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21. Answering Islam: The Crescent
22. Nomad: From Islam to America:
23. What's Right with Islam: A New
24. No god but God: The Origins, Evolution,
25. Journey into America: The Challenge
26. Islam: Religion, History, and
27. Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims
28. Islam and Barack Hussein Obama:
29. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical
30. Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam
31. Islam: The Religion and the People
32. While Europe Slept: How Radical
33. Vision of Islam (Visions of Reality.
34. The Oxford History of Islam
35. A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding
36. The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values
37. Introduction to Islam (4th Edition)
38. Unholy War: Terror in the Name
39. Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics
40. Encountering the World of Islam

21. Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross
by Abdul Saleeb, Norman L. Geisler
Paperback: 368 Pages (2002-08-01)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$7.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0801064309
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
What are the fundamental beliefs of Islam and how can Christians respond to them?Answering Islam evaluates the claims of orthodox Islam and examines the evidence for the Christian counterclaim, preparing you with strong apologetic answers. This revised edition contains more resources and updated information throughout. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (93)

5-0 out of 5 stars Geisler Writes Another Winner
This qualifies as a good introduction to Islam which presents the historical and doctrinal essentials not to mention quite a few useful facts most introductions skip over. Highly recommended reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very informative
I bought this book when a friend of mine started really getting into Islam. Night after night we'd get into debates and I quickly realized I really had no idea what I was talking about. It's stupid for a Christian to stay ignorant about the Islamic beliefs in this day and age so I bought this book and loved every moment of reading it. The book is in itself very interesting and I totally enjoyed the way they went about explaining Islam to the reader. Beginning by just giving an opinion-less explanation of the Islamic religion and beliefs then doing the same for the Christian. Then they are evaluated on terms of morals,contradictions, and even science. When I put the book down i didn't just have a better understanding of Islam but also of Christianity.

Even if you don't expect to find yourself in a religious debate I recommend anyone, Christian or not, to read this very well written book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Geisler is clear, concise and to the point, as usual.
Since I don't want to repeat the excellent points made in other reviews just let me say I had the book for a year before I read it. I thought it might be dry or boring. It was the opposite.

Geisler is clear, concise and to the point, as usual.

The first third of the book gives an overview of Islam from an Islamic perspective, the second third critiques the basic beliefs of Islam explained in the first third; and the last third Christian counterclaims are examined.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Christian critque of Islam
Norm has done it again. An extremely fair assessment of Islam. Quotes Quran, Hadith, and many reputable Muslim theologians to convey Islamic teaching before refuting it. Very good book for any Christian.

5-0 out of 5 stars My online name is Akilah but I am Christian
I highly recommend to you the 2nd edition this book (even though I possess the first edition printed in 1993). I have read the 1993 edition through many times; I have highlighted it and dog-eared it and passed it on to others as well (always with the understanding that I MUST get my copy back). I will purchase this new edition to take advantage of the new section on African Americans in Islam.

Pros: If you are a Christian, this book will provide for you a general overview (as admitted by many reviewers here) of the doctrines of the Islam FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE. A clearer understanding will be gained as to why a Muslim might state to you, for example, that Bible Scriptures referring to Jesus such as Deuteronomy 18:15 (The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear ... ) and the gift of the Holy Spirit such as John 14:16 (And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever ... ) actually refer to the Prophet Muhammad. Also, one will be provided an inital biography of Prophet Muhammad as well as the doctrine and characteristics of the Qur'an. As Christians, we should be aware that Muhammad's place in Islam is radically different than the place of Jesus in Christianity and the Qur'an is not equivalent to the Bible as some might contend. Also, the authors provide detailed explanations of the doctrines of Christianity. Many Christians do not understand and are unable to explain the basic doctrines of our own faith and this book would be valuable if it only included the sections on Christian beliefs. If you are a Muslim or a seeker drawn to Islam, this book will provide a general overview of the Christian faith and its objections to Islamic belief FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE. If I were Muslim, rather than blasting the book, I would be glad to be informed of Christianity's counter-viewpoints so I could answer challeges to my faith intelligently.

Cons: The book will not be an quick and easy read ... Norman Geisler is a respected Christian theologian and the book is academic in presentation. To completely master the text, I went back over the book several times over several years with a highlighter, a Bible and a Qur'an like a college student. However, if you are Muslim or favorably drawn to Islam, I can understand why one would discount ANSWERING ISLAM since the book's objective is counter Islam and reaffirm Christianity FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE. The book does not falsely advertise itself and its authors clearly and plainly state they are writing FROM A CHRISTIAN (NOT MUSLIM) PERSPECTIVE.

Conclusion: The book ANSWERING ISLAM is well cited, clearly footnoted and indexed with hundreds of comparative writings from both Muslim and Christian scholars for further study. One is able to go directly to a copy of Qur'an (admittedly, most readers must use an English translitertion as I did) and compare the Suras cited by the authors ... the Qur'an is not misquoted (and the Bible is not misquoted either). Therefore, I find it instructive so many of the negative reviews have been made by Muslims or persons defending the Muslim faith. There are countless books in the Islamic pantheon which offer counter-agruments to Christianity, beginning with the Qur'an itself ... for example, the Bible states Jesus was crucified and the Qur'an states Jesus was not crucified. The two texts and the two religions do not agree on Jesus and many other doctrines. Despite what has been said by many posters here, I do not see how this book is any more biased against Islam than any book with the objective of refuting Christianity FROM THE MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE such as "The Qur'an, the Bible, and Science" by Maurice Bucaille. Many negative reviewers have recommneded books by Muslim writers that disagree with Christianity while trashing this book by Christian writers that disagree with Islam. This is not consistent. The many negative reviewers (perhaps if they were more forthcoming) should admit that their objections due to their theological stance and not on whether the book was "good" or not. I am interpreting the many Islam-based negative reviews as some evidence that this book must be striking too close to home. This book is solid.

P.S. Since I also own the CD-ROM which mirrors the web site www.answering-islam.org, I can attest that the web site is not connected to this book and these authors and contains totally different information. ... Read more

22. Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations
by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2010-05-18)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$4.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439157316
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"This woman is a major hero of our time." —Richard Dawkins

Ayaan Hirsi Ali captured the world’s attention with Infidel, her compelling coming-of-age memoir, which spent thirty-one weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Now, in Nomad, Hirsi Ali tells of coming to America to build a new life, an ocean away from the death threats made to her by European Islamists, the strife she witnessed, and the inner conflict she suffered. It is the story of her physical journey to freedom and, more crucially, her emotional journey to freedom—her transition from a tribal mind-set that restricts women’s every thought and action to a life as a free and equal citizen in an open society. Through stories of the challenges she has faced, she shows the difficulty of reconciling the contradictions of Islam with Western values.

In these pages Hirsi Ali recounts the many turns her life took after she broke with her family, and how she struggled to throw off restrictive superstitions and misconceptions that initially hobbled her ability to assimilate into Western society. She writes movingly of her reconciliation, on his deathbed, with her devout father, who had disowned her when she renounced Islam after 9/11, as well as with her mother and cousins in Somalia and in Europe.

