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1. Who Speaks For Islam?: What a
2. What Everyone Should Know About
3. Breaking the Islam Code: Understanding
4. What's Right with Islam: A New
5. What You Need to Know about Islam
6. Understanding Islam and the Muslims:
7. Unveiling Islam: An Insider's
8. Understanding Islam And Muslim
9. The War for Muslim Minds: Islam
10. Western Muslims and the Future
11. Muslim Child: Understanding Islam
12. Black Muslim Religion in the Nation
13. Islam: What Non-Muslims Should
14. The Muslim Revolt: A Journey Through
15. When Islam and Democracy Meet:
16. Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims
17. Global Studies: Islam and the
18. The Development of Exegesis in
19. Muslim Europe or Euro-Islam: Politics,
20. Sword of Islam : Muslim Extremism

1. Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think
by John L. Esposito, Dalia Mogahed
Hardcover: 230 Pages (2008-02-25)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$13.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1595620176
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

In a post-9/11 world, many Americans conflatethe mainstream Muslim majority with the beliefs and actions of an extremist minority. But what do the world’s Muslims think about the West, or about democracy, or about extremism itself? Who Speaks for Islam? spotlights this silenced majority. The book is the product of a mammoth six-year study in which the Gallup Organization conducted tens of thousands of hour-long, face-to-face interviews with residents of more than 35 predominantly Muslim nations — urban and rural, young and old, men and women, educated and illiterate. It asks the questions everyone is curious about: Why is the Muslim world so anti-American? Who are the extremists? Is democracy something Muslims really want? What do Muslim women want? The answers to these and other pertinent, provocative questions are provided not by experts, extremists, or talking heads, but by empirical evidence — the voices of a billion Muslims.
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Customer Reviews (31)

1-0 out of 5 stars What the Rest of Us Probably Think
Thanks to several previous reviewers for exposing Esposito's methods in this book. I'd just like to add a few remarks. The really CRUCIAL question is one the Gallup poll wasn't designed to ask -- what do the IMAMS really think? They're the people with the real power, after all; how many are honest men doing their jobs, and how many are duplicitous ideologues? From what little one can glean going on between the lines here, the answer isn't comforting. Esposito makes much of the fact that what most Muslims really want from their governments is a soft-core sharia and a constitutional democracy at the same time. Just where did they get such notions? Three guesses. These are clearly honest, decent, working folk, but they're clearly sufficiently unreflective that they just didn't remember that this experiment in what Popper calls "utopian social engineering" was recently tried, and the result was Iran. So in at least one important respect this book should be subtitled " ... Would Like to Think They Think." Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq have both written far better and more ethically balanced books that Esposito is capable of, 'cause they been there, and done that. In fact, though, the best book on Islam, or much of anything else,I ever came across doesn't even have "Islam" in the title. It's "The Open Society ... V.I: Plato." The philosopher-king reading the mind of God, the Guardians with police-state powers, the (literally) troglodite masses, the censoring of the poets for mocking the gods with their satanic verses, the government program to turn women into contented breeding-cattle, and, most tellingly, the endless war against corrupt, materialistic, decadent, vulgar democracies that want to spread chaos (a.k.a "fitna") for the fun of it -- it's all there in Plato, and in Islam; and Popper never mentioned Islam anywhere in this book; it apparently never crossed his mind. So do a Muslim friend a favor; give him a copy of Popper for his birthday, without even mentioning Islam -- and let him draw his own conclusions. So with apologies to Esposito, I'll continue to think what five billion people really think.

1-0 out of 5 stars Distortion of Islam
I recently reread this book in light of the current controversy surrounding the building of a mosque near the World Trade Center. From my perspective this controversy perfectly frames the differences between modern Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.While it may be a legal right to build a mosque anywhere, the real question is whether in face of everything that happened at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 if this is the "proper" place to build a mosque.Islam is not a religion that historically considers the sensitivities of non-Muslims.
This book illustrates the difficulties of understanding the truth of Islam. The authors appear to have a strong bias for Islam and an equally strong bias against Christianity, Judaism and the "West".This bias first demonstrates itself on page 7 when they say that Islam means "a strong commitment to God" The quotes were theirsbut no show is shown for this quote.On page 8 the Quran is quoted, "For we submit to God." Most experts acknowledge that Islam is based on submission and obedience to God. It is not a religion based on love of God.
There is much confusion over the origins of Islam. Most historians say that Mohammad was a trader and traveled to Syria and Palestine.On these travels he became vaguely familiar with Judaism and Christianity. Most experts acknowledge that his knowledge of Judaism and Christianity was imperfect. He claimed to have a vision from the angel Gabriel and he became the prophet of Allah. When he died his followers aspired to be a major world power and also a universal religion. The caliphs were successful due to the weakness of the Byzantine Empire and the rivalry between the Eastern and Roman Churches. The lax moral code of the new religion coupled with the power of the sword led to conquest and conversion. The hope of plunder and the love of conquest coupled with the genius of the caliphs led to a quick conquering of the entire Middle East and parts of Europe.Fortunately, Charles Martel at Tours in 732 was able to stop the spread of Islam to Europe.
Islam likes to be considered an Abrahamic faith associated with Judaism and Christianity.While all three are traced to Abraham they split their heritage with Isaac and Ishmael.This was the start of the differences between Islam and Judaism and Christianity. Both Judaism and Christianity base their moral codes on the Ten Commandments. Islam does not base its code on the Ten Commandments.Rather it bases its obligation on, rote prayer, Ramadan fast, almsgiving, and a pilgrimage to Mecca.Religious tolerance and charity to outsiders is not contained in the Islamic moral code. Rather than striving to make the world a better and a just society for all, Islam is looking for total and complete obedience.This is evidence by the hostility of Muslims to allow places of worship in their own countries.Christians and Jews are daily persecuted and prevented from the freedom of religion in most Muslim countries.
The polls taken in this book do not appear to be scientifically based.The actual questions asked are not reproduced and there are no statistics for the reader to analyze. When I read the Pew Religious Studies I am able to see the questions asked and then I am in a better position to assessthe entire survey.My opinion of the Gallup polls has been severely diminishedby this book. My opinion is that this book is a public relations job that tries to present Islam as it would like to be presented versus what it actually stands for.

5-0 out of 5 stars A solid way to get up to speed on Islam
It is not OK to ignore what 1.3 Muslims are thinking. However, given how biased almost all reporting and info is on Islam, it is frankly hard to get up to speed on what Muslims are really thinking. Reguardless of what angle the input is coming from concervative Islam, the Christian right,liberal democrats or NPR, virtually all reporting seems to be very biased. But I found "Who Speaks for Islam" to be very good. It is the biggest survey ever conducted by the Gallup Poll and it's findings were very revealing. I feel more intouch and informed after reading the book.

1-0 out of 5 stars consummate obfuscation
Here's what Bruce Bawer has to say about this, in his Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom (pp. 153):

Just as the purpose of his pre-9/11 book THE ISLAMIC THREAT:MYTH OR REALITY? was to convince readers that Islam posed no threat to the West, the new book sought to use Gallup poll results to assure them that the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the West were moderate.In order to accomplish this, however, Esposito and his coauthor were obliged to define "moderate" as anyone who didn't consider 9/11 "completely justified."Muslim who considered 9/11 somewhat justified, in other words, would fall into the moderate category.So . . . would millions of Muslims . . .who deny that Arabs committed 9/11.

5-0 out of 5 stars Every individual interested in understanding Muslims should read this book.
I would recommend to every individual interested in understanding Muslims that they pick this book up. It addresses the nuances as well as the misunderstandings regarding Muslims.

After all it's ones' understanding of a subject that tends to define it in the public, so come to know how Muslims understand/see the world and their religion in the modern age.

Both Muslims and non-Muslims should read this book, it discusses who speaks for islam while speaking to all.

Enjoy, I know I did. It just so happened that I was sitting in the back of a plane while I was reading this book. People around me found it intriguing, it sparked a great discussion. ... Read more

2. What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims
by Suzanne Haneef
Paperback: 202 Pages (1995-06-01)
list price: US$15.50 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0935782001
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Written by an American Muslim, this work presents a brief yet comprehensive survey of the basic teachings on the significance of Islam's central concept, faith in and submission to God. It introduces the reader to how Muslims feel about various aspects of life, how they worship, and how Muslims living in the West practice their religion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent book
I would recommend this book for anyone who would like to learn something about Islam, specially non Muslims.

5-0 out of 5 stars a book to have and share
I bought this book before I converted to Islam almost 7 years ago.I have read it over and over.For the lay reader it is thorough, easy to read and right on the mark.

I have since bought a copy for most members of my family.It is a general knowledge book and like its title includes information that 'everyone should know'.My intention in sharing it was to dispel many of the misconceptions people have about Islam and to open the door to understanding and dialogue.I personally have read no other book more suited for that purpose.

Great book!

4-0 out of 5 stars She doesn't always write clearly, but I admire her bravery
She makes grammatical mistakes -- using a colon when she should've used a semicolon; writing `which' when she should have used `that'. Sometimes she gropes unsuccessfully for the right words. Her understanding of Christian theology is occasionally unsophisticated. THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING ISLAM, 2nd ed., by Yahiya Emerick, explains Islam to Americans more clearly than does this book.

But when Haneef wrote her book, Emerick's book wasn't around. Back in the mid-nineties, the only books on the subjects were written by lifelong-Muslim clerics with passable English, and who wrote a lot of grand statements that Americans were unable to understand, or were expected to (pardon the pun) take on faith because the author was a shaykh or mullah. Trust me, those books are a waste of your time, at least at first.

Suzanne Haneef looked around, saw that there were no book on Islam by an American, explaining Islam to Americans, and so she wrote such a book. It is precisely because she wasn't five-star qualified for the job that I applaud her for taking up such a daunting task.

Two final remarks: a) My criticisms of the book are to explain why I didn't give it the highest rating. I give it four stars -- it's still a good book, overall. b) I'm an atheist (Arabic, _kafir_) who is researching Islam for a novel I'm writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ver good for non-muslim and muslim
Excellent book
Although this book has some grammar mistakes, it is very good
Just buy this book and I'm sure you will like it

5-0 out of 5 stars Simple and Comprehensive
Intro: This book is a great intro for Non-muslim readers. I was looking for a book just like this to give to my non-muslim friends. The book is simple and straight forward. It backs itself by using verses from the Holy Quran and Sayings of the Prophet (PBUH). The book also uses logic to explain why Muslims do what they do and what the benefits of the various acts of worship are. Furthermore, the book explains how Islam is not a set of rituals (as commonly understood) but instead is a complete way of life that starts with character and moral development.

