Reza Aslan could not have hoped for better publicity for his new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth than a Fox News interview in which host Lauren Green asked the highly respected historian and writing professor at the University of California at Riverside, "You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?"
Aslan's calm and lengthy, but ultimately devastating, response to the idiotic question has been celebrated nationwide as an example of how to counter bigotry. Yet, as the Amazon page for Zealot — currently the top selling book on the site — reveals, plenty of readers of what seems to be a fundamentalist/Evangelical persuasion are furious that a Muslim published a book about Christianity's origins.
Of particular ire is the notion that Aslan hides his faith, though, in fact, he points out that he is a Muslim in the opening pages of Zealot. Many of these critics appear to also think that because the work contradicts the New Testament, it is somehow a work of opinion, not history.
Many of these reviews refer to John S. Dickerson's negative take on the book on the Fox News website, though Dickerson has gone on Twitter to urge followers, "Christians pls have #integrity to not write Amazon review on a book unless uv read it."