Nomad is a portrait of a family torn apart by the clash of civilizations. But it is also a touching, uplifting, and often funny account of one woman’s discovery of today’s America. While Hirsi Ali loves much of what she encounters, she fears we are repeating the European mistake of underestimating radical Islam. She calls on key institutions of the West—including universities, the feminist movement, and the Christian churches—to enact specific, innovative remedies that would help other Muslim immigrants to overcome the challenges she has experienced and to resist the fatal allure of fundamentalism and terrorism.

This is Hirsi Ali’s intellectual coming-of-age, a memoir that conveys her philosophy as well as her experiences, and that also conveys an urgent message and mission—to inform the West of the extent of the threat from Islam, both from outside and from within our open societies. A celebration of free speech and democracy, Nomad is an important contribution to the history of ideas, but above all a rousing call to action. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (69)

5-0 out of 5 stars MUST READ
This is a sequel to Hirsi Ali's first book, Infidel.Both are well worth reading but Infidel should be read first as it traces her intellectual and spiritual development from childhood to young adulthood - from her very strict upbringing by a fundamentalist Muslim mother and a mostly absent father, through her attempts during adolescence to fully accept and practice Islam, to her eventual repudiation of Islam and acceptance of the Western ideals of freedom, reason and tolerance.It was a life changing book for me as it opened a window into a society and home life I neither knew of nor could have imagined - so different from my own typical growing upin the United States - giving me a heightened appreciation of what "liberty and justice for all" which I recited by rote all through my school years, really means.

This book can stand alone, as it rehashes some of her early life but with a slightly different emphasis - we learn (painfully) much more of how her brother was damaged by the same fundamentalist child rearing methods as they were applied to males rather than females.Somehow Hirsi Ali survived and overcame her horrendous childhood while her bright and talented sister and brother did not.

The books goes on to tell of her experiences in the Netherlands where she sought asylum and was eventually elected to Parliament.As an outspoken critic of her government's misplaced tolerance of the the Muslim mistreatment of girls and women, she was threatened with a fatwa and eventually emigrated to the United States.A celebration of Western enlightenment values, Hirsi Ali's book is also a clarion call to her readers that these values are under attack from within and without by the Muslim world and we need to open our eyes to the danger in order to defend them.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nomad
An important book. It needs to be read by everyone in this country to help understand the threat we are under.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Abuse--Physical Abuse--and ISLAM revisited
Ayaan Hirsi is quite the famous lady, now in exile in the USA, after being born in Somalia, moving to Saudi Arabia, then the Sudan, Ethiopia, and finally Holland. AND, that's why she has given her newest biography the title NOMAD. After moving to Holland and claming falsely she required asylum for being a wanted woman in Somalia for her political views, she gained money, an education, Dutch citizenship, then was elected to the Dutch parliment. She helped Theo Van Gogh write his last film "Submission", which ended up getting him killed, and making Ayaan an overnight world celebrity. After the Dutch government found out she lied for asylum, her citizenship was renounced. Somewhere in there she wrote her famous book INFIDEL, which i have not read. I cant address the comments made elsewhere about this book, that it reads like INFIDEL revisited. In NOMAD, she spends a lot of time explaining her family, and why and how ISLAM and Somalian Culture has destroyed their lives. Ayaan Hirsi herself renounced ISLAM and all religion, in favor of the "western" Enlightenment philosophy. For her, being an atheist is the only modern, educated way to live. In her Weltanshauung, all cultures fall short of western culture, if they dont adopt this ideology. Much of the opening of the book she spends either vilifying her family, or painting them as martyrs to the Islamic culture, and Somali clan culture, they belong to.

In that first part, she explains about her father's warlord lifestyle, her family's constant moving, and her lack of roots. Her life is sad, as her brother became a street thug and drunk, her sister committed suicide, and her parents disowned her for her anti-Islamic stance. She got back together with her father as he laid dying, and kept in contact with her clan thru a cousin in Europe. She's a strong advocate for women's rights, especially in Islamic culture. (and personally, I cant fault her there.) However, when she talks about faith and religion in general, her renunciation of ISLAM has a lot of anger behind it. This is typical of victums of spiritual abuse. She equates faith with superstition, and lack of education, even if she mostly lets this fall into the lap of Islam. Global condemnation of all religions is typical of spiritual abuse victums. In the other parts of the book, she writes at great length about the situation for new immigrants with great insight, even humor. Examining the cycle of demand for luxury, the debt incured from borrowing to support luxury spending, and the endless payments due to the interest charges, are not a problem confined to third world immigrants. Thats a basic problem with western lending practices, with the USA being 7 trillion in debt ourselves from this behavior. Some of her insights are not as linked to african immigrants, as she thinks. For that matter, women around the world have been treated like 2nd class citizens since human culture began. Again, she bemoans this as an Islamic problem, but its a problem all women share.Her bitterness resulting from her upbringing as a submissive female in a male dominated Islamic culture, remains only a matter of degree. Nevertheless, she does bring up honor killings and child brides as part of the Islamic culture, altho her attention is devoted more toward gential mutation and forced marriage, since that was her experience.

The biggest problem someone from contemporary American culture will have with this book, is her attacks on Islam grate against the liberal, Politically Correct assumption that "ISLAM" means "Peace". (It actually means "Submission".)IT's amazing how people who've never studied the Koran, will automatically defend an Islamic person's intolerance for any critique of their culture, e.g. the "cartoon" protests a few years ago. However, a crusifix in a jar of urine displayed as art, shouldnt offend any christian, unless they hate freedom of expression. This book ought to have us asking if tolerance includes tolerating intolerance. Right now, our culture haw many problems in critising Islamic behavior, no doubt out of fear of further terrorist attacks. Freedom of speech demands courage. Ask the dead reporters, translaters, etc who bring us the truth about modern Islamic culture. If this book has one strong point to make, it's that we cant afford to hide behind this false stance of "religious equality", when Islam commands complete obedience to its tenants, with jews and christians marked as infidels worthy of death. While we try to justify our cowardness towards confrontation with the fatwa condemning Imans, we end up with terrorism masked as Holy Jihad. This is Ayaan's message in a nutshell. I dont see it as Anti-Islamic, as much as her plea for the western "enlightenment" worldview that permits scientific, modern examination of the Bible, to be permitted for the Koran. If the Koran were studied in the light of modern principles of equality and liberty, Ayaan argues that the injunctions against women in the Koran, or Jihad as anti-semetic, anti-christian persuit, might start to be scientifically examined, and abandoned. Using the inhumanity she saw in her family as her living example, and the pain she suffered thruout her life because of her culture's teachings, Ayaan wishes the Muslim mind could be opened. This hope is explored in the end of her book. There the lifestyles of 3rd world cultures is vividly painted, in the hopes that globalization, and investment of resources by the "wealthy west" might bring education, and with it a western mindset, into the parts of the world where female genitals mutilation, lack of education, and the Burka, enslave women to a degree just not known here.