Cons: I believe the book was written before 9/11 therefore does not include much about Jihad. I had to supplement this book with a few more articles about Jihad as well as Women in Islam (the two most misunderstood concepts).

Overally, I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Islam or Muslims. ... Read more

3. Breaking the Islam Code: Understanding the Soul Questions of Every Muslim
by J.D. Greear
Paperback: 176 Pages (2010-02-01)
list price: US$11.99 -- used & new: US$7.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0736926380
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

World events won’t let North Americans ignore Muslims anymore. Whether those Muslims are villagers in Iraq or neighbors down the street, Breaking the Islam Code offers everyday Christians profound insight into the way Muslims think and feel.

J.D. Greear’s ability to communicate challenging heart truth, plus his expertise in Christian and Islamic theology and two years’ experience in a Muslim-dominated area, make him the perfect author for this empowering, insightful, reader-friendly book. It transcends traditional apologetics, focusing on helping Christians

  • understand what is deep in Muslims’ hearts, behind their theology—which will lead to friendship and effective communication of the gospel
  • respectfully turn many of the primary objections into opportunities to share the faith
  • avoid unnecessarily offending Muslims they’re interacting with

Readers will be excited that sharing Christ with Muslims is something they can do—as everyday Christians in their own cities, campuses, and workplaces.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good read
Dr. Greear does a magnificent job of intertwining his academic study of church fathers, Christian theology, and Islamic theology, as well as his personal experiences living in a Muslim community in "Breaking the Islamic Code".The book is incredibly readable as JD uses common vernacular to explain deep and complex issues relating to what Muslims believe and how they can engage with the historical Jesus.Greear's stories and practical analogies help convey the similarities and differences in the two major monotheistic religions (Christianity and Islam) beyond the intellect.He shares key insights Christians should know as they engage with Muslims in topics such as Muslim felt needs, how the gospel can fulfill those needs and common misconceptions. Some highlights of the book I especially appreciated were the emphases of the bible and holy spirit in bringing people into his kingdom his approach of seeking transformation and renewal instead of "conversion".A novice or expert will find this book knowledgeable, enjoyable as well as challenging. A great read!

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Overview, but....
1. What I liked...
In general, I'd agree with the positive reviews written about this book. It provides a comprehensive overview of Islam, while providing some ways to healthily respond and engage with our Muslim friends and neighbors. It really is a good introduction if you've not read anything on the subject before.

2. Some questions marks...
I wish I had read the back cover. In general, I like to read books by people who have considerable experience. The back cover says that J.D. 'lived and worked for two years among Muslims in Southeast Asia before studying Christian and Islamic theology.' While the book provides a good overview and is a good resource, I wish it had come from someone who had more experience.

I also think providing a critique for the C-5 and C-6 movements is not appropriate for a book like this. I realize I'm wading into church politics, but I found the critique of C5/C6 movements on the whole to be overly simplistic, especially when criticizing the Camel method. Greeson, who authored the book called The Camel Method, has been on the field in South East Asia for over 40 years doing evangelism and church planting with a considerable amount of success. I'm a practitioner in this field and I've found the Camel Method to be very helpful in starting conversations with my Muslim friends and I wouldn't consider myself someone who advocates C5 or C6 practices.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Resource
"Breaking the Islam Code is a wonderfully helpful book for anyone who wants to understand their Muslim neighbors and to communicate the gospel to them in a winsome and accurate manner. Dr. Greear uses his personal experience with Muslims to provide the reader keen insight into Islamic theology, as well as the common misunderstandings and objections that many Muslims have with the Christian message. His book is a needed addition to the ongoing conversation about the relationship between Islam and Christianity because it helps the reader to view Muslims as people for whom Jesus died, and for whom the Gospel is indeed the `pearl of great price.'"
--D. Scott Hildreth, Director, Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

5-0 out of 5 stars I was very touched by the author's story
Scripture tells us that we are to go into the world making disciples. It also tells us that the only way to the Father is through the Son. If we are to fulfill our mission we must reach out to all people; this includes Muslims. To reach Muslims we must understand their beliefs and why they believe. We must reach out to them in love. "Breaking The Islam Code" offers insight into the beliefs and life of Muslims.

This book is easy to read and understand, yet this is more than surface information. I was very touched by the author's story. My first thoughts were "we must make them our friend if we want them to hear us." Sometimes our actions speak louder than words.

5-0 out of 5 stars Foundational
JD's book is very easy to read and understand but it is very deep and informative.If you have any desire to understand the Islamic faith or minister to Muslims this is a book you need to read.I underlined something on virtually every page.It is both informative and inspirational.I am praying that I will be able to apply the truths very, very soon.I loved Timothy George's "Is the Father of Jesus the God of Mohammed" and I rate this book as highly.I am already looking forward to JD's next book. ... Read more

4. What's Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West
by Feisal Abdul Rauf
Paperback: 336 Pages (2005-05-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060750626
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

An American imam offers answers for today's toughest questions about Islam, and a vision for a  reconciliation between Islam and the West.

One of the pressing questions of our time is what went wrong in the relationship between Muslims and the West. Continuing global violence in the name of Islam reflects the deepest fears by certain Muslim factions of Western political, cultural, and economic encroachment. The solution to the current antagonism requires finding common ground upon which to build mutual respect and understanding. Who better to offer such an analysis than an American imam, someone with a foot in each world and the tools to examine the common roots of both Western and Muslim cultures; someone to explain to the non-Islamic West not just what went wrong with Islam, but what's right with Islam.

Focused on finding solutions, not on determining fault, this is ultimately a hopeful, inspiring book. What's Right with Islam systematically lays out the reasons for the current dissonance between these cultures and offers a foundation and plan for improved relations. Wide-ranging in scope, What's Right with Islam elaborates in satisfying detail a vision for a Muslim world that can eventually embrace its own distinctive forms of democracy and capitalism, aspiring to a new Cordoba - a time when Jews, Christians, Muslims, and all other faith traditions will live together in peace and prosperity.



... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Islam v The West
I was very eager to read this book, hoping I would learn about how Islam and Western religions could peacefully coexist. There was some of that, but there was much more detail about Islam than I wanted to know or was interestred in. Overall, it was a bit of a disappointment for me. I still recommend reading it, but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

5-0 out of 5 stars It is time to really read this book and truly understand.
I read this book 2 years ago and now with the political war against the freedom to practice Islamic religion. For those who are open-minded and well-informed (not through Fox News)will see how this author is expressing the opinion of the moderates and reaching out to the Americans!

1-0 out of 5 stars Osama Bin Laden as Robin Hood
"In parts of the Middle East, polls indicate that many people view Osama bin Laden in some ways like a modem-day Robin Hood. Look at the parallels they see: Robin Hood was the Earl of Loxley, a nobleman; Osama is a scion of a wealthy Saudi family, the bin Ladens. Robin Hood gave up his comfortable life to support King Richard, who was fighting against Saladin, regarded by Christians as an infidel (in the Third Crusade); bin Laden gave up the option of living a comfortable life to fight the antireligious infidels, the Communists who invaded and were occupying Afghanistan. . . Like Robin Hood speaking about the wrongdoing of Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham, who hunted deer but didn't allow the poor to hunt them, bin Laden spoke of analogous issues in Saudi Arabia. And again, like Robin Hood living simply with his band of merry men in Sherwood Forest, bin Laden lived in caves with his band of men. In any culture, this can be a heroic image; to many frustrated people in the Muslim world, the image was irresistible. . . Should we be surprised that bin Laden cuts a similar figure to many Muslim and non-Muslim youths today?" -page 165 of "What's Right with Islam" by Feisal Abdul Rauf

And, that's it. No mention of 911, or why that might keep one from comparing Osama Bin Laden to Robin Hood.

Feisal Abdul Rauf is a very strange man.

More people need to see this. Read this book. By all means, read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Impressive On Every Level
I will be honored to walk through any community center created by this man. Like many of us, I first learned of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in connection with the "mosque" (aka YMCA-like community center) at "Ground Zero" (aka the former World Trade Center complex, destroyed in the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001). As Americans naturally do, I supported this community center based on the freedom of religion guaranteed in the Constitution. However, I began to have some doubts, based on negative statements about Feisal Abdul Rauf that I saw in the media. As I like to do, I did my own research; it's so easy to verify facts, via credible sources, via Google, these days. What I learned is that the author of this book is a respected cleric, and a leader in inter-faith dialog and relations, in New York City, nationally, and internationally. He is a patriotic American, and a devoted Sufi Muslim. I've learned a lot about both Islam and America, reading this book (I'm American, but Rauf makes points about democracy, the balance of power in the United States. etc. that I certainly never learned in any high school or college class). His scholarship is impeccable (he is clearly an intelligent, educated person -- and he cites all sources diligently, throughout the book). People who have already pre-judged Muslims as being non-peaceful may not like this book, because Rauf points out how non-factual that view is, and backs his statements up by citing sources, and offering genuinely logical, well-reasoned and insightful views which highlight the generally peaceful nature and intent of almost all Muslims. I'm very, very impressed with Imam Rauf, and with this book. Even the most conservative Americans will like and appreciate what he has to say, if they are willing to give him a chance; Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf explicitly stands for the same values that conservative Americans do: God, Family and Country. Most of the negative opinions about Muslims in the United States have no more to do with Islamic teachings than Hitler had to do with Christianity (Hitler was a professed Christian). Judging all Muslims by the fatwas (legal decisions) authorizing murder or suicide (which are not ever allowed, according to the Quran, per Rauf, in this book) would be like judging all Christians by the fundamentalists who want to burn the Quran. Judging all Muslims by the terrorists who perpetrated 9/11 would be like judging all Christians by the KKK (i.e. murderers who claimed to be Christian). Islam is inherently more open-minded and accepting than Christianity; the Quran explicitly refers to "mosques, churches and synagogues" being the houses of "believers"; all three Abrahamic faiths are considered equivalent, and part of the same family, by Muslims (I learned this from Rauf's book). Rauf is a Sufi; an Islamic mystic whose most famous member was the poet Rumi. In his talk on gaining compassion by dropping ego, in support of the Charter for Compassion, Imam feisal Abdul Rauf quotes Isaiah, lauds Jesus, refers to AUM as one the names of God, and discusses Satchidananda, the non-dual awareness resulting from spiritual practices in yogic Hinduism; not exactly a typical Imam, according to most people's views. Al-Qaeda recently engaged in a triple suicide bombing in Pakistan, killing roughly 50 people and injuring 175, in order to murder Sufis. As Fareed Zakaria of CNN said: "If Al-Qaeda wants to blow people like him {Rauf} up, this should give us some idea of his standing in the world of Islam."

