Winn's vision: Islam is very, very bad

Who's afraid of calling Islam an evil religion? Not Craig Winn. Who's afraid of writing a novel to convey this novel idea? Not Craig Winn. Who's afraid of parlaying two business bankruptcies into a fledgling writing career? Not Craig Winn.

The man who founded dot-com retailer Value America, which created and destroyed over 500 local jobs around the turn of the century, has just weighed in with his latest book: Tea with Terrorists. Like his first book, an account of his days with Value America and the "scumbags" who destroyed it after his ouster, Tea begins identifying villains right out of the gate. Consider the first two paragraphs:

Men are useless. A shortish blonde woman, in roughly the same shape as the office she occupied, leaned back in her chair. She plopped her size tens on what otherwise was an elegant mahogany desk. Madam President wasn't happy this morning. She squinted up at the eagle carved in the ceiling and continued to rant. "I've had it with the lot of you."

That was true in more ways than one. The first woman to hold the office, she had arrived on the backswing of the political pendulum. The previous occupant of this noble house had been devoted to family and faith, a simple man of simple ideas. But this President had divorced her husband, albeit after the election, and within days of her inauguration had shocked the nation by announcing that she was a lesbian. Tough as steel and just as cold, this new breed of president seemed to have faith in nothing but her own invincibility, and to fear nothing but anonymity.

 Six hundred and three self-published pages later, the novel by the man whom Business Week identified as cashing in over $50 million from Value America, ends with a BOOM! Well, almost.

In September, Winn was a guest on televangelist Pat Robertson's 700 Club, where he revealed that he met with terrorists and read the Quran before attacking Islam and creating such fictional characters as "Yasman Alafat."

The Hook struck out trying to get a review copy of Tea, so we special-ordered it from New Dominion Bookshop for $28.16 including tax. The rich get richer.

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