Ayaan Hirsi's views are too easily dismissed, or worse, used by the far right and fundamentalist Christians, as reason to "nation build" Islamic country, especially those with resources like Iraq. Even tho I believe Ayaan wrote this book with good intentions, her constant derogitory remarks about Islam, and Sub-Saharan muslim culture made her a high price target. (She requires 24 hour a day bodyguards). An informed dialogue between Islam and its opponents if far overdue. A bit of tolerance for criticism on the part of Islam, might take this whole world Jihad movement down a notch. IF you are willing to read what Islam does to the average muslim woman outside the USA, then this would be the book to read. For that matter, if you want to know how Western Europe is dealing with the influx of sub Saharan Africans and middle eastern Muslims into their culture, then this is ALSO a good book to read. Our daily news headlines become more understandable, once we explore the complexity of these issues. We need to become self informed consumers of the news, including the news found in books like Ayaan's. If we become able to accept the lack of women's rights in third world or Muslim countries, then we have lost the hopes that Globalization holds...GLOBAL EQUALITY, GLOBAL LIBERTY, and GLOBAL SIBLING-HOOD for all people. My only real beef with this book, is that Ayaan Harsi holds too much hope in the idealism of 18th century philosophers to cure the culture of islamic countries, a philosophy she does so little to explain. Likewise, Ayaan might have done more to quote the Koran's injunctions against women. A subjective view of life comes with the territory of biography, tho its a small price to pay foran honest appraisal of the type of culture totally foreign to Americans. Informed discussions can only occur, when we allow ourselves to see both sides of an issue, without hiding behind left wing/ right wing propaganda. Reading Ayaan's work, and an unexpurged Koran, is as good a place to start as any.

5-0 out of 5 stars Do not miss this book!
An absolutely riveting book--I liked it so much I ordered "Infidel" before I finished it.Aryaan Hirsi Ali is a fasinating woman whose story grips the reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT
If I were able to give more than 5 stars I would. I've read other books by this author, not knowing anything about her or her views, and I came to admire her thinking, intelligence, and courage. She is a true human being who arrived at the fundamental ideas of what it is to be human naturally, via her own experiences, mistakes and critical thinking. She articulates beautifully with simplicity and clarity what many of us can not. I am thankful for her wisdom and her brave mind.
To me her revelations go way beyond the subject of Islam. Everyone who is curious, and therefore human, should read it and will read it with passion and interest. ... Read more

23. 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$6.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060750626
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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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

24. No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam
by Reza Aslan
Paperback: 310 Pages (2006-01-10)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$8.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812971892
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Though it is the fastest-growing religion in the world, Islam remains shrouded in ignorance and fear for much of the West. In No god but God, Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed scholar of religions, explains this faith in all its beauty and complexity. Beginning with a vivid account of the social and religious milieu in which the Prophet Muhammad forged his message, Aslan paints a portrait of the first Muslim community as a radical experiment in religious pluralism and social egalitarianism. He demonstrates how, after the Prophet’s death, his successors attempted to interpret his message for future generations–an overwhelming task that fractured the Muslim community into competing sects. Finally, Aslan examines how, in the shadow of European colonialism, Muslims developed conflicting strategies to reconcile traditional Islamic values with the realities of the modern world, thus launching what Aslan terms the Islamic Reformation. Timely and persuasive, No god but God is an elegantly written account of a magnificent yet misunderstood faith. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (127)

5-0 out of 5 stars History in a Very Interesting Presentation
For those of us who are not Muslim there are many mysteries about the faith. It is to be expected, given the age of Islam, that there are different branches with slightly different beliefs. If you are familiar with Christianity, the analogy of the hundreds of Protestant sects and Catholicism, can give a little insight into the diversity of beliefs in Islam. Most other great religions have also branched out a bit over time if you take a look at them in detail.

I know that you are saying " Religion is Borrrrrrring", but you really have to forget any prejudice you may have and read this.

This book is a scholarly look at Islam, but is far from being dry in content. It is very readable and has excitement, war and intrigue. Do you know what history says Mohammed was told by God and when he was told? Do you know about his early life and how he was orphaned? Do you know that in his early adult life Mohammed worked for his uncle supervising trade caravans from their home city of Mecca.

Much of what you have heard and you think you know is wrong. Yes, even if you are Muslim you will learn some things form this that this excellent researcher has gathered together.

Everyone should read this book to know what all the rave reviews have been about. You may not agree with all that Aslan presents, because there are always different interpretations to anything. If you are Shia or Sunni how much do you really know of the history of your own sect and the earliest split in your religion. No side is favored in Aslan's story of the historical documents and events and he seems to present a fair (to everyone involved) version of the past which only makes me want to read more.

Aslan's view of the future of Islam leaves the reader with a hopeful feeling of a world more united and more tolerant.

1-0 out of 5 stars a lie no matter how well spoken is still a lie
Among the many misconceptions this book paints, none more misleading than describing Medina under Muhammad as some kind of proto-democratic experiment instead of the militaristic dictatorship it really was (if we are going to base our analysis on the Islamic sources themselves).

A propaganda piece for the sharia proponents in the West.

Reza is still welcomed in Tehran, I wonder why...

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb work!
Reza Aslan has done what very few have been able to do before.He has made it possible for a common person to understand some of the intricacies of the great Islamic Civilization spanning a millenium and half.This is one of those books that I literally did not want to end.

If you want to understand the Islamic world in the context of the west, please read this book carefully.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting But Won't Bear Much Fruit
Aslan takes up an admirable task as he tries to form a "reasonable interpretation" of Islam.His version of Islam is modern and realistic, it is something that the world can live with and get along with-- and I can get along with and in the world. He recounts the history of Islam well and in an interesting way.This is not an academic book but it is well researched and written.It mixes his personal stories and experiences, with research and current events/concerns.

However, his book is really just preaching to the choir.It will sit well with open-minded non-Muslims, and western-minded Muslims as well.But it will not do much to settle the conflict between the 'West' and 'Islam.'The Muslims who have a problem with the the modern western world, the fundamentalists that give Islam a bad name and strike fear (or hatred) in the hearts of westerners, will not accept this book and its ideas at all.Aslan's project is to interpret Islam, which is something that the fundamentalists see as an effacement of the true religion and true word of God.Unfortunately, it is exactly this kind of 'manipulation' of Islam that those fundamentalists are against.

That being said, the book is worth reading because it does give a good introduction to the history of Islam and its current internal conflicts.It will help moderate Muslims and open-minded non-Muslims understand what Islam can be.But I doubt it will help ease the tensions in the world today.