5-0 out of 5 stars A Stronger American Identity
Just got my new book in, "What's RIGHT with Islam". The forward is amazing. I am not Muslim and I am not Christian either (my family is Christian), and though I am only a few pages into the book, I feel an increase in the maturity of my patriotism.

I will update this review if anything changes, but so far we have a HUGE THUMBS UP!

About me? 34 years old. Father of 2 daughters and 1 son. Working on a Masters in Public Administration.
... Read more

5. What You Need to Know about Islam and Muslims
by George W. Braswell
Paperback: 192 Pages (2000-02-01)
list price: US$10.99 -- used & new: US$4.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805418296
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Geared toward both the student and the interested general reader, What You Need to Know About Islam and Muslims is an all-you-need-to-know-and-more book about the Islam. Written in simple language, this book describes to Christians the story of Islam and the Muslim people, and their aggressive plans to establish Islam in every culture.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars very educational
pros: This book does give a factual, educational account of Islam from a Christian viewpoint from a baptist preacher who spent years learning Islamic customs. No I am not baptist. As for the ones who say this is trying to capitalize on the post septermber 11 chaos, remember that this book was written and published more than a year BEFORE 9/11. This is a very good introduction to Islam and I highly recommend it.

cons: left me wanting a more in-depth analysis of Islam; some bullet-facts could have been expanded for easier and smoother reading

1-0 out of 5 stars Judge this book by its cover
Imagine a book sold to foreigners called "What You Need to Know About America & Americans" and on the cover it had a cowboy, a church, a playstation, a flag, a mcdonalds and an F15.

Your kneejerk reaction might be to think a few facts were omitted, particularly if the book was a scant 180 pages. You might think that there is a more complex history and culture than just the cowboy on the cover, right? You might be offended that someone wrapped up your country and put a big inaccurate label on it.

Same thing here.

My father spent summers with Cairo University's National Cancer Institute and being a bored foreigner I found myself hanging out with the locals. I learned a lot more about the people behind the "bad word" that has become Islam in recent years.

Engage these people in conversation and you'll find you have more in common than you have different. Lastly, if you decide to buy this book, don't do yourself a disservice by making this the only one.

4-0 out of 5 stars good introduction for Christians to learn about Islam
I agree with the other reviewers who criticize this book as being repititve and "bullet style" of writing.However, I found the repitition to be useful in helping me absorb some of the concepts of Islam.Most important to me was understanding why Muslims believe what they believe, and understanding what Muslims think about Christians and their understanding of Christian faith.Although some Muslims might be correct in criticizing some of the factual details in this book (I wouldn't know), I can say the book was not written in a hateful or unflattering way (except perhaps to some of the non-orthodox such as Louis Farrakhan).The author balances his criticism of Christians and Muslims in denouncing the hatred that has existed over the centuries.May we all learn more about each other and follow the greatest commandments, to love the Lord and to love our neighbors.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is terrible...
This book reads like bullet statements. There is no fluidity at all and unfortunately terribly repetitive. I just completely lost it when it said...'Christianity is a religion of polytheism, believing in three gods in its teachings of the Trinity.' This is grossly inaccurate. Now I have to question the first half of the book. If this was said in the first 10 pages I would have just deleted the book and saved my time on the rest. I want to get a better understanding of Islam and Muslims so I am more cordial and respectful.I want to do this without the feeling of being converted if I spoke with a Muslim. After reading this I feel like I might end up offending someone. So I will quit while I am ahead. You should do the same keep your money.

I have been corrected in the way I read a line from the book.This change does not make the book 2 or more stars with the correction.I do hope that someone finds it to be a blessing though.

1-0 out of 5 stars Should be called How to Convert Muslims To Christianity
Written from a Christion perspective, this book gives more information about converting Muslims to Christianity then about Muslim beliefs and practices.More space is spent giving arguments for why Christians are right and Muslims are wrong then anything else.While some historical information was given it was sketchy and confusing.
The author repeats himself as nauseum, and contridicts himself many times.I learned very little from this book. ... Read more

6. Understanding Islam and the Muslims: The Muslim Family and Islam and World Peace
by T. J. Winter, John A. Williams
Paperback: 96 Pages (2002-01-01)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$4.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1887752471
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A greatly expanded classic of questions and answers regarding the Islamic world, with color photographs enhancing every page. The original booklet has been in great demand in schools and other social institutions around the world. Several million copies were requested by the U.S. school systems for use in a packet about Islam and the U.S. Airforce, distributed during the Gulf War. Since the recent tragedies in New York and Washington, D.C., professors and lecturers in high schools and universities through the U.S. have requested it by the hundreds.

Now enlarged to book-size, it includes a section on the family, with special attention given to understanding the perceived gender differences, beginning with God's creation of men and women and describing the varied roles of women throughout Muslim history (workers outside the home, business owners, saints). Another section, "Islam and World Peace" clarifies topics such as holy war and martyrdom. And there are further sections from the Qur'an and Hadith, or Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Other pertinent essays by recognized scholars are included to give the reader a comprehensive and clear understanding of Islam and the Muslim peoples who make up one-fifth of the world's population. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Buying copies for friends, relatives and co-workers
Finally, a book uninfluenced by ideology.This book, like so many from Fons Vitae, gives an unbiased view of religious beliefs.The book is quick and concise.Winter and Williams are careful to point out that cultures within Islam vary from country to country, and give a few examples of differences within Islamic denominations.This book is not about Wahhabi Islam, nor about the perverted beliefs of Osama bin Laden.It is an attempt to dispel the widespread ideology that bin Laden's perverted beliefs are held by many Muslims by giving a general overview of the vast majority of Muslims.

1-0 out of 5 stars The True Islam is the Islam that is Practiced Today
This book is premised on a terrible fallacy. The author attempts to present Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance, relying on passages from the Quran and other ancient Islamic texts.

The first problem, of course, is that the Quran, like most religious texts and astrological forecasts, is replete with vague and contradictory passages that can be cited by anyone for just about anything, and is frequently cited by critics of Muslim to creach conclusions diametrically opposed to those of the author Winter.

More fundamentally, what the Quran says is utterly irrelevant. The Quran means whatever the majority of Muslims today think it means. What is relevant is the Islam that is in actual practice today--the beliefs and politics of Muslims worldwide in 2005.

Polls show that more than 90% of the populations of Palestine and Pakistan believe the 9/11 attacks were justified by the United States' policies toward the Muslim world in general and Palestine and Israel in particular. The percentages are almost as high in most other heavily Muslim countries. These are hardly the beliefs of a peaceful and tolerate religion.

However noble its roots (which is subject to question), Islam today bears little resemblance to the Islam of centuries ago, having been hijacked and perverted on a world-wide scale by the Saudi-backed Wahabbism and the brainwashing of children, and creation of psychotic assassins, in the madrassas--the so-called "religious schools"--started and funded in many Muslim countries by the Saudis.

What kind of religion can create hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cold-blooded psychotic killers? Not one of peace and tolerance.

People like this author Winter love to dismiss the Muslim terrorists and their millions of supporters and apologists as an alleged "extremist" or fringe group. They are indeed extremist, but they most assuredly are not a fringe group. To the contrary, they represent the vast majority of Muslims worldwide today. Sadly, the peaceful and tolerant Muslims--and there are many--are a small and decreasing minority.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good read. Very informative. And very true.
Mr T. J. Winter is a highly accomplished scholar and internationally recognized translator of Islamic texts. In this book he has produced an open and informative description of real Islam as practised by the vast majority of its adherents.

This book should be welcomed by intelligent non-muslims (and uninformed muslims for that matter), who prefer *not* to be informed solely by the loud cries of the violent and misguided minority. (In the same way that an intelligent observer of Chritinianity would not want to form their opinion of it on the basis that Hitler and Mussolini were Catholics and that they were partially supported by the Vatican).

To the reviewer (Seth J. Frantzman) who said that people who really want to understand Islam should read the Quran instead of this book: one can only reply that a) any intelligent and unbiased reader who really manages to deeply read the Quran will at once be understand the beauty of Islam, and b) Mr Frantzman's statement the Quran enjoins people to "beat your wife" is a complete fabrication. It is, however, sadly typical of the detractors of Islam that they attempt to use the force of lies and fear to undermine it. Note that the reviewer did not say which chapter and verse this line can be found (the common practise when quoting from the Quran), simply because the line does not exist in the Quran.

But anyway, this is a very good book. To be read by open-minded individuals who want to understand.

5-0 out of 5 stars Scholarly yet approachable
Written by well-known Western scholars from Cambridge University and the College of William and Mary, this book presents the basic elements of the faith such as the Five Pillars and the Muslim view of Jesus and Mohammad.The book also goes into some detail about gender issues, marriage and family, and the laws of warfare in Islam and directly addresses controversial issues such as women's rights, polygyny, and the validity of terrorist acts according to Islamic law.Furthermore, it presents the orthodox view of Islamic law as it has been maintained for centuries by the vast majority of classical Islamic scholars, not a watered-down liberalized version that has no relation to the past nor that of the small extremist, non-law-abiding minority which usually makes the headlines.

The book also offers the reader a peek into the incredibly diverse cultures of Muslims -- from Taiwan and China, to Central Asia, to Africa, to Bosnia and Denmark, and to the US (among many others) -- through stunning National Geographic-calibre photographs which by themselves are worth the price of admission.The book also goes beyond the usually boring list of basic by relating colourful anecdotes about Muslim warrior-queens and other leaders, particular mosques, and gorgeous arts & crafts from around the Muslim world.

This book will not be useful to people like the previous reviewer, Mr. Seth Frantzman from Israel, who seek to confirm their stereotypes and demonize an entire faith for their own political purposes.Judging from his review, it is not even clear that he read the book, as it answers virtually all of points he raises even in its slim form.Yes, there are modesty laws for men, and in traditional Muslim societies men cover their heads as well.No, the burka (covering one's face) is not required by law -- it is a cultural phenomenon, and it is not worn by the overwhelmingly vast majority of Muslim women.Covering the face is actually prohibited in Mecca.The Dar al-Islam/Dar Al-Harb distinction is a medieval distinction, and it refers to the places where Muslims may freely practice their faith and where they may not-- meaning that virtually the whole world today is considered Dar al-Islam.I could go on, but you'd be much better off having Cambridge scholars explain it to you... buy this book!

