Karen Armstrong (born 14 November 1944 in Wildmoor, Worcestershire), who refers to herself as a "freelance monotheist", is the British author of several books/articles on comparative religion. She is also a member of the UN Committee for Religious Affairs, and is well known for her defense of Islam. In November of 2009, she unveiled the "Charter for Compassion" in Washington, DC and online. This "Charter" is a document which urges all people and religions to embrace peace and (rather ironically) "to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures."
Some of Armstrong's work have been described as "strikingly" anti-Semitic. Her revisionist approach to discussing history has won her the praise of many Muslims and non-Muslims alike, while earning her criticism from various historians including; Dr. Alfred Andrea, Dr. James Powell, Dr. Thomas Madden, and the Israeli historian Efraim Karsh, head of Mediterranean Studies at King's College London, who comments:
Hugh Fitzgerald, the vice-president of and a contributor to Jihad Watch comments on some of her writing, calling it:
Similar views are espoused by historian Dr. Thomas Madden. Commenting on one of Karen's books, he says:
In an interview with Voor Dutch television (Network) on November the 23rd 2005, Karen Armstrong explained while smiling, the “reason” behind the mass-slaughter of innocent Iraqi citizens via suicide-bombings:
Also in April of 2007, Karen Armstrong criticised Robert Spencer and his book "The Truth About Muhammad", accusing him of being ”a hero of the American right” and of writing his books in “hatred”. Robert in his rebuttal, responded to these claims with:
Not only this, but he also highlights several lies told by Karen Armstrong in regards to the content of his book:
Unsurprisingly, Karen Armstrong has declined all invitations to debate Robert Spencer.
Some of her other claims include that “until the 20th century, anti-Semitism was not part of Islamic culture”, that Muhammad was a “peacemaker” who actually “respected” Jews and other non-Muslims, and that “until recently, no Muslim thinker had ever claimed violent Jihad was a central tenet of Islam." Evidently, she has not been briefed on the history of Jihad, or the many Qur'anic verses and hadiths relating to the "People of the Book" and other non-Muslims, which all refute her assertions.
Articles Critical of Karen Armstrong
- Karen Armstrong: The Coherence of Her Incoherence
- Karen Armstrong’s Unscholarly Prejudices
- Karen Armstrong's Fantasies About Islamic Terror
- The Perfect Surrender
- Karen Armstrong reviews Spencer's The Truth About Muhammad!
- Islam's Hagiographer
- The Guardian of Islamic Extremism
- Armstrong's Islam - Does Islam Have a Peaceful Face?
- Dhimwit Case Study: Karen Armstrong on the Nakhla Raid
- Andrea Levin - Karen Armstrong’s Unscholarly Prejudices - Jerusalem Post, Febuary 2, 2001
- Andrea, A. J. - The Crusades in Perspective: The Crusades in Modern Islamic Perspective History Compass, 2003
- Dr. James M. Powell - Crusading 1099-1999: Inaugural Lecture, Malta Study Center Lecture Series - Presented at Saint John's University, Collegeville, MN, October 28, 1999
- Dr. Thomas Madden - Crusades of History and Politics - Hudson Institute, Spring 2002
- Efraim Karsh - The Perfect Surrender - The New York Sun, September 25, 2006
- Hugh Fitzgerald - Karen Armstrong: The Coherence of Her Incoherence - New English Review, May 2007
- Karen Armstrong - Balancing the Prophet - Financial Times, April 27, 2007
- Robert Spencer - Karen Armstrong reviews Spencer's The Truth About Muhammad! - Jihad Watch, April 28, 2007