3-0 out of 5 stars Democratic reform based on Islamic principles is the solution.
Democracy is the answer to Islam's problems. But it cannot be our kind of democracy. Most Muslims do not accept the Western notion that religion and the state should be entirely separate, that secularism must be the foundation of society. Islam is more than a religion; it is a civilization.Reza Aslan claims that Islam has had a long commitment to religious "pluralism".And democracy can be based on this "pluralism".It is difficult to visualize how this will actually work in the various Muslim countries and the author does not really flesh it out in detail.The author dedicates many pages outlining the "correct" interpretation of Islam and separating it from terrorism.But, of course, the fact remains that terrorists who consider themselves to be true Muslims get their inspiration from Islam, correctly interpreted or not. ... Read more

25. Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam
by Akbar Ahmed
Hardcover: 528 Pages (2010-06-15)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$14.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0815703872
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Nearly seven million Muslims live in the United States today, and their relations with non-Muslims are strained. Many Americans associate Islam with figures such as Osama bin Laden, and they worry about homegrown terrorists. To shed light on this increasingly important religious group and counter mutual distrust, renowned scholar Akbar Ahmed conducted the most comprehensive study to date of the American Muslim community. Journey into America explores and documents how Muslims are fitting into U.S. society, placing their experience within the larger context of American identity. This eye-opening book also offers a fresh and insightful perspective on American history and society.

Following up on his critically acclaimed Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization (Brookings, 2007), Ahmed and his team of young researchers traveled for a year through more than seventy-five cities across the United States from New York City to Salt Lake City; from Las Vegas to Miami; from the large Muslim enclave in Dearborn, Michigan, to small, predominantly white towns like Arab, Alabama. They visited homes, schools, and over one hundred mosques to discover what Muslims are thinking and how they are living every day in America.

In this unprecedented exploration of American Muslim communities, Ahmed asked challenging questions: Can we expect an increase in homegrown terrorism? How do American Muslims of Arab descent differ from those of other origins (for example, Somalia or South Asia)? Why are so many white women converting to Islam? How can a Muslim become accepted fully as an American , and what does that mean? He also delves into the potentially sticky area of relations with other religions. For example, is there truly a deep divide between Muslims and Jews in America? And how well do Muslims get along with other religious groups, such as Mormons in Utah?

Journey into America is equal parts anthropological research, listening tour, and travelogue. Whereas Ahmed's previous book took the reader into homes, schools, and mosques in the Muslim world, his new quest takes us into the heart of America and its Muslim communities. It is absolutely essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of America today.

Advanced praise for Journey into America

A brilliant follow-up to Journey into Islam. Ahmed s insights should be required reading for anyone grappling with national security, national identity, and national cohesion in today s complex era.
&#151Colonel David Kilcullen, author of The Accidental Guerrilla

An absolutely riveting journey into an America most Americans have no idea about. As the U.S. faces up to the tensions within its own Muslim communities, it could not be more timely.
&#151Christina Lamb, Sunday Times Washington Bureau Chief

My friend Professor Ahmed came to America in the great tradition of Alexis de Tocqueville: a perceptive foreigner affectionately looking at America and American identity. This important new book advances his heroic, even dangerous, five minutes to midnight effort to save us from our foolish mutual animosities. Pray his efforts are not too late.
&#151Tony Blankley, Washington Times and Heritage Foundation

"A timely and stimulating contribution to a critically important issue: the West's (and especially America's) relationship to Islam."
&#151Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser

What a wonderful, wonderful work! This book presents great insight into the diversity and vibrancy of American Islam and its potential to help achieve the American promise.
&#151Eboo Patel, Founder and Executive Director of Interfaith Youth Core ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars An intriguing look at Islam in America
America has no national language, no national religion, and was built on equality in the eyes of the law. Then why do so many citizens find themselves outcasts? "Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam" is a memoir and social issues discussion from Akbar Ahmed as he hopes to reflect on his own experiences and comes to American readers with the affirmation that American Muslims exist and are not the enemy of the American people. He also tackles issues of the challenges of being accepted as American, the divide of Jews and Muslims in America, and white people converting to Islam. "Journey into America" is an intriguing look at Islam in America, and is a fine read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very Disapointing
In characterizing the American behaviors, I finding the author's classifications no different than what you find in any society. The author attempts to explain some American behavior by interviewing the members of the Klu Klux Klan, a criminal terrorist group that no more explains American psyche than interviewing Al-Qaeda to understand the behaviors of the common citizen in Saudi Arabia. The author's "research" is biased, and conclusions are poorly substantiated. The author also fails to consider other more obvious reasons for explaining American behavior towards people of the Muslim faith or Arab ethnicity in the aftermath of the 911 terrorist attack. Unfortunately, my reaction is that this hate-mongering book that is an attempt to further divide two cultures which share a common belief in the goodness of God and mutual respect for others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Journey Into America
Akbar Ahmen's Journey Into America is an excellent resource for understanding individual Muslim perspectives on living in America.Beginning with a questionnaire developed with his students at American University, a team (including Muslim and non-Muslims) visited many different Muslim communities and spoke with a large number of individual Muslims in the US.Beginning with the question:"What does the Mayflower event mean for you?", the team explored three responses to the American experience:the primordial, the pluralist, and the predator.An interesting analysis of those follows.The team also explored three attitudes of Muslims and their responses as Modernists, Literalists, and Mystics and Others, and these labels are explored related to the respondent's integration into American society.
The variety of Muslim communities is both very interesting and disturbing.While most communities and individuals do seek integration into American society, there is a sizeable group that feels alienated by American culture and likely will never fully integrate.Clearly Muslims know they are a minority in this culture--as do Jewish Americans--and that poses a challenge for any minority, beginning with America's earliest history.The discussion of African American Muslimes, and how they date back to our earliest history, including Muslims among slaves brought from Africa, and how today most African American Muslims would identify as Sunnis, is revealing.
The discussion of interaction among native born Muslims (mostly African Americans) and immigrants is also significant in its implications.
As one who is non-Muslim, but who works with a number of Muslims in our Portland community, the book has expanded my understanding and appreciation of distinctions among the American Muslim community, both in terms of the questions of Muslim integration into American society and in a myriad of interpretations of the borader world-wide Islamic religion itself.
I highly recommend the book.
Don Riggs
Portland, Oregon

3-0 out of 5 stars A mix of insights and misperceptions
I look upon this book as a missed opportunity.The premise is great...an exploration of America's Muslim community.Given the fact that I don't know a great deal about American Muslims, I snapped up a copy of "Journey into America."

But reading it, I began to realize that for every insight and for every time the author conceded that American Muslims might be bringing some of their community's problems on their own heads, there were unfounded and unfair statements made about non-Muslims.

For example, the author buys into the argument that the war in Iraq caused a million deaths...despite the fact that the Iraq Body Count, which is a left-wing anti-war group attacked that estimate (done in a Lancet article) as wildly overstated.

Then there's the author's perception that the Holy Land Foundation, which was a major HAMAS fundraising arm in the US, was just being picked on by Islamophobes in the US Government.I'm sorry but there was abundant evidence that that group was dirty and giving money to a terrorist organization for "peaceful" purposes is a ludicrous claim (since money is fungible and frees up other money for violent action).