2-0 out of 5 stars A great piece of propoganda work
This book is one huge piece of propoganda, not objective in the least bit, misleading in most parts, and outright fabrications exist in others.Let us look at a few topics.The book claims Islam is a religion of world peace.This is only accurate in the sense that the Qu'ran orders its followers to kill the entire non-beleiving world, then there is World peace, the world is divided into two parts by the Quran, the Dar Al-Harb(the world of war) and Dar al-Islam/Salaam(world of islam/peace).SO within the muslim world, between muslims, in theory there is peace. BUt in the rest of the non-muslim world there is only the command to kill.This can be deduced by anyone reading the Koran.

The second major lie is the position of women in the islamic world.This book pretends that women are 100% equal in all muslim countries and that the Koran gives equality to women.If the Quran gives equality then why does Surah 4:34 say "beat your wife".Once again this myth coneveyed in this book can be easily put aside by reading an accurate translation of the Quran or by learning Arabic.If women are equal in Islam then why do they by law have to wear burkas and Abbayas, whereas men have no such modesty laws applied to them?THis book doesnt begin to answer this obviosu question.

Anyone interested in being brainwashed, in getting a lovely rosy and fake picture of Islam should read this book, anyone wanting their children to convert to Islam should definetly pick this up.If you are interested in Islam it is more worthwhile to read the Quran.

Seth J. Frantzman

... Read more

7. Unveiling Islam: An Insider's Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs
by Ergun Caner, Emir Fethi Caner
Paperback: 288 Pages (2009-04-14)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$9.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0825424283
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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An updated and expanded edition of a best-selling and award-winning book! Raised as Sunni Muslims, brothers Ergun and Emir Caner converted from Islam to Christianity as teenagers. Now respected evangelical scholars and theologians, the Caner brothers are able to present an inside view of the Muslim life from a Christian perspective. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (159)

5-0 out of 5 stars Unveiling Islam
The Caner brothers did a wonderful job explaining what the Islamic religion is all about. The Caner brothers were dedicated Islamist for many years and for anyone to try and debate the truth in what they wrote is plainly in denile.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unveiling Islam
Every American should read this book...We think everyone in the world is "like us", filled with brotherly love and good will, and that is simply not the case.American frames of reference make Islam very difficult to believe or understand....the total opposite of Christianity.

1-0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate portrayal of Islam
The book is rather bias against Islam (although not as extreme as some). Whatever the two brothers claim, they do not seem to have a good understanding of Islam.They lack education regarding key aspects of Islam. Their argument that jihad is physical and does not have a spiritual dimension is wrong; the fact of the matter is that Jihad has both dimensions with the spiritual dimension being the greater as the Prophet Muhammad himself said in a Hadith. This is just one example from the many errors in the book.

If you want to learn about Islam, find another book written by someone who has a good grounding in Islamic education and understands the Islamic tradition in an authentic manner. Murata & Chittick's book "The Vision of Islam", for example, is much better. This one is not an honest account I'm sorry to say.

5-0 out of 5 stars Islam is truly unveiled!
May God bless the authors of this book.What courage it must have taken to write about their former religion!I will recommend this book to all of my friends and family who would like to have their eyes opened to the true Islam!

4-0 out of 5 stars enlighting
easy to understand,opens the door to a better understandingon a subject we all schould begin to realize is around us. ... Read more

8. Understanding Islam And Muslim Traditions: An Introduction to the Religious Practices, Celebrations, Festivals, Observances, Beliefs, Folklore, Customs, ... Musli (Holidays, Religion & Cultures)
by Tanya Gulevich
Library Binding: 496 Pages (2005-01-30)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$35.52
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Asin: 0780807049
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Muslim Customs
Okay, I've read about 100 books on Islam (and I'm still learning), and I would rank this one near the top -- as far as it being a very informative introduction in understanding not only the basic tenants of Islam, but also its customs.Even if you have read "The Koran for Dummies" or "Understanding Everything About Islam" or the "Idiot's Guide to Islam", etc.,this hardback-book's 496 pages still plows new grounds -- a true "keeper."(Hopefully some day its publisher will list the book's table of contents for your review.)It covers just about everything of interest regarding Mohammad (pbuh) and Islam, its religious practices, its history, and what I found of particular value: its customs (in many Islamic countries); such as "greetings and sayings" (shake hands, kiss or nod), "clothing and adornment", "Beliefs and Practices Concerning the Body" (hair, cleanliness), "the Evil Eye, Amulets, and Charms", "the Life Cycle and Conversion" (male & female circumcision, puberty, marriage, death), "symbols" (moon, Kaba), "animals", "dance", the numerous holidays or days of observance, the saints and their festivals, a nice bibliography that is broken down by chapter topics (rather than all just combined aphabetically as is typically done), and a list of websites.Not a whole lot of depth (most topics discussed within one page), but very expansive in the number of topics and subjects.Nothing here really about militant-jihad or extreme "fundamentalism", and it overlooks the "controversial" anti-Jewish or anti-Christian and pro-slavery stuff as revealed by Allah (rst) in the Quran (see Ibn Warraq books for that).While it has many nice photographs relevant to its topics, it's not like a typical "photo book" of Islamic stuff.Heavy on social customs, but not really controversial nor a skeptical or analytical look at Islam. Suited for a college-level class introductory book on Islam, but easily understood for high-school use also. ... Read more

9. The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West
by Professor Gilles Kepel
Paperback: 336 Pages (2006-04-30)
list price: US$19.00 -- used & new: US$16.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067401992X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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The events of September 11, 2001, forever changed the world as we knew it. In their wake, the quest for international order has prompted a reshuffling of global aims and priorities. In a fresh approach, Gilles Kepel focuses on the Middle East as a nexus of international disorder and decodes the complex language of war, propaganda, and terrorism that holds the region in its thrall.

The breakdown of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in 2000 was the first turn in a downward spiral of violence and retribution. Meanwhile, a neo-conservative revolution in Washington unsettled U.S. Mideast policy, which traditionally rested on the twin pillars of Israeli security and access to Gulf oil. In Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, a transformation of the radical Islamist doctrine of Bin Laden and Zawahiri relocated the arena of terrorist action from Muslim lands to the West; Islamist radicals proclaimed jihad against their enemies worldwide.

Kepel examines the impact of global terrorism and the ensuing military operations to stem its tide. He questions the United States' ability to address the Middle East challenge with Cold War rhetoric, while revealing the fault lines in terrorist ideology and tactics. Finally, he proposes the way out of the Middle East quagmire that triangulates the interests of Islamists, the West, and the Arab and Muslim ruling elites. Kepel delineates the conditions for the acceptance of Israel, for the democratization of Islamist and Arab societies, and for winning the minds and hearts of Muslims in the West.

(20041014) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Required Text
This should be required reading -- and debating -- material for the post-Sept 11th Western World. This is why there is an al-Jazeera

And why many light-skinned Scots and English broadcasters have gone to work for ***them***.

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I read this book for one simple reason: it was one of just six books on the "short list" of the Army Command and General Staff College Commander's Counterinsurgency Reading List.Moreover, it was touted as "an excellent overview of the broader radical Islamic insurgency."After reading "The War for Muslim Minds" by the French political scientist Gilles Kepel I find such strong endorsement from the United States Armed Forces rather puzzling.

To begin with, there is nothing new to be found here.Giles delivers a basic narrative on the confluence of events that have led to the current conflict in the Middle East: the second Intifada, the ascendancy of the neoconservative movement in the United States, the emergence of Al Qaeda, the Wahhabite religious awakening (sahwa) in Saudi Arabia, and the post-invasion civil war in Iraq.Each of these issues has been better and more fully addressed elsewhere.For instance, Giles' chapter on "The Neoconservative Revolution" is essentially a redaction of James Mann's "The Rise of Vulcans," only more condemnatory and less accurate (I tend to agree with Tom Ricks' assessment that the neocons have "been given too much blame and too much credit").His chapter on the foundation and rise of Al Qaeda ("Striking at the Faraway Enemy") is a weak synopsis of Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize Winning "The Looming Tower."To the extent that Giles has added anything new to previous works, it would be his thinly veiled anti-American tilt to the overall storyline.(Giles accepts as indisputable fact the argument that the pre-invasion claim of WMDs in Iraq was a bald-faced lie used as pretext to overthrow Saddam for the sake of Israel's security.My question to those who subscribe to that belief has always been: if the administration was willing to go to such mendacious lengths, why not conduct an equally complex conspiracy to plant evidence to justify the original lie?)

But these are just quibbles.The main reason "The War for Muslim Minds" disappoints is that the author fundamentally fails to address the compelling central thesis of the book - "the most important battle in the war for Muslim minds during the next decade will be fought not in Palestine or Iraq but in communities of believers on the outskirts of London, Paris, and other European cities, where Islam is already a growing part of the West."The final chapter ("The Battle for Europe") supposedly addresses this challenge of winning second generation European-Muslims away from both the quietist salafist and violent jihadist influences; however, Giles focuses almost exclusively on a situation report from France circa 2004 with heavy emphasis on the controversial Islamic activist Tariq Ramadan. He suggests that the ability of the West to win-over their second-generation Muslim citizens to a universalist notion of citizenship and civil, open society will determine the outcome of the current ideological confrontation that is, in his mind, every bit as threatening to twenty-first century peace as communism was to the twentieth.Yet Kepel does not offer any pragmatic solutions or even novel insights as to how the West can successfully compete with the powerful elements in the European-Muslim communities who stridently resist cultural and political integration.

Finally, there is a sobering, defeatist message in this book.Giles contends that "though the ultimate goals of jihadists and neoconservatives diverged, their proximate goals were remarkable aligned: ousting the region's regimes, whose authoritarianism and corruption they both abhorred."He suggests that a shake-out in the Middle East is indeed coming and that the neocons vision of "a virtuous cycle of missiles and tanks, liberation and democratization" is losing out to Al Qaeda's dream of a new greater Islamic Caliphate.

4-0 out of 5 stars Insights on Islam
Gilles Kepel provides an insightful, European perspective on relations between the West and Islam. As the title suggests, he does not see the two locked in intractable conflict. Muslims, like the West, are divided. The interests of the Saudi government are separate from those of the Wahhabite preachers; salafists can be distinguished from other Sunnis, and salafists themselves can be divided into pietists and jihadists. His description of the problems of the Muslims in Europe is particularly valuable and suggests issues that the American news media barely touches. His chapter on the dilemmas that face Saudi Arabia is also enlightening. The significance he places on the collapse of the Oslo agreement puts developments in the Middle East in an unusual perspective.

