17 Of The Greatest Quotes On Islam

Shimmer Analysis
4 min readMar 14, 2024


On Islamic piety:

“In reverent sort to mosque I wend my way,
But, by great Allah, it is not to pray;
No! but to steal a prayer-mat! When ’tis worn,
I go again, another to purvey.”

- Omar Khayyam[1]

“Leave the poor animal alone. If he had any sense, he would do as I do, and never set foot in the mosque.”

- Nasreddin, faced with people beating a dog for entering a mosque[2]

On the Qur’an’s literary merits:

“Whereas markets can be found for books on reading the Bible as literature, to read the Qur’an is a penance rather than a pleasure.”

- Antony Flew, philosopher[3]

“On the whole, while many parts of the Qur’an undoubtedly have considerable rhetorical power, even over an unbelieving reader, the book, aesthetically considered, is by no means a first-rate performance. [T]here is a great deal of superfluous verbiage; and nowhere do we find a steady advance in the narration. […] Similar faults are found in the non-narrative portions of the Qur’an. The connection of ideas is extremely loose, and even the syntax betrays great awkwardness. […] Many sentences begin with a ‘when’ or ‘on the day when,’ which seem to hover in the air, so that the commentators are driven to supply a ‘think of this’ or some ellipsis. Again, there is no great literary skill evinced in the frequent and needless harping on the same words and phrases; in xviii, for example, ‘till that’ (hatta idha) occurs no fewer than eight times. Muhammad, in short, is not in any sense a master of style.”

- Theodor Nöldeke, Islamic scholar[4]

On moderate versus radical Islam:

“I regard Islam as a religion of barbarism, a self-confessed death cult, a great step backward in the evolution of religion. It marks a return to the bloodthirsty fanaticism of Joshua and Samuel in Bronze Age Israel. One cannot separate a religion from the culture for which it forms the ideological glue. Islam arose amid scimitar-swinging, slave-trading Arab barbarism.”

- Robert M. Price, religious scholar[5]

“A question for all those who hope that the true, ‘moderate’ Islam will reform and replace the false, ‘radical’ Islam: Was Muhammad a ‘radical’ Moslem, or a Moslem?”

- Lawrence Auster, journalist[6]

“Because you don’t speak Arabic, you must be misinterpreting the Qur’an. If only you spoke Arabic (oops — as I do), then you would know that when the Qur’an says, ‘Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, take an espresso break, resume killing,’ what it means is, ‘Kill with kindness. Kill with love. Kill with massages.’ So because you are not a philologist of Arabic, you are spreading mischief and fitna in society.”

- Gad Saad, evolutionary psychologist[7]

On Islam in politics:

“I have no religion; and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea.”

- Kemal Atatürk, to reporter Grace Ellison[8]

“Officially Turkey still follows the religion of Islam; but it does not require much time or study for anyone visiting the country to realize that Nationalism is the religion of the people, the National Pact their prayerbook, the story of the struggle for independence their New Testament. Everywhere you find a copy of the Pact at the bedside; many carry it in their pockets.”

- Ellison herself, 1928[9]

“Words meaning ‘free’ and ‘freedom,’ in a political sense, occur occasionally in eighteenth-century Middle-Eastern writings, always in a European context.”

- Bernard Lewis, historian[10]

On jihad:

“He is deceiving. For do prophets come with swords and chariot? Verily, these events of today are works of confusion. . . . you will discover nothing true from the said prophet except human bloodshed.”

- Unnamed elderly scribe, quoted in 634 CE[11]

“In a major encyclopedia, one reads phrases such as: ‘Islam expanded in the eighth or ninth centuries . . .’; ‘This or that country passed into Muslim hands. . . .’ But care is taken not to say how Islam expanded, how countries ‘passed into [Muslim] hands.’ . . . Indeed, it would seem as if events happened by themselves, through a miraculous or amicable operation. . . . Regarding this expansion, little is said about jihad. And yet it all happened through war!”

- Jacques Ellul, philosopher and sociologist[12]

On Islam as an ideology:

“Islam is an ideology.”

- Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American Islamic relations[13]

“Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world.”

- Bertrand Russell[14]

“Hitler’s ‘religion’ is the nearest to Mohammedanism, realistic, earthy, promising the maximum of rewards in this life, but with a Moslem-like Valhalla into which worthy Germans may enter and continue to enjoy themselves. Like Mohammedanism, it teaches the virtue of the sword.”

- Carl Jung[15]

“Yes, certain leading Nazis, meaning primarily Hitler and Himmler, were indeed fascinated by Islam. And they also repeatedly expressed their sympathy for Islam. This means, for example: Whenever Hitler criticised the Catholic Church during the interwar years, he compared it to Islam as a kind of positive counter-example. […] So there was a certain fascination with Islam.”

- David Motadel, historian, London School of Economics[16]

— — —

“Islam is a cult.”

- Ali Sina[17]


1 https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:Quatrains_of_Omar_Khayyam_(tr._Whinfield,_1883).djvu/274.

[2] https://www.irannamag.com/en/article/rhetoric-performance-trickster-nasreddin/.

[3] https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1336&context=lts_fac_pubs.

[4] Quoted in: Robert Spencer. 2012. Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins. Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books. Pp.150–151.

[5] https://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/zblog/i-slam-lslam/.

[6] http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/003103.html.

[7] https://youtu.be/0-jxDfBSw4o?t=1309.

[8] Quoted in her book Turkey To-day (1928), https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.81751/page/n27/mode/2up?view=theater.

[9] https://archive.org/details/turkey-to-day-grace-ellison-1928/page/43/mode/2up?view=theater.

[10] Bernard Lewis. 2002. What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response. London: Phoenix. P.61.

[11] https://www.raymondibrahim.com/2017/12/22/west-began-demonize-muhammad/.

[12] Quoted by Andrew Bostom in The Legacy of Jihad (2005). Amherst: Prometheus Books. P.24.

[13] https://www.jihadwatch.org/2007/07/spokesman-for-unindicted-co-conspirator-in-terror-group-funding-case-defames-spencer-on-cnn#:~:text=Islam%20is%20an%20ideology.%20It%E2%80%99s%20not%20a%20race.

[14] Quoted by Ibn Warraq in his “Foreword” to Ali Sina’s Understanding Muhammad and Muslims (2014). Published by Felibri.com. P.v.

[15] https://carljungdepthpsychologysite.blog/2020/11/13/dictators/.

[16] https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/islam-im-nationalsozialismus-fuer-fuehrer-und-prophet-100.html.

[17] Understanding Muhammad and Muslims (2014). Published by Felibri.com. P.ix.