The thing that really bothers me and this is not so much a criticism of the book's merits as it is of the attitude of a lot of people the author interviewed is that Muslims in the US are special victims of persecution.I wondered about that:so I looked at the most recent statistics from the Department of Justice about hate crimes and I found that while Muslims are disproportionately victims of such acts, they are far and away not the principal victims...Jews are.And most hate crimes in the US are racially motivated and against blacks.

I also think that some other attitudes both the author expresses in his book are rather troubling to say the least.He decries the fact that some Christian evangelist wanted to send missionaries to Iraq after the 2003 invasion to convert Iraqi Muslims to Christianity.Given the fact American Muslims can freely evangelize for their own faith in America, arguing that it's wrong for American Christians to do the same in Muslim lands is pretty galling.

Finally, I just don't think that the author and a lot of the people he talks to give the United States enough credit for the enormous tolerance it showed in the aftermath of September 11.Were there a smattering of hate crimes and discrimination directed against American Muslims in the wake of that horrific crime?Definitely.But consider what happened in another democracy to a Muslim minority after a much smaller incident.I'm talking about India in 2002.In a place called Gujarat, some Muslim extremists confronted some Hindu extremists on a train.Somehow, a fire got started on the train and dozens of Hindus died.In direct retaliation, Hindu fanatics went on a rampage, aided and abetted by the local government and as the Wikipedia page about the incident recounts:

"[There were] retaliatory massacres against Muslims on a large scale, in which 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed. 223 more people were reported missing. 523 places of worship were damaged: 298 dargahs, 205 mosques, 17 temples, and 3 churches. Muslim-owned businesses suffered the bulk of the damage. 61,000 Muslims and 10,000 Hindus fled their homes."

When you compare the problems that Muslim Americans suffered in the wake of September 11 with a horror movie like that described above, it's very hard to listen to people talking about rampant intolerance and hatred toward Muslims in America.They just don't know how bad things can get in some places and how those places are not in the United States.

I'm not saying that Muslims should be glad that they were not slaughtered on a large scale in the US after 9/11.I am saying that they ought to consider what happened in a place like India and keep their problems in the proper perspective.And they also ought to ask themselves what would be the fate of non-Muslims in Islamic countries if a group of Christian or Jewish fanatics did something like 9-11 (maybe flying a hijacked jetliner into the Kaaba Stone in Mecca at the height of the Hajj).

So I'd recommend that anyone who is interested in this topic get this book out from the library and read it, but when you read a claim that is jaw-dropping, do some of your own research to see if it's fair.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow.
This has got to be one of the meatiest research books I have ever read! I'm not a big American history buff, but I learned way more about American identity than I expected. Yes, this book is about Muslims but it is also about other faith traditions and identity constructions in American society. You will not be disappointed! ... Read more

26. Islam: Religion, History, and Civilization
by Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Paperback: 224 Pages (2003-01-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$7.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060507144
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

The world's leading Islamicist offers a concise introduction to this rich and diverse tradition of 1.2 billion adherents.

In this informative and clear introduction to the world of Islam, Seyyed Hossein Nasr explores the following topics in depth:

  • What Is Islam?
  • The Doctrines and Beliefs of Islam
  • Islamic Practices and Institutions
  • The History of Islam
  • Schools of Islamic Thought
  • Islam in the Contemporary World
  • Islam and Other Religions
  • The Spiritual and Religions Significance of Islam
  • ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction to Islam
    Islam: Religion, History and Civilization (2002) is an excellent, up-to-date, easy to read and comprehend overall introduction to the complex subject that is Islam.Hats off to Seyyed Hossein Nasr for writing an easy introduction for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.This is the sort of level-headed prose that goes leaps and bounds in helping us all understand a subject that is so much in the world news these days.Some examples of topics covered in the book include:What is Islam?, Doctrines and Beliefs of Islam, Islamic Practices and Institutions, History of Islam, Islam and Other Religions, and Spiritual & Religious Significance of Islam.

    2-0 out of 5 stars slanted towards the Muslim view.
    The book was helpful for me to gain an understanding of the Muslim point of view. However it definetly was biased in its view without any recognition of the wrongs that Islam has inflicted on society for the last 1400 years.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Islam and its Contrasting Contribution to Humanity
    Seyyed Hossein Nasr concisely describes the rich diversity of the Islamic faith in the world.Nasr explains in plain English how the different Islamic communities came to life, spread and evolved over time (pg. 18 - 24).Nasr's journey through Islamic history usually shines through both its brevity and clarity (pg. 115-152).

    Unlike Bernard Lewis in his superb book "What Went Wrong? The Clash between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East (pg. 96-116)," Nasr does not always explain clearly to his (non-Islamic) readers why Islam, unlike Christianity, has not experienced the need to separate the spiritual from the temporal (pg. 26-28, 110-113, 173-177).Nasr rightly reminds his readers of the unique contribution that Islamic science made to the development of Western science (pg. XXI - XXII, 121, 126).Regularly, this immensely important contribution of Islamic scientists through their own observations, experiments and ideas, is ignored.For example, in his otherwise excellent book, "The Essential Drucker," Peter F. Drucker mentions the contribution of China, but not that of Islam, to the development of the West's technological lead by the end of the Middle Age (pg. 338).Unlike China, Islam at its apex created a world civilization: poly-ethnic, multiracial and intercontinental as Lewis states (pg. 6).

    Nasr does a good job at illustrating the rich interdependence that exists among the Qur'an, the art of calligraphy and architecture (pg. XIX, 40, 121 and 126).Nasr clearly explains which relationship the Prophet had with Allah and his human nature and how the Qur'an came to life through Divine guidance given to its Messenger (pg. 37-43, 62-64).Nasr goes on in showing how the Hadiths and their codification happened over time and which role the Shariah fulfills in an Islamic society (pg. 54-58, 75-80).Nasr also expands on the Schools of Islamic Thought and their history (pg. pg. 153-172).

    Nasr rightly reminds his audience that the Qur'an has codified from the beginning a number of women's rights that were unheard of for a long time in the West, a point that is often conveniently forgotten (pg. 67-70).The further emancipation of women in the Islamic world, unfortunately, is not perceived as modernization but as westernization that amounts to a betrayal of true Islamic values in some Islamic quarters.Unlike Lewis in his book mentioned above (pg. 101-102), Nasr apparently does want to acknowledge that the Holy Law of God, promulgated by revelation, has evolved in practice under the guise of tradition and reasoning (pg. 80).Muslim rulers have added or subtracted rules over time.

