Researching Islam the last year or so, one of the books I've read is Karen Armstrong's Islam: A Short History. I wasn't expecting much, but the book was worse than I thought it would be.
In the (short, thank God) book, rather than actually detailing the promised "history" of Islam, Armstrong instead seems more motivated to demonstrate that Islam is actually the progenitor of human rights in the West, a model for all to follow in religious and cultural tolerance.
The entire book was more of an op-ed piece for modern religiosity than an actual account of the historical development of Islam.
Unfortunately, Armstrong's religious writing goes far beyond deconstruction of Islam only, but covers much of the face of contemporary religious thought. Her influence is both widespread and unfortunate.
"Stop Karen Armstrong!" is a brief, enjoyable article penned by one of my favorite contemporary preachers, Fleming Rutledge:
'Karen Armstrong and others like her are "religious" without a clue as to the Subject of theology. If she really understands the Church Fathers at any level, one seeks evidence in vain. If she has ever heard of the Reformation she does not indicate it. If she has ever had any serious dialogue with any major Protestant theologian her writing does not show it. If she has ever heard of the doctrine of revelation she shows no sign of it. She is a walking, talking, writing exhibit for Freud's basic thesis: God is what we have made up out of our own wishes and needs.'
Read the whole article,"Stop Karen Armstrong!", at generousorthodoxy.org