Unfortunately, his view of neoconservatives and the Bush administration is akin to Michael Moore's. It is somewhat more subtle, but hardly as profound as his understanding of the politics of Islam.

Nonetheless, that understanding makes the book invaluable, perhaps essential.

2-0 out of 5 stars Triumph of Political Correctness over Facts
This book was a major disappointment after the author's brilliant work JIHAD.Jihad was published just as the US was destroying the Taliban, and I had hoped that this work would bring us up to date with the invasion of Iraq.I immediately noticed that Kepel did not bother to correct his characterization of US tactics in Afghanistan as "carpet-bombing", which it wasn't.Then he referred to photos of American "sexual abuse and torture" of Iraqi prisoners (which was more like hazing) while calling videos of the beheading of a screaming American youth as "mistreatment."Events have shown Kepel's earlier theory that Islamic fundamentalism is falling apart is quite correct, losing out to a rising tide of democracy in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, and even Saudi Arabia, but he sort of goes off the rails to talk about the Islamic diaspora in Europe and elsewhere as the hope for the future.I guess he's afraid of not getting invited to the right cocktail parties in Paris if he endorsed anything to do with American policy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book, despite what some say..................
This book is an easy to read, somewhat easy to understand wrapup of what is currently happening with the Global War on Terror and the fight for Muslim hearts and minds.The author does a great job in explaining some of the differences in the Salafist community and also in pointing out that Wahhabists are Salafists, but not necessarily of the Bin Laden strain, something that many people in the West just don't get.

However, if there were any down sides for me, it was the part about the fight in Europe for Muslim hearts and minds.It focuses, somewhat understandbly, on France.There are fights going on all around Europe and I think the author could have done a better job bringing that to light.I also feel that although he demonstrates the conflicts within the Muslim community in Europe, one needs to realize that these issues trasncend national borders, although each government is trying to deal with its specific Muslim community, rather than getting that Europe needs to deal with this issue in a better fashion from Spain to Germany.

As for one of the poor reviews implying that the author is not facing the truth regarding the 2000 intifidah, she is incorrect.It did start when Sharon visited the Dome of the Rock (not sure if that was it) for the Arabs.Yes, other Knesset officials may have visited it, but none like Sharon.For the Palestinians, that was the event that triggered the uprising, regardless of whether this is superficial analysis or not.In the Arab world, as in all other places, perception is reality.This is something that too many Westerners fail to comprhend when dealing with Muslims...............there is not necessarily one truth.

... Read more

10. Western Muslims and the Future of Islam
by Tariq Ramadan
Paperback: 288 Pages (2005-09-15)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$11.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195183568
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In a Western world suddenly acutely interested in Islam, one question has been repeatedly heard above the din: where are the Muslim reformers?With this ambitious volume, Tariq Ramadan firmly establishes himself as one of Europe's leading thinkers and one of Islam's most innovative and important voices. As the number of Muslims living in the West grows, the question of what it means to be a Western Muslim becomes increasingly important to the futures of both Islam and the West. While the media are focused on radical Islam, Ramadan claims, a silent revolution is sweeping Islamic communities in the West, as Muslims actively seek ways to live in harmony with their faith within a Western context. French, English, German, and American Muslims--women as well as men--are reshaping their religion into one that is faithful to the principles of Islam, dressed in European and American cultures, and definitively rooted in Western societies. Ramadan's goal is to create an independent Western Islam, anchored not in the traditions of Islamic countries but in the cultural reality of the West. He begins by offering a fresh reading of Islamic sources, interpreting them for a Western context and demonstrating how a new understanding of universal Islamic principles can open the door to integration into Western societies. He then shows how these principles can be put to practical use. Ramadan contends that Muslims can-indeed must-be faithful to their principles while participating fully in the civic life of Western secular societies. Grounded in scholarship and bold in its aims, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam offers a striking vision of a new Muslim Identity, one which rejects once and for all the idea that Islam must be defined in opposition to the West. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Abode of Testimony....
This book is divided into two parts:

It is in Part A, entitled "A Universe of Reference" that the book really shines. Ramadan uses Islamic sources, the Quran, authentic hadiths, as well as tools of Islamic jurisprudence such as Maslaha (the common good) and ijtihad (independent reasoning) to set aside meaningless historical concepts such as "Dar al Harb" [abode of war] and "Dar al Islam" [abode of Islam] and come up with the simple, rather obvious, but revolutionary concept: Western countries are "Dar al-Shahada" or, area of testimony. Basically, the task of Muslims in the West is to express the Shahada, the creed that "There is no God but God, and Muhammad (s) is His Messenger" not only in word, but in deed (no easy task, as Ramadan makes clear.) Such an attitude requires becoming intimately involved in Western society, understanding the Western mindset, and actively participating in civic engagement. We can not sit around and depend on fatwas being given from the Islamic world by some scholar who has never lived in the West, and therefore has no idea of Western concepts and thinking. To truly bear witness to the One God in one's society, one has to be BOTH fully a Westerner AND a Muslim- not choose between one or another. I give this part of the book 5 stars.

In the second part of the book, part B, "The Meaning of Engagement," Ramadan tries to lay out how Muslims should engage themselves in the West, keeping in mind their primary task of bearing witness to the One God by acts and deeds. He explores Muslim engagement in topics such as "Spirituality and Emotions", Islamic Education, "Social Commitment and Political Participation", "Economic Resistance", and "Interreligious Dialogue." Defining the proper Islamic engagement in each of these areas, much less all of them, is a huge undertaking, and as Ramadan repeatedly stresses, can only be done properly by taking into account one's context. Thus, appropriate Islamic Education, or political participation, or interreligious dialog will wary from America to Europe, and from region to region, and from town to town. However, because of these limitations, Ramadan is limited to offering interesting insights, but not much in the way of solutions or guidelines. For example, I wholeheartedly agree with the need for Muslims to resist and offer REAL alternatives to the murderous and unjust economic order, and the need for Muslims to be educated BOTH in Islam and in Western civic engagement (including lessons in Western history, philosophy, etc). Ramadan rightly claims that many solutions that have so far been promoted (Islamic banking, Islamic schools, etc) are superficial solutions, which may help Muslims feel that they have followed 'the letter of Islamic law' but do nothing to actually improve our societies. However, Ramadam himself is not able to offer much in the way of solutions or guidelines as to how to achieve aims such as a just economic order, or proper education. Ultimately, this section feels incomplete, with the reader wanting more. I give this part of the book 3 stars.

1-0 out of 5 stars The patch can't fix it!
As a former Muslim, I see that Westernizing Islam is like putting a "patch" ruq3ah on a worn down outfit in the hope that it would be usable once again. Westernized Islam sounds good in theory, but theory is one thing and practical application is another. How can we overlook the spirit of Islam that is embedded in the text of the Quran that is perceived as non-negotiable by humans if Allah and His Messenger has prescribed a statute of some kind?! A Muslim can't easily chop out the ninth chapter of the Quran in order to Westernize Islam and thus come up with a dandy version of Islam. That is wishful thinking. That is why I abandoned Islam.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another excellent work by Mr Ramadan
Thanks again to Mr. Ramadan for keeping the door and the dialoge open on a very pressing and important issue for many of us "Western" Muslims.As a new Muslim woman from Latin America living in the USA I find each day many of the issues presented by Mr Ramadan, thanks to his inside, I am able to better undertand my role in this society while living and embracing the "true" Islamic identity and tradition. Thanks also for the great lessons learned with "In the Footsteps of the Prophet". Thanks for the loving and unsugared portrait of the Prophet you presented in this excellent book , it did touch my heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hard thinking man arrives at refreshing vision
Ramadan is a serious thinker, devoted to making a difference. He takes both his faith and his Western homeland seriously, and this for him is a single commitment to God and his neighbors. His concern is the quality of life in the future world order. And his vision for the potential contributions of Western Muslims is refreshing.

Where many Muslims assume that the practices of other cultures are ungodly unless proven otherwise, Ramadan turns such logic around. Like Imam Malik, he argues that all customs (urf) or institutions which "seek the good" (istislah) are valid, and should not be rejected unless they specifically violate a moral prohibition of the Quran and Sunna. In that case the challenge to Western Muslims is like that faced by the first Muslims in mainly non-Islamic Mecca, or by the biblical Joseph in Egypt - how to inspire better human relations, and improve care for society's needs.

Ramadan sees a special responsibility falling on Muslims in the West. Working within Western institutions yet maintaining real ties to the non-Western world, these believers have a chance to serve as a voice of conscience. In a world order of profound inequality, many Western Muslims have both the hope and the opportunity to make a difference. And to grasp that opportunity they must act as full-citizens, taking responsibility for building better institutions in cooperation with non-Muslims of goodwill. As Ramadan explores the possibilities for economic, political and cultural life, the future seems ever more interesting.