    Nasr also illustrates the six pillars of the Islamic faith: Declaration of faith and acknowledgement of Muhammed, the Messenger of God, praying, fasting, pilgrimage, almsgiving as well as the widely misunderstood and abused jihad in the Islamic societies (pg. 3, 91-110).Nasr's overview of Islam is ultimately an invitation to better know one of the major faiths whose influence is still far-reaching.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Historical Perspective of Islam
    This book turned out to be exactly what I was looking for, a historical book on Islam.The author is an Islamic scholar, and his credentials impress me a little more than Karen Armstrong, though I hold no grudge against her.I wanted to get an inside, learned perspective on the religion itself, without the preaching, and that's exactly what this book offers.I highly recommend it.

    The negative review from "AtheistWorld.Com Book Review" is actually posted by Solomon Tulbure, as you will find by doing a simple Yahoo! search.That is truly sad.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just a taste of Nasr's insight....
    Seyyed Hosseein Nasr is the most profound and eloquent spokesman of Islamic thought in the United States today. This book is a mere introduction into the ocean of his thought. The other reviewer is simply trying to peddle his own book.The George Washington University, where Dr. Nasr is a professor, organized a conference in 2001 honoring his unparalled contributions to Islamic studies.Check out the site, ....., if you would like to have a sense of the depth and breadth of Nasr's thought. ... Read more

    27. 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$15.81
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0979267102
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    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

    28. Islam and Barack Hussein Obama: A Handbook on Islam
    by Dr. Stephen M. Kirby
    Paperback: 68 Pages (2010-07-20)
    list price: US$8.75 -- used & new: US$8.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1453682635
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    Is violent extremism irreconcilable with Islam?How well are women really treated under Islam?Would it be an example of taqiyya if a Muslim denied the accuracy of Sahih Hadiths or of the information found in the Sira?When you have finished reading this handbook, you will have answers to these questions and others, and you will know more about Islam than do most Americans.You will also know where in Islamic sources to direct those who might be skeptical about what you have learned.There are two sections to this handbook.The majority of this handbook is dedicated to comparing the reality of Islam with many of the statements about Islam made by President Barack Obama in his June 4, 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt.You will find the differences between the reality and President Obama's statements to be startling.The second, smaller section of this handbook looks at the shooting of two United States Army privates by a Muslim convert on June 1, 2009 in Little Rock, Arkansas.The ensuing two day silence and then the nature of the subsequent response from President Barack Obama, their Commander-in-Chief, are cause for questions and concern, especially when contrasted with how Obama responded to other deaths during that time period.And why would the natural death of an allegedly corrupt ruler of a small African nation receive more presidential attention than the murder and severe wounding of United States military personnel, on American soil, by a Muslim convert? ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars All Political Parties Read
    This phamplet spells out very clearly the problems we have with our President. All political parties should set aside their differences and read this with an open mind. It is not a Democrat, Republican, or whatever issue, it is about America as we know it to be. Obama has an agenda that rebukes most everything we hold dear. As to the question of his citizenship, I see little being mentioned about the citizenship status of his father. As I understand ancient law and the constitution, not only does the candidate have to meet certain requirements, so does his(or hers) parents--they too must be citizens of the U.S; and his father was not. If all is well, it would have been so easy for Obama to bring forth all of necessary documents and put the matter to rest. His refusal is a serious problem and reflects extremely poor judgement (or planning), either of which may just result in his impeachment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars E-mails received by the author
    From e-mails received by the author:

    "The references in the book are given with detailed documentation. There is nothing said or used in the book that cannot be checked. Stephen uses no conjecture, but exposes only the facts. Further he draws no conclusions, but allows the reader to do that on his/her own.Whether you are a supporter of the President, don't like him, or you are apolitical, I highly recommend this read...good honest research."

    "I read your book this weekend.Well done.Very informative and interesting...I'd never experienced any contact w/ a `religious' person who's faith condones lying and deception.Although political/government representatives of Islamic countries often say things that are obviously not true, I didn't expect it from their `faith' leaders."

    "I am knocked out by your book.I had no idea . . . .I now see that I was only familiar with those quotations out of context.Contextualizing them makes it even worse...It is an education for me."

    5-0 out of 5 stars A timely warning for America
    There is a dark cloud gathering over the free world. It's name is Islam. Most Americans have seen the horrors of jihad and "radical" Muslims on daily television, but few actually understand how the so-called "religion of peace" can be so violent. As with anything, we must first know the well-spring whence comes forth the water. Islam is unlike any Western form of religion / government: The two are one under Islam and Sharia law.

    Doctor Kirby has written an easy to read history and explanation of Islam and has given other insights that the 'average' American will find enlightening. Of greater importance, this booklet illustrates a very direct line between President Obama and the Muslim world. In his book, "Audacity of Hope" Mr. Obama is quoted as saying,"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." Dr. Kirby's booklet may bring this statement in to sharper focus.

    This booklet, though only 45 pages, contains a treasure trove of information for those who wish to understand the differences between Islam and the rest of the world. ... Read more

    29. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate
    by Leila Ahmed Ph.D
    Paperback: 304 Pages (1993-07-28)
    list price: US$23.00 -- used & new: US$12.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0300055838
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    This book presents an historical overview of women and gender in Islam. It is written from a feminist perspective, using the analytic tools of contemporary gender studies. The results of its investigations cast new light on the issues covered. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (10)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Women in the Middle East
    I was disappointed by this book because it is mistitled. The writer deals exclusively with gender experiences in the Middle East and seems to forget that most Muslim women are not Arabs. I expected more (Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Africa, the Balkans,......). The book is methodologically unsound for that reason, in my opinion. It reflects a certain personal bias (possibly a sort of pan-Arabism, she thinks non-Arabs are not really Muslims, even if they have been so for centuries?). In the light of her selective observation and distortion of reality in that respect, I can't be bothered commenting on the "big, male conspiracy" theory that she outlines...

    3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent scholarship, but ultimately too narrow in scope
    Leila Ahmed's study of women in Islam initially impressed me tremendously.The opening chapters discuss women in the Near East prior to Islam, pointing out that many of the institutions that are associated with Islam (the veil, the harem and concubines, for example) pre-date Islam by thousands of years.Similarly, the cultural subordination and objectification of women in the Near East also predates the birth of Islam by hundreds of years.In fact, Ahmed shows, jahaliyya (pre-Islamic) Arabia was remarkably egalitarian in terms of gender roles. Her scholarship in this regard is top-notch, and was a real eye-opener for me.

    Ahmed goes on to show how, as Islam spread beyond the Arabian peninsula, there was a gradual acculturation that placed women in increasingly subordinate positions - causing conflict within the faith, due to its explicit admonitions that both genders are equal in the eyes of God.How this conflict played out and how the issue was eventually resolved were other strong points in the book.

    I was therefore disappointed by her close examination in the last chapters of the book of women in Egypt, at the expense of a broader study of women throughout the Islamic world.To be fair, Ahmed explains her decision, holding that Egypt (after the Mongol invasion) was less influenced by the Ottoman Turks, and that it was also among the first Islamic states to come into close economic and social contact with the west.I had rather hoped that she would address the broader issues around gender across Islam, though, given its title.

