Book Monitor

The Complete Infidel's Guide to ISIS
Robert Spencer

2015 ended with terrorist attacks in Beirut, Paris, and San Bernardino, California. These killings were carried out or encouraged by the Islamic State (ISIS), a Caliphate that has far-reaching goals, wields great power, and is wealthy.

Robert Spencer has been warning about the dangers of Islamic extremism for years. He says we are in a war against radical Muslims posing an immediate and constant danger to our way of life and our survival. We will either deal with them now or be forced to pay an unimaginable price later.

Some deny or lie about the threats we face; many leaders and citizens are living in a bubble of delusion and wishful thinking. Cold, hard facts must be faced if there is to be successful defeat of ISIS and others who wish to kill or subjugate those who don't follow Muhammed. This will become clear to anyone who reads Spencer's book.

ISIS calls itself the Islamic State. Some politicians, including President Obama, insist on calling it ISIL, which stands for Islamic State in the Levant (another name for the eastern Mediterranean region). Using that name is a political trick to make it seem like a faraway threat. Spencer says many wish to "ignore and downplay the Islamic aspects of the Islamic State's appeal."

This book will help readers understand the Muslim faith as described in the Qur'an. Those who think it's possible to accommodate radicals are mistaken. Sharia law and its brutal punishments, belief in the supremacy of Muslims, and commands to subjugate others isn't workable within the system of Western laws.

Social media is one way recruits are courted and convinced to join a war against anyone who isn't Muslim. European and American recruits join the Caliphate in foreign lands or remain in the West to wage war as part of a cell or as independent killers.

According to Spencer, Westerners who choose to fight with the Islamic State are not hopeless, poverty-stricken youth as portrayed by the media and Muslim apologists. That narrative is used to blame society for the choices some make to fight in favor of Muslim dominance. Those who join ISIS are jihadists following their religion, which promises them rewards for dying as martyrs in a war against infidels, those who don't believe in the path laid out by Muhammed.

The Islamic State is on our doorstep because jihadists promise to bring the battlefield to us. This must be understood if we are to prevail.

(Regnery Publishing, 2015, 357 pp., $19.99)