-author of Correcting Jesus

4-0 out of 5 stars Citizen Muslim
Islamic philosopher Tariq Ramadan asks a fundamental question. Is it possible for a devout Muslim living here to also be a responsible and loyal American? As a member of what Ramadan calls the Other, I find it disturbing it even needs to be asked. It isn't trivial and Ramadan doesn't ask it on behalf of Muslims. He asks it of Muslims because they ask it of themselves. We have people living among us who are unsure of the answer, millions of them apparently, some of them second and third generation Americans. More than a few have concluded the answer is no. Their devotion to Islam supersedes and is incompatible with any duty to their adopted country. The question cuts to the heart of what Americans have been asking since 9/11. What on earth are these people so angry about and what in heavens name does it have to do with us? In attempting to answer Ramadan directs his comments to those Muslims living in the West for whom religion is at the center of daily life, Muslims who are struggling with a very real identity crisis. Ramadan isn't proposing an interfaith dialogue, though he thinks one is important. He is proposing an intra-faith dialogue. He wants to reopen a debate that has been closed for a thousand years.
At issue is the long held Islamic view of a world divided into two parts, dar al-Islam and dar al-harb, the abode of submission and the abode of war. This view didn't originate in the Koran or with the Prophet. It was developed later by Islamic scholars to offer a code of conduct for Muslims living in or traveling through areas not subject to Islamic rule, places where any exercise of an alien religion was usually restricted and often prohibited. Muslims in these conditions were called not to compromise their faith, to remain apart, at all costs to avoid assimilating. Sometime around the 10th century it became pretty much accepted dogma throughout Islam. It still is. It is a view that has been noted with alarm by modern Western commentators. It is at the root of the attitude among many Muslims to reject as un-Islamic all things Western. Ramadan argues that the doctrine can and should be revised in light of changed circumstance. It is no longer an appropriate view of Europe or of North America because in the modern West the Muslim is free to practice his religion.
Ramadan draws an all-important distinction between faith and culture. Islam requires Muslims to dress modestly but exactly how that applies in different societies is open to interpretation. There is also a difference between what is required by law and what is permitted. That alcohol may be legal does not force one to drink. There may be occasions when civil law presses an individual to violate his conscience, to participate say in an unjust war, but those occasions are rare and there are ways for Muslims to deal with them short of outright rejection of the offending legal system. Islam has adapted to differing cultures before. Indonesians are very different from Pakistanis and they can both be authentically Islamic.
This all seems obvious to us, the Other. That it does not seem obvious to so many Muslims is incomprehensible. Americans are accustomed to immigrants. We expect them to become naturalized, take their citizenship seriously, participate fully in our society, make it their own, even take on leadership roles. Ramadan wants his fellow Muslims to do that too, and he believes they will. He certainly believes they can, and without compromising their religion.
... Read more

11. Muslim Child: Understanding Islam Through Stories and Poems
by Rukhsana Khan
Hardcover: 104 Pages (2002-01-01)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$3.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807553077
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A collection of stories and poems about Muslim children from a variety of backgrounds, focusing on the celebration of holidays and practices of Islam. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
I enjoyed this book. I do think this is a book for all children , it has great stiries for the whole family. I love to read this book to my daughter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hopeful
I can only hope that this brilliant book helpd educate muslims and non-muslims about the true beauty of Islam.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource
My favorite short stroy is the Black Ghost.The children run from fear of her and her young son is dreadfully embarrassed until the black ghost rescues one of the boys.Reaching out from under her black abaya, the mysterious woman is soft and gentle.The young boys confront their friend, "You never told us you had such a nice mother."

Children's Nonfiction

5-0 out of 5 stars Not only for muslim children
This book is so informative and well-written it should be in every muslim house.However, this book is not only very good for muslim children, it is also an excellent book for non-muslim children to read and learn more about islam.It can be used as an excellent tool in a classroom to dispel any misconceptions non-muslim children may carry against their muslim classmates.They will be able to learn more about prayer, fasting, eid and other things that their muslim classmates and friends follow in their lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Should be read by all educators and anyone who works with diverse populations.
This is a wonderful book. It's informative, non-judgemental, and non-proselytizing. I was especially impressed that the authors managed to tell a series of situational stories from a child's point of view. My favorite was the one about the little boy who becomes separated from his parents at Mecca and finds shelter with a kindly old man.This book covers such topics as Muslim minority children having to choose between adherences to their religion, e.g. forgoing observance of prayer times and dietary restrictions for the sake of convenience and fitting in with the crowd. I could feel the self-consciousness myself when a little boy overhears his friends mistaken his mother for a ghost after being frightened by her veil, and the guilt when a young girl succumbs to temptation and devours the delicious candies that contain pork byproducts.

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12. Black Muslim Religion in the Nation of Islam, 1960-1975
by Edward E. Curtis IV
Paperback: 256 Pages (2006-10-30)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$18.33
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Asin: 0807857718
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Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam came to America's attention in the 1960s and 1970s as a radical separatist African American social and political group. But the movement was also a religious one. Edward E. Curtis IV offers the first comprehensive examination of the Nation of Islam's rituals, ethics, theologies, and religious narratives, showing how the movement combined elements of Afro-Eurasian Islamic traditions with African American traditions to create a new form of Islamic faith.

Considering everything from bean pies to religious cartoons, clothing styles to prayer rituals, Curtis explains how the practice of Islam in the movement included the disciplining and purifying of the black body, the reorientation of African American historical consciousness toward the Muslim world, an engagement with both mainstream Islamic texts and the prophecies of Elijah Muhammad, and the development of a holistic approach to political, religious, and social liberation. Curtis's analysis pushes beyond essentialist ideas about what it means to be Muslim and promotes a view of the importance of local processes in identity formation and appropriations of Islamic traditions. ... Read more

13. Islam: What Non-Muslims Should Know (Facets)
by John Kaltner
Paperback: 80 Pages (2003-03)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$4.80
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Asin: 0800635833
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Kaltner presents Islam as first and foremost a religion of orthopraxis, a set of prescribed practices - the five pillars of Islam. Showing the deep humanism of Islam and its most cherished commitments, Kaltner presents Islam through assertions that counter frequent misconceptions of the faith. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Western Misconceptions About Islam Swept Away
The sub-title of this book, "What Non-Muslims Should Know" is what captured my attention.In the post-9/11 world where tolerance is threatened and there seems to be pervasive hatred simmering for what we don't understand, author Kaltner supplies what he promises.He provides a perspective that dwells on what Islam means, and has meant, historically to its followers and its place politically to the present."Questions for Discussion" are included after each of the six chapters, making it useful as a textbook as well as a way to dwell on the material.I found "Islam" enlightening and would recommend it highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good for introduction
This is not a bad choice although I would rather prefer "Idiot's guide to Understanding Islam." by Emerick. It is an excellent book for non-Muslims.

Secondly, contrary to the review made below, Islam did abolish slavery using a very clever system. It did not suddenly prohibit slavery since the Quran is a very realistic book. It would be extremely difficult to abolish all slavery at once. Therefore, the Quranin a brilliant maneuver gradually abolished it by giving mothers and thier new born children complete freedom. BY this, little by little, slavery was soon abolished and those Muslims who chose to enslave were clearly against the laws.

Critics tend to act as if the Bible itself stictly forbids slavery. The Quran treats freeing a slave as one of the best deeds to do in one's life. Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) and his companion, Abu Bakr, used thier own money to buy slaves and then subsequently free them.

This idea that "oh Islam encourages slavery" is just another misconception intentionally brought out by self-centered egomaniacs who are hellbent on distorting the truth.

Anyway getting back to the book. It does feature some important aspects of Islam. But doubt whether this, of all books, would be the most recommended. Get either "The complete idiot's guide to Understand Islam" or "Islam: The straight path" by John Esposito.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for those with no Islamic background.
I took Professor Kaltner's Intro. to Islam class at Rhodes College.We used this text as brief overview of the Islamic faith and practices.This book would be very enlightening for those who have little or no knowledge of Islam and the Islamic way of life.

1-0 out of 5 stars Omits a discussion of slavery and wife beating
The good professor omits a discussion of the passages in the Koran that give men control over women's lives and authorizes wife beating.He also omits any discussion of the Koranic privilege granted to Muslim men to marry as many as four wives and to sexually exploit any slaves he may own.Given the ease of divorce for men and the granting of nearly all post divorce rights to men, men have almost total sexual license, all approved by Islam.Lastly, slavery is as Koranic as daily prayers.The movement to ban slavery world wide began with Wilberforce, an English Christian.This movement was resisted by the Muslim east which permitted legal slavery through 1968 in Saudi Arabia and 1964 in Bahrain.Outside of Sufism, Muslim religion is one of abject and unthinking obedience to minute rulings on ordinary parts of life, clothing, hair, dress, eating and sleeping and washing customs. ... Read more

14. The Muslim Revolt: A Journey Through Political Islam (Columbia/Hurst)
by Roger Hardy
Hardcover: 208 Pages (2010-03-15)
list price: US$26.50 -- used & new: US$19.95
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Asin: 0231701500
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'We fail to understand Islam,' writes Roger Hardy in the introduction to this book, 'and we are paying a high price for our failure.' "The Muslim Revolt" explains, in layman's language, a phenomenon that still seems to madden and perplex both the public and the policy-makers. In setting out to demystify Islamism and the forces that drive it, Hardy suggests that for the last two hundred years Muslims have been in revolt against Western domination - and against the failures and disappointments of modernisation. The book takes the form of a journey. Drawing on his travels and encounters as a journalist over the last thirty years, the author explains the political role of Islam in particular countries and regions - Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, south-east Asia, Europe - while at the same time telling the story of Islamism from its origins in the era of European colonialism to the emergence of Al-Qaeda and the global jihadists of today. In a challenging conclusion, Hardy warns that without a subtler grasp of Islamism and its discontents, the West will lose its much-vaunted battle for Muslim 'hearts and minds'. ... Read more

15. When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States
by Jocelyne Cesari
Paperback: 280 Pages (2006-02-05)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$19.00
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Asin: 1403971463
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Exploring the woefully neglected reality of Islam as a major cultural and religious facet of American and European politics and societies, Cesari examines how Muslims in the West are challenging the notion of an inevitable clash or confrontation. Comparing the interaction of Muslims with their new countries, this book addresses the implications of increased Islamic visibility, violent clashes, beneficial cooperation, and questions within the Muslim community about their role and the role of Islam in democratic states. Pursuing a holistic approach to Muslims as a new minority within western democracy, Cesari provides important insights.
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5-0 out of 5 stars State of American and Europeon Muslims
An honest and good review of the state of Muslims in the U.S. and Europe.
Recommended reading for studies at colleges and universities. ... Read more

16. Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out
by Susan Crimp, Joel Richardson
Hardcover: 183 Pages (2008-04-29)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$14.98
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Asin: 0979267102
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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He was about to convert to Islam but pleaded, "I fear I am about to make the biggest mistake of my life. Please give me one solid reason not to convert."

This desperate cry for help from a visitor to an interfaith website inspired Susan Crimp and Joel Richardson to find that reason. Instead of one, they found many, put forward by former Muslims who dared to speak out about the oppressive religion that held them in thrall.