    Another disappointment was Ahmed's lengthy disucssion of the veiling of women in Islam.While the custom is certainly a symbol to Westerners of gender differences, I had hoped more attention was given other issues - such as equality before the law, differences in custom by region, and economic and educational opportunities for women in the Islamic world, rather than focusing so deeply and narrowly on this one topic.

    The book is a worthwhile read, particularly for its discussion of the roots of gender identity in the Muslim world.I was also impressed with the way in which Ahmed analyzed data and related it to the conclusions she made.However, I had hoped for a broader discussion of issues across a broader cross-section of the Islamic community.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
    Leila Ahmed's "Woman and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate" is an outstanding contribution to the field of Middle Eastern Women's Studies. Ahmed explores and effectively dissects the many intersections between women, gender, and Islam. Her book is readable and makes an excellent sourcebook for those who are interested in the historical foundations of women and Islam.

    Particular focus is placed on Egyptian women.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this
    By far the best scholarly and historical work amidst the increasing number of books on this topic.Particularly interesting is the discussion of how Muslim caliphs adopted the Persian custom of having huge imperial harems.Of course, this is one of the aspects of "Muslim" culture that really tantalized the early Orientalists, as discussed by Edward Said in his book on the subject.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good history book
    This is a good book for anyone to read who doesn't know much about Islam.The author gives several chapters of in-depth history of the rise of Islam.It is interesting to read--not dry and boring like a lot of other detailed history books. ... Read more

    30. Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam
    by H. E. E. Hayes
    Paperback: 26 Pages (2010-07-24)
    list price: US$8.85 -- used & new: US$8.84
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1153642468
    Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Muslims Saudi Arabia Biography; Muslims; Biography ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (1)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Please do some research next time...
    "Gloomy Islam"? Really? I downloaded this expecting a historical account, not fictional garbage. Not even worth the one star... ... Read more

    31. Islam: The Religion and the People
    by Bernard Lewis, Buntzie Ellis Churchill
    Hardcover: 256 Pages (2008-08-29)
    list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$14.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0132230852
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Praise for Bernard Lewis


    "For newcomers to the subject[el]Bernard Lewis is the man."

    TIME Magazine


    “The doyen of Middle Eastern studies."

    The New York Times


    “No one writes about Muslim history with greater authority, or intelligence, or literary charm.”

    British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper


    “Bernard Lewis has no living rival in his field.”

    Al Ahram, Cairo (the most influential Arab world newspaper)


    "When it comes to Islamic studies, Bernard Lewis is the father of us all. With brilliance, integrity, and extraordinary mastery of languages and sources, he has led the way for[el]investigators seeking to understand the Muslim world."

    National Review


    "Bernard Lewis combines profound depth of scholarship with encyclopedic knowledge of the Middle East and, above all, readability."

    Daily Telegraph (London)


    "Lewis speaks with authority in prose marked by lucidity, elegance, wit and force."

    Newsday (New York)


    "Lewis' style is lucid, his approach, objective."

    Philadelphia Inquirer


    "Lewis writes with unsurpassed erudition and grace."

    Washington Times


    An objective, easy-to-read introduction to Islam by Bernard Lewis, one of the West’s leading experts on Islam


    For many people, Islam remains a mystery. Here Bernard Lewis and Buntzie Ellis Churchill examine Islam: what its adherents believe and how their religion has shaped them, their rich and diverse cultures, and their politics over more than 14 centuries. Considered one of the West’s leading experts on Islam, Lewis, with Churchill, has written an illuminating introduction for those who want to understand the faith and the global challenges it confronts and presents. Whatever your political, personal, or religious views, this book will help you understand Islam’s reality.


    Lewis and Churchill answer questions such as...


    • How does Islam differ from Judaism and Christianity?

    • What are the pillars of the Islamic faith?

    • What does Islam really say about peace and jihad?

    • How does the faith regard non-Muslims?

    • What are the differences between Sunni and Shi’a?

    • What does Islam teach about the position of women in society?

    • What does Islam say about free enterprise and profit?

    • What caused the rise of radical Islam?

    • What are the problems facing Muslims in the U.S. and Europe and what are the challenges posed by those minorities?



    ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (94)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Islam
    Lewis and Churchill's "Islam: The Religion and the People" is a good short introduction to Islam. It is an easy, clear, and well-written read that covers the basics and should be enough to satisfy those who want a fair understanding of the most recent of the three great monotheistic faiths.

    Islam, like any great religion, is complex in history, practice, and influence. Almost every paragraph in this book could therefore be expanded into at least a chapter. For those who know little or nothing about Islam but would like to know more, this is a good place to start.

    Some of the major topics covered include the pillars of faith--the basic tenets of Islam; the texts of Islam--the Quran (how it differs from the Bible); hadiths--sayings of the Prophet; Islamic law (Shari'a)and its various schools of thought; worship practices; tolerance of diversity both within Islam and outside of it; the sub-faiths of Islam: Sunni, Shi'a and their schools and sects, as well as Kariji and Sufi forms.

    Also discussed are the relation between government and religion; some history of the spread of Islam; the role of Islam in economic development in Islamic countries; dress codes; food and drink; human rights (including a chapter on women in Islam). With respect to that, the authors point out that many unfortunate practices (e.g., genital mutilation) that the West often associates with Islam have no basis in the religion itself, but represent holdovers from tribal practices.

    Other ideas of importance to the Western readers are: jihad, pilgrimage, prayer, and fasting. The final chapter is an overview of radical Islam, including the Iranian Revolution, Wahabbism, and Osama bin Laden. The point is made that most Muslims are not fundamentalists, and most fundamentalists are not terrorists. However, the authors also acknowledge that "the distinctions between Islam and fundamentalism, and be between fundamentalism and terrorism, are also obscured by the unwillingness of some Muslim communal leaders and religious dignitaries to condemn terrorist acts unequivocally" (p. 163). The concluding chapter expresses awareness of the threat of militant Islam and suggests a balanced approach based on knowledge and understanding.

    The book is enlivened in every chapter by "Islamic humor" sidebars containing amusing anecdotes and jokes from Islamic culture.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Ilustrative, concrete, easy to digest!
    Terrific book to understand the basic similarities between two worlds not so distant from each other.Easy to understand and follow. Great start for those who seek a feasible introduction to the world of Islam.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Kindle Corrupted text
    The kindle copy of this book is corrupt.Throughout the book there are corrupted pages of text. The kindle jumps ahead several locations skipping an unknown number of pages (See locs: (343-55 "Next Page" jumps to 355-61 then "Prev" corrupts text also 469-77 "Next Page" jumps to 477-83 then "Prev" corrupts text)).When you press the previous button often text will appear overlapping text (this does not happen on my other kindle books.)The sample of this book is also corrupt but I thought when I downloaded the full copy this would go a way.I was wrong.So I am very disappointed in the quality of infrastructure int the downloaded item.

    Over all the book appears to be well written. However, because of the quality issue I could not give it a good rating.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Most Authorative Book
    Barnard Lewis writes with meticulous detail, uncovering the true roots of Islan, the meaning of customs, their origins, and how Islam is growing progressively in our modern world.

