Eaton tells readers that he wants to bridge the gap between the Christian West and the Islamic world, to introduce Christians and Muslims to one another, to point out their similarities and help them understand their differences.

A noble project, but Eaton fails, offering little more than recycled stereotypes. And the rare gestures towards originality degenerate into unconvincing overgeneralizations. Westerners, he asserts, are forward-looking and inventive, always abandoning past traditions to embrace the new and the modern. Muslims, on the other hand, say that the past is purer than the present. And Eaton suggests that all Muslims are fundamentalists, while most Westerners are free-thinkers: many Christians question tenets like the Immaculate Conception, but Muslims never doubt the basics of their faith.

Those who want caricatures of Islam or Christianity have come to the right place. Serious inquirers should turn elsewhere.

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