Collected here are the powerful and brutally honest personal testimonies of men and women who have left Islam - at the risk of death. What compelled these individuals to free themselves from Islam's tyrannical grip, how did they do it, and at what cost? Why We Left Islam provides the shocking, disturbing answers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brutally honest
I have read Quran/hadith before, as well as first hand accounts of foreigners and former Muslims who once lived in Islamic countries so I'm familiar with teachings of Islam. However, this book is disturbing to read none the less. Several former Muslims in it indicated that as one of the ways to convert people, they were seducing Christian women and actually getting paid for it. This is not news to me however, reading it in graphic detail is something else altogether. I found myself especially applauding Walid Shoubat who is former member of PLO and Islamic Brotherhood for his courage to seek truth about Islam and not bending down despite fatwas and numerous death threats.
For anyone who thinks this is a "lie" or "distortion of Islam", I'm here to tell you-you either haven't read Quran or,like many Muslims, you have been brainwashed and will defend its vile teachings until the bitter end.
Every American should read this book and pass it along to others unless one day you want to wake up and find US under Sharia law. I believe Holland already has these in place alongside western laws, in order to placate their increasingly large Muslim population so this is not an empty threat.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Star Reviews
To the 'open minded Christian' who wants both sides: there is no other side under Islam. All other religions are to be destroyed and the world is to submit to Islam. Read the Quran/Koran; study about Mohammad and his little 6 year old bride; hear how he commanded the murder of his opponents; how he commanded and participated in the beheadings of an Entire Town's males (all who showed pubic hair) and enslaved the women and girls; how he condemns to death HOMOSEXUALS, PAGANS, WICCANS, MORMONS, BUDDHISTS, b'HAI, HINDUS...ALL BUT Muslims who will not submit to Alah. To the ignorant who write these one star reviews: read 'Leaving Islam' by Ibn Warraq, 'Sword of the Prophet' by Serge Trifkovic, Spencer, Pipes, Geller, Hirsan Ali, Wafa Sultan.....or better yet: open your eyes and ears to the news from AROUND THE WORLD, EVERY DAY and the murders and rapes and mutilations perpetrated by the followers of this 'prophet' and his false 'god'- as commanded in his Book. See [...]...but it is obvious most of you have no intention of opening your minds...you are part of the problem, and you are enabling the destruction of the Western Civilization. Witness France, Italy, Netherlands, and now Obama as he appeases and 'reaches out' to the Muslim world. Read Mohammad's version of Hell: that is what you invite with your ignorance.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Essential Book
Another book that does us all a great service. Thanks to those who have shared their eye-opening stories.

1-0 out of 5 stars Trash, a total waste of time and money
Hate sells. Author displays a total ignorance of what it means to be Muslim, purely motivated by greed.

5-0 out of 5 stars We must get educated on this dangerous political religion.
Eye Opening! I have read many books on Islam. These personal experiences are a must read if you are investigating Islam to join, or just to be informed. IT IS hard to read of woman being treated this way and know it's a way of life and acceptable anywhere. This is the opposite of christianity. Eye Opening! ... Read more

17. Global Studies: Islam and the Muslim World
by Mir Zohair Husain
Paperback: 368 Pages (2005-12-07)
-- used & new: US$20.00
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Asin: 0073527726
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The Global Studies series is designed to provide comprehensive background information and selected world press articles on the regions and countries of the world.This edition of Global Studies: Islam and the Muslim World is a mini-encyclopedia on the subject. The Preface maintains that we are living in a globally interdependent world in which it is imperative for the non-Muslim world to understand the faith of 1.3 billion Muslims who live all over the world. Part I comprises two chapters: Chapter 1 is a timeline of the “Momentous Events And Influential Muslims That Have Shaped Islamic Civilization (570-1605 CE);” Chapter 2, “Understanding Islam, Muslims, Islamism, and Anti-Americanism,” comprises sections on the “Fundamentals of Islam,” “Islamism,” “Myths and Misconceptions About Islam and Muslims,” as well as “Islamophobia in the West and Anti-Westernism/Anti-Americanism in the Muslim World.” Chapter 2 also has several informative boxes and tables that present vitally important matters pertaining to Islam and Islamism at a glance.The two boxes are “The Ninety-Nine Names of God” and “Sensational Events in the Media about Islam and Muslims.”The six tables in the chapter are “Sunnis and Shi`as: A Comparison of Islam’s Two Major Sects,” “A Comparison of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity,” “Jesus and Muhammad: Founders of the World’s Two Largest Religions,” “Islam and the Nation of Islam: A Comparative Overview,” “Revolutionary Islamists and Muslim Secularists: A Succinct Comparison,” and “A Comparison of Revolutionary Islamists and Progressive Islamists.” Part II comprises informative “Country Reports” for the fifty-seven member states that represent the Muslim world’s interests through the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).Part III provides readers with world press articles on various aspects of the World of Islam. This book also provides readers with a list of annotated Internet sites on Islam. In addition, a list of articles and books on Islam and the Muslim world, a selected glossary of key terms, and a comprehensive and easy to access index are provided. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Global Studies is useful
This product is an extremely useful addition to my class. It provides several articles that relate to the subject matter we are studying. The tables of comparisons and contrasts have helped further my understanding if Islam and of Christianity and Judaism, which are covered in the text because of the similarities to Islam.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read Book
As a student of political science and international relations I always look for new publications that relates to the Middle East. When I first heard about this book from a friend of mine; I asked him if I can borrow it to go over the book quickly. I was amazed how the author was able to capture all the significant and important aspects of Islam and the Muslim world in the most simple and easy to follow method. I loved the tables in the book and how the author was able to compare and contrast between the different elements of Islam. This book has many important articles written by prominent scholars in the field of international politics and Middle Eastern Studies. This book is a must read for anyone who is interested to learn the surface and depth about Islam and the Muslim World. I have decided to buy this book and added it to my small library. ... Read more

18. The Development of Exegesis in Early Islam: The Authenticity of Muslim Literature from the Formative Period (Routledge Studies in the Qur'an)
by Herbert Berg
Paperback: 251 Pages (2009-04-29)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$36.17
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Asin: 0415554160
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The most important debate in Islamic origins is that of the reliability of the lists of transmitters (isnads) that are said to guarantee the authenticity of the materials to which they are attached. Many scholars have come to the conclusion that most traditions (hadiths), which claim to preserve the words and deeds of Muhammad and early Muslim scholars, are spurious. Other scholars defend hadiths and their isnads, arguing for an early continuous written transmission of these materials. The first purpose of this study is to summarize and critique the major positions on the issue of the authenticity of hadiths in general and exegetical hadiths in particular. The second purpose is to devise a means of evaluating isnads that does not rely on circular arguments and to use it to determine if the hadiths in the Tafsir of al-Tabari, attributed to Ibn 'Abbas, are genuine.

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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview, and a unique test of Ibn Abbas hadith
This book provides an excellent overview of Hadith studies (reviewing both critical AND sanguine commentators). The book covers historical as well as exegetical Hadith, origins of Tafsir also. It is written in a more academic style, so not really for beginners. Herbert Berg seems to be objective in his reviews, which is good, and is often insightful. The main problem he identifies with BOTH critics and sanguine approaches is the presuppositions they begin with, which inevitably shape their conclusions.
The author also conducts a unique test on the exegetical Hadiths attributed to Ibn Abbas (considered one of, if not the, most important figures in Quranic exegis) by plugging thousands of his Hadith with their isnad (chain of transmission) into a database and running statistics and analysis on them to determine consistency. He goes into the process in detail in his book, but his overall conclusion is that most, if not all, of the Hadiths in his test sample cannot have originated with Ibn Abbas, or even his students. He says at the very least, the first two links in the chain, i.e. Ibn Abbas and student, are false. Of course, this has grave consequences for the isnads of all exegetical Hadiths. This does not disprove the content of the Hadith (which may be right/wrong), simply the isnad. He further states "not only is there no possibility of reconstructing the original tafsir of Ibn Abbas, but there is also no point in attempting to do so". Quite a damning statement! But he does say further studies are needed to fully accept his conclusions. He states at the very end "we may never know the answer" to such questions.
This, unfortunately, is the position of Hadith today, filled with uncertainty and ultimately impossible to verify. Hence why presuppositions are needed in order to make any headway in Hadith study, otherwise as Herbert Berg mentions, academics would have to basically conclude for every study: this may or may not be correct, we ultimately do not know... which is rather unsatisfying. ... Read more

19. Muslim Europe or Euro-Islam: Politics, Culture, and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization (Transnational Perspectives)
by Nezar AlSayyad
Paperback: 216 Pages (2002-06)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$26.90
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Asin: 0739103393
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Five centuries after the expulsion of Muslims and Jews in Spain, Europe is once again becoming a land of Islam. At the beginning of the 21st century, and in an era marked as that of globalization, Europe continues to wrestle with the issue of national identity, especially in the context of its Muslim citizens. "Muslim Europe or Euro-Islam" brings together scholars from Europe, the United States and the Middle East in a discussion about the Muslim populations living in Europe and about Europe's role in framing Islam today. The book raises several crucial questions: does Islam offer a special case for citizenship?; is assimilation or multiculturalism the model to be followed in the case of Muslims in Europe?; how powerful a force is Islam in determining identity?; and most importantly, why after centuries of being a presence in Europe is Islam not considered a European religion? Working at the knotty intersection of cultural identity, the politics of nations and nationalisms, and religious persuasions, this is an anthology of scholarship that reveals the multifaceted natures of both Europe and Islam. ... Read more

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2-0 out of 5 stars A confused and disorganized study
Muslim Europe or Euro-Islam: Politics, Culture, and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization (Transnational Perspectives)
by Nezar Alsayyad (Editor), Manuel Castells (Editor) is a confused and disorganized study of a very important subject at this time.The work fails to systematically tackle the hard issues of social integration between Islamic society and western concepts of individual rights and democracy.There are many better works, chief among which is Dr. Sami Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh's work MUSLIMS IN THE WEST (0-9719496-0-3 published by Shangri-La Publications), which is a monumental exploration of the social, legal, religious and political issues. ... Read more

20. Sword of Islam : Muslim Extremism from the Arab Conquests to the Attack on America
by John F. Murphy Jr.
Hardcover: 424 Pages (2002-07)
list price: US$28.98 -- used & new: US$14.39
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Asin: 1591020107
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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"This book is not an indictment of Islam, one of thethree beautiful religions which bloomed in this desert land.It is anindictment of those who took from Islam its most uncompromisingtenets, forgetting the message of love that accompanies them. . . . Ihave chosen to write about Islamic extremism because it represents themost clear and present danger today.Islamic extremists like theHizbollah and the organization of Osama bin Laden have the financialresources and the ability to obtain the most sophisticated ofweaponry, a generation ago reserved for only the great powers of theworld.Atomic, chemical, and biological warfare are three of thelightning bolts they can hurl at their enemies like modernincarnations of the Greek gods on Mount Olympus.It is for thisreason that these groups must be studied and explored. . . .