    A great read by a great writer with out an agenda! If you want a book that is based on fact, rather an preaching, this is one of the best on the subject.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A valuable introduction to the topic
    The book made an enormous effort of covering all aspect of Islam in a sober way.If you don't know the topic I think it's a good start before consuming the scary parts in other books. Lewis is one of the most respected and scholarly experienced in Islam. ... Read more

    32. While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within
    by Bruce Bawer
    Paperback: 272 Pages (2007-09-11)
    list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767920058
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    The struggle for the soul of Europe today is every bit as dire and consequential as it was in the 1930s. Then, in Weimar, Germany, the center did not hold, and the light of civilization nearly went out. Today, the continent has entered yet another “Weimar moment.” Will Europeans rise to the challenge posed by radical Islam, or will they cave in once again to the extremists?

    As an American living in Europe since 1998, Bruce Bawer has seen this problem up close. Across the continent—in Amsterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and Stockholm—he encountered large, rapidly expanding Muslim enclaves in which women were oppressed and abused, homosexuals persecuted and killed, “infidels” threatened and vilified, Jews demonized and attacked, barbaric traditions (such as honor killing and forced marriage) widely practiced, and freedom of speech and religion firmly repudiated.

    The European political and media establishment turned a blind eye to all this, selling out women, Jews, gays, and democratic principles generally—even criminalizing free speech—in order to pacify the radical Islamists and preserve the illusion of multicultural harmony. The few heroic figures who dared to criticize Muslim extremists and speak up for true liberal values were systematically slandered as fascist bigots. Witnessing the disgraceful reaction of Europe’s elites to 9/11, to the terrorist attacks on Madrid, Beslan, and London, and to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Bawer concluded that Europe was heading inexorably down a path to cultural suicide.

    Europe's Muslim communities are powder kegs, brimming with an alienation born of the immigrants’ deep antagonism toward an infidel society that rejects them and compounded by misguided immigration policies that enforce their segregation and empower the extremists in their midst. The mounting crisis produced by these deeply perverse and irresponsible policies finally burst onto our television screens in October 2005, as Paris and other European cities erupted in flames.

    WHILE EUROPE SLEPT is the story of one American’s experience in Europe before and after 9/11, and of his many arguments with Europeans about the dangers of militant Islam and America’s role in combating it.This brave and invaluable book—with its riveting combination of eye-opening reportage and blunt, incisive analysis—is essential reading for anyone concerned about the fate of Europe and what it portends for the United States. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (248)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Very poor
    The idea of any religious extremist gaining serious political power is a frightening one to my mind, whether those extremists be Muslim or Christian. Whether that is ever likely to happen, or whether those who suggest it might are just unreasonable fear-mongers, is something I don't know. I should like to learn more, of course, and thereby reach my own conclusion one way or the other, but I am afraid that after getting a third of the way through this book, I decided it was not going to be a trustworthy and unbiased source and I put it down. I am not saying that I did so because I took a fundamental exception to Mr Bawer's conclusions, rather, the way the book is written makes me doubt the author's objectivity and reliability.

    In the first place, Mr Bawer makes it clear in the opening passages of the book that he is gay. Naturally, that fact hardly dis-entitles him to an opinion on the subject at hand, but his personal experiences with homophobia and his clear (not to mention quite rightful) disgust with the hardcore Islamic position on homosexuality are emphasized repeatedly from the beginning. Eventually, I could not help but begin to feel that his personal affront at Islamic anti-gay hatred (again, perfectly understandable), has unfortunately colored his ability to be objective. As I read on, this feeling was only compounded.

    The thesis of the work, encapsulated in the subtitle, is not at all well, or clearly developed. It is haphazard, very unfocused, and seems to leap from topic to topic without a clear common point. Structurally, it is very poor, but my real problem with the book the fact that the points that are introduced consist, in the main, of very little more than wild over-generalizations and unsupported, anecdotal'facts'. In one passage dealing with the evil of 'political correctness', Mr Bawer mentions that a Scandinavian person in the public eye was fined in Court for making racist comments and then he expresses the view that the comments were not racist at all. Why one wonders, does he not then actually quote the supposedly objectionable speech thus allowing the reader to draw his or her own conclusions? Were those words actually more capable of being construed as racist than the author would have us believe or (as I suspect) is he only repeating a vague story he has heard without bothering to look up the actual facts?

    I really don't have anything positive to say about the book. The more I read, the more I became convinced that this author has not done any proper research and has merely spouted his own half-formed opinions. It is a diatribe... more suited to the 'conspiracy theorists' than those looking to learn more about an important issue. I am sorry I wasted my money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Liberal Plea for Europe
    `While Europe Slept' is an important book in the growing genre of material that is attempting to warn the West of the dangers that the rise of Islam poses.Unlike many similar authors who attempt to plead this case from a conservative Christian perspective, Bruce Bawer makes a strong case for European liberalism and the necessity for people to wake up to the growing threat made against the freedoms it supports.

    Exposing the pernicious lie that those who criticise Islam are in someway `fascist' or `intolerant', Mr. Bawer--himself openly gay--makes the case that it is the steady growth of Islam in Europe that is now posed as the most reactionary force.Europe, once renowned for its open culture, is now experiencing a sharp rise in homophobic hate-crime, violence against Christians and Jews, forced marriages, honour killings, ghettoisiation, and blatant intimidation of those who dare to question the accuracy or ethical nature of the Islamic religion. However, the political mainstream has chosen to ignore this, attempting to gloss-over or legitimise these atrocities withempty platitudes on racism, cultural sensitivity or America, rather than accepting the reality of the archaic value system promoted by Islam.The usual nonsense about `radicals' making up a small percentage of the Islamic community is discredited with statistic after statistic showing that the vast majority of European Muslims do not share continental values on such issues as gay or woman rights, preferring to embrace--even if only `moderately'--the teachings of Sharia law.Hardly surprising as, to the best of public knowledge, no prominent Muslim has made any claim to the contrary, preferring simply to allow the multicultural Left to make their Public Relations case.

    While the focus is firmly on Europe, Mr. Bawer does devote sections of his book to Islam in an intercontinental level, especially looking at the role of the United States of America.At times Mr. Bawer does seem to be critical of Europeans in general--the vast majority of whom do not wish to see their continent transformed into an Islamic dominion--but, considering the poisonous atmosphere that has been created in Europe against America, one wonders if he is perhaps letting us off rather softly.

    Mr. Bawer makes it blatantly obvious that those on the political Left have sold out their liberal values, preferring to promote cultural relativism than moral goodness.For those who care about freedom and genuine respect for minorities--two causes that have required much struggle and suffering--it is evident that the only way to save Europe is to finally stop apologising for Western culture and begin to start affirming that our morals are something to be proud of, and certainly not something to lose without a fight.Reading this book will be a start.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Strongly Recommended If you wanna know