While I wholeheartedly agree with Armstrong's condemnation of the Taliban and its ideology and actions, I still must take issue with a number of critical observations and statements that she makes throughout her book. Her premise is that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, despite the fact that the West has incorrectly, and contrary to fact in her opinion, stereotyped it as a religion that provokes and promotes violence and intolerance.
A Community of Muslims. Armstrong writes, "The Qur'an did not put forward any philosophical arguments for monotheism; its approach was practical, and as such, appealed to the pragmatic Arabs. The old religion, the Qur'an claimed, was simply not working. There was spiritual malaise .The way forward lay in a single God and unified unmah (Muslim community), which was governed by justice and equity" (8). Armstrong repeats this Qur'anic ideal throughout her book. She explains that to follow the Qur'an is to work to establish a politically and socially Muslim community that adheres to and upholds Qur'anic principles. She critiques the Taliban's fundamentalist attempt at establishing this community as hopelessly evil and unislamic, even though the principles they so aggressively