"September 11 reminded us that Islamic terrorists, like Osama binLaden and his al-Qaeda group, in their desire to recreate a harshMuslim world that never really existed have declared war on everyAmerican.In fact, they have declared war on everybody, Christian,Muslim, or Jew, who does not agree with their view of a fascistic,theologic utopia.In doing so, they have hijacked Islam, one of ourgreat desert faiths, as surely as the bin Laden terrorists hijackedthe four jetliners on that desperate Tuesday." -- from theIntroduction ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

1-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Disappointed
I bought this book thinking that it would broaden my exposure to this important topic, but I couldn't even finish it.In my opinion, it was very poorly written.The topics jumped around frequently, and even the "transitions" didn't even flow.I didn't learn anything from this book, and saw what I thought were many inconsistencies in the information being presented.An example is whether or not the author was going to make up his mind that Russia and China were state sponsors of terrorism, or targets of terrorism.It would have been fine to present that as part of a complex argument in a world that is not black and white, but it was as if the author was passionately arguing both sides without recognizing the multifacted realpolitik involved.

5-0 out of 5 stars Was John F. Murphy Jr. Ever Involved with Intelligence Gathering?A Thoughtful Critique.
On this website, John F. Murphy, Jr., categorically denies any involvement with the CIA assigned to him by my prior review of this book, which incidentally was a favorable one.However, on the Website for Prometheus Books, the publisher of Sword of Islam, located at the following website:


anyone including you can locate the following biographical sketch of John F. Murphy, Jr. the author of Sword of Islam:

"John F. Murphy Jr. is a military historian and the founder and President of The Grenadier Company, a private research firm specializing in military history, international relations, guerilla warfare, and terrorism. He has authored two confidential reports for the CIA, has been a lecturer in European and American History at St. Joseph University and Drexel University in Philadelphia, and is a guest columnist and reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News. He is currently writing a two-volume history of the early American frontier for the University of Missouri Press."

Thus, Murphy's own publisher advertises on his own website that "he has authored two confidential reports for the CIA" and that he runs a private firm "specializing in military history, international relations, guerilla warfare and terrorism" [sic].

The connection between the author and professional intelligence gathering is altogether evident from his own publishing company's website.His own publisher admits and advertises that Murphy has been a contract employee of the CIA, writing at least two reports for them.I make no independent judgment of the truth or falsity of that information but merely repeat what his own publisher writes.Murphy's categorical denials, which he has repeated on this and many other websites, seem a little bizarre when you consider what his own publisher says on his own website about his CIA involvement.

Despite Murphy's denials to the contrary, it is plain and obvious that despite his express disavowals to the contrary, he clearly is alleged by his publisher to have written (and to have gathered intelligence professionally) in the form of two confidential reports for one or more national intelligence agencies, and his other links to professional intelligence may be guessed at from the nature of his private consulting business and the fact that his viewpoints in this book are so violently pro-government and pro-CIA and anti-Muslim.

In addition to the foregoing, this book was reviewed by the Weekly Intelligence Notes of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers ("AFIO") in its August 5, 2002 issue, located at:


That Review stated:


SWORD OF ISLAM: Muslim Extremism from the Arab conquests to the Attack on America, by John F. Murphy Jr., Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY 2002. ISBN 1-59102-010-7, with Appendices, Notes, Glossary, Index and Bibliography. This is a popular history, well researched and authentic, written clearly and well. John Murphy traces the intricate interconnections among various terrorist cells, and puts recent terrorist attacks in a historical context. The reader will find this useful in understanding the roots of Islamic extremism that has erupted periodically over the ages.
Such subjects as the September 2, 1898 defeat of the Mahdiist army at Omdurman, Sudan, that spoiled an Islamic Messiah's efforts to 'liberate' the Moslem world from Western 'corruption' and colonial control, and the more recent violent acts by the PLO in trying to counter the Israeli occupation of Palestine, including the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics by the Moslem Black September group, as well as the author's description of bin Laden in terms of the historical context, are most interesting. Incidentally, the author, a military historian, is objective in pointing out that the other two religions bred in the deserts of the "Holy Land," Judaism and Christianity, also have produced their share of extremism and terrorism. This book is worth reading. (John Waller)

[Editor Note: The author has arranged for AFIO Members to receive a 10% discount for orders placed directly with Prometheus at 1-800-421-0351, ext 214, as for Marcia Rogers]."

Id. Mr. Murphy's disavowal of any involvement with the intelligence community is even more intriguing when one considers that the book was reviewed prominently by a magazine prominently devoted to the group "former intelligence officers".Now I draw no conclusions whether Mr. Murphy is one of these or not, but why would his book be reviewed in such a magazine unless he was a member of this community, a community of former intelligence officers?It seems a strange place to have an academic book reviewed under other circumstances.No other book was reviewed in the issue under consideration.Only Murphy's book was reviewed.But don't take my word for it;examine the evidence for yourself and then you decide if Murphy is telling the truth, or if the facts speak more plainly for themselves.

In light of the clear evidence of the facts, I would kindly ask for an apology from Mr. Murphy, who clearly is somewhat wrong here.My review, to repeat, was POSITIVE of this book.Why Mr. Murphy seems to go to great lengths to deny his past work with the intelligence community, when simple computer searches amply reveal his connections, is curious.

Moreover, if Mr. Murphy has no special government experience, then why is his point of view in this book special???It would seem that the experience of writing for the CIA two intelligencereports would add, not subtract, to Mr. Murphy's qualifications as an author, as is amply noted in Prometheus Books' website.

Murphy should admit what he did and when he did it.End of story.His disavowals are silly and misleading, and unfair to me and others who have even cursorily looked at this.

--Arthur Kyriazis, book reviewer

3-0 out of 5 stars Sword of Islam Book Review
Sword of Islam Book Review

Sword of Islam covers the topic of Muslim extremism in the Arab world.By reading the title Sword of Islam, the reader automatically notices that the author John F. Murphy Jr. is focusing on the militant side of Islam.The author tends to develop most of his points in a chronological order starting with the birth of Islam and ending with the September, 11th attacks.The author's stance is one of neutrality, meaning that he states the facts and allows the reader to develop his or her own ideas or biases.
John F. Murphy Jr. structures this book in chronological order which one can attribute to his extensive background as a historian.Murphy is a military historian and the founder of a private research firm specializing in military history, guerilla warfare, and terrorism.Sword of Islam consists of 12 chapters which are divided up into three parts.
The first part consists of chapters 1-3 which gives a little bit of insight on post WWII events, but its main focus is on the rise of militant Islam and the underlying factors.The second part consists of chapters 4-6 which covers Arab nationalism and the Arabs resentment towards those not of Arab descent or belonging to the Islamic religion.The last part consists of chapters 7-12 which discusses the bitter relationship between the U.S. and the Arab world.
The major issue of this book is of course militant Islam, but by reading this one might learn what events caused the need for Arab nationalism, which led to the militant views.Murphy mentions the ninth surah of the Holy Quran which many Muslim extremists use today to verify their radical beliefs.He still argues that this verse which calls many of their followers to fight their enemies is not the primary reason for radical extremism.Murphy believes that it is a long series of events and conquests that caused the feelings of nationalism and militancy toward others.Especially the conquests of the Mongols, that rampaged through what is much of Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.Through these conquests he infers that the Islamic people began to have feelings of nationalism and began to follow the ideas of Genghis Khan, which was exterminating the enemy at all costs.
The second major issue is the past and current relationship between the Arab nations and the Western world.Which Murphy explains in detail, the past events and underlying factors that led to this conflict.Events such as the forming of the Israel state and the U.S. playing a role in the Gulf War are just a few events Murphy brings up.
Sword of Islam is a very hard book for the reader to "dive" into. Even though the content is not bad the book is filled with too many dates and insignificant, long, drawn out explanations of battles, that would not have hurt if he left them out.I do find it commendable that Murphy takes a neutral stance in writing this book, even though there were many anti-Arab feelings and propaganda during the time this book was written.All in all this is a very good book filled with a lot of information about the history of the militant side of Islam or it can be a good book if you want to relive a boring history class.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting thoughts, less than perfect delivery
I must agree that there are several tangents and inconsistencies within the book.It does, however, raise some interesting intellectual theories on the origins of radical Islamic extremism.I would not use it as a primer to terrorism in the Middle East by any stretch of the word.

1-0 out of 5 stars Needs a lot of help
Poorly researched, poorly written, full of inconsistencies and factual errors. Omissions and commissions are rampant. This is a scary state of affairs. If this was the source for the government evaluation of any historical/political conditions, hopefully it was not the only source. The author managed to confuse historical events and geographical facts in addition to his dismal attempts to use one thread to connect Nazis in South America with Bin Laden. He can not get a handle on what was in 1948, a United Nation's declaration of the partition, "Ashura" which was indicated at the time for accent of Mohammed to havens and Ali's death up to a conflicting dates for the death of king Hussein of Jordan. In addition, the book suffers from a marked lack of proper editing, many incorrect spellings (not due to translation)of Arabic words, and a mix-up that makes the reader think that there was more than one author, who did not use the same references. The only bright spot in Murphy's 367 pages is the last 10 pages, which spell out a futuristic flexible vision that is lacking throughout the whole book and Appendix II (which is co-authored by R. Don Green).

Examples of the deficiencies in this book: many contradictory ideas in addressing one topic. There is also a lot of repetition and cutting and pasting. The excuse of poor translation and the use of a quotation from "Lawrence of Arabia" is a poor excuse for improper editing or revising of the text. This excuse still does not explain incorrect dates, and geographical mix up. Specific examples for the help needed:a. deficiencies in the translation/accurate editing: say "Tanzim" not "Tamzin". Do not add Al (The) to a noun (Fatah, Hizbollah, Mecca, Quarrish) it is like saying The New York. "Hawatmeh" and not "Hawatmen" p167. Mujahideen and not "Muhahideen al-Khalq" p158. Say Intifada neither "Infitidas" of Yassir Arafat nor "intifida"
b. examples of historical mistakes: Prophet Mohammed did not ascend to heavens on "Ashura" (the tenth day of the first lunar month). Ashura is not the occasion of the death of Ali p165. "before his tragic death in 2000, King Hussein of Jordan.." p198. In Jordan, the death of King Hussein on February 7, 1999 brought crown prince..." p199. "The 1948 united Nations decision which set up the state of Israel also established the kingdom of Transjordan, now Jordan (Transjordan was established in 1920s). "Any chemist can cook anthrax" p 217.
A selected quotation:
"While the war of religion tore apart West Europe, and the Christian European which craze caused the deaths of unknown thousands... In a very real way, the Ottoman Empire represented a version of tolerant society that the West would not recognize until the Enlightenment of the 18th century and which today is endangered in the countries of the Arab World." p80 ... Read more

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