Expert on Islam, Robert Spencer (RS) interviews Robert R. Reilly (RR) about his book "The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis".
Here is the entire interview as it appears at the Jihad Watch site, with the original URL:
RS: 5) Central to the triumph of the anti-rationalist strain in Islam was the conflict over the nature of the Qur'an, its status as either an uncreated, perfect book co-eternal with Allah--or a human manifestation of a divine truth that can be interpreted in the light of cultural factors. Can you tell the story of how these conflicting interpretations were defended, and point to the reasons why the anti-rationalist faction won out? Were the texts more on their side?
Nevertheless, to the utter dismay of the traditionalists, the Mu'tazilites did inquire into the matter, and this difference between them became the most bitter and costly of their disputes. The Mu'tazilites held that the Qur'an had to have been created; otherwise, the historical events it relates would have to have been predetermined. The doctrine of Khalq al-Qur'an, the createdness of the Qur'an, means that room would be left for free human choice. And why, asked the Mu'tazilites, would commandments exist before the creation of the human beings to whom they apply?