For the next few months, I’ll be blogging for Commonweal, a lay Catholic magazine produced in the States. Though most of my pieces will likely focus on events in my new home, Amman, my first post is about how Islam is taught and written about by Catholics in America.
An excerpt can be found below, in addition to a link to the remainder of the piece on Commonweal’s blog, dotCommonweal.
What an Islam expert isn’t
Jordan Denari, September 14, 2013
Most Catholics will remember the hysterical opposition to the so-called Ground Zero Mosque back in 2010. But what any may not realize is that one of the opposition’s principal organizers is considered by some influential Catholics to be the church’s chief expert on Islam.
Since the September 11 attacks, Robert Spencer has capitalized on the curiosity—and fear—that many Americans have about Muslims. While most of his sixteen books, including two New York Times bestsellers, attempt to convince all Americans that Islam is an inherently violent religion, Spencer has also authored books aimed at Catholics.