by the behavior coming out of the Islamic world—not only because it is violent, but also because it is seemingly inexplicable. While there are many answers to the question of “what went wrong” in the Muslim world, no one has decisively answered why it went wrong. Until now.

In this eye-opening book, foreign policy expert Robert R. Reilly uncovers the root of our contemporary crisis: a pivotal struggle waged within the Muslim world nearly a millennium ago. In a heated battle over the role of reason, the side of irrationality won. The deformed theology that resulted, Reilly reveals, produced the spiritual pathology of Islamism, and a deeply dysfunctional culture.

Terrorism—from 9/11, to Madrid and Mumbai, to Manchester and the London Bridge—is the most obvious manifestation of this crisis. But Reilly shows that the pathology extends much further. The Closing of the Muslim Mind solves such puzzles as:

  • why peace is so elusive in the Middle East
  • why the Arab world stands near the bottom of every measure of human development
  • why scientific inquiry is nearly dead in the Islamic world
  • why Spain translates more books in a single year than the entire Arab world has in the past thousand years
  • why some people in Saudi Arabia still refuse to believe man has been to the moon
  • why Muslim media frequently present natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina as God’s direct retribution

Delving deeper than previous polemics and simplistic analyses, The Closing of the Muslim Mind provides the answers the West has so desperately needed in confronting the Islamist crisis.

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“Brilliant and groundbreaking . . . Should be read by anyone who wants to understand one of the most fundamental causes of conflict in the 21st century.” —National Review Online

“A book that may offer the key to both understanding and perhaps defeating the ongoing war of terror against the West.” —American Spectator

“Reilly comes closer to providing a persuasive explanation [of what happened to Islamic culture] than any other account I have seen.” —Weekly Standard

“Meticulously researched . . . A must-read.” —John M. Poindexter, National Security Advisor to President Reagan

“Shows that a millennium ago Muslims debated whether minds should be free to explore the world—and freedom lost . . . Astonishing.” —World magazine

“Required reading.” —George Weigel, biographer of Pope John Paul II

“The importance of this turn in Muslim thinking cannot be exaggerated.” —Asia Times

“Superb and essential . . . Fascinating.” —Jihad Watch

“The remarkable facet of The Closing of the Muslim Mind is that this work of theological archaeology is accomplished while leaving the audience an eminently readable book of just 200 pages. . . . This book should be compulsory reading at all institutions dedicated to preventing another 9/11.” —Hudson Institute

“An eye-opening and mind-opening book . . . No short review can do full justice to this book . . . Well-researched and meticulously documented.” —Oregon Live

Superb and stimulating . . . Reilly’s small book has earned a place near the top of the tiny library of books I regard as indispensable. How did I live so many years without it?” —Joseph Sobran

“Clear and concise.” —MercatorNet

“Robert Reilly helps explain the Muslim worldview by thoroughly documenting the historic and doctrinal roots behind it; by refreshingly bypassing the overly dramatized question of ‘what went wrong,’ he explains the more pressing ‘why it went wrong.’” —Raymond Ibrahim

“I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to deeply understand the different ways of thinking within Islam and the phenomenon of radical Islam.” —Tawfik Hamid, chair for the Study of Islamic Radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies

“Lucid and fascinating . . . Brilliant.” —Roger Scruton, author of The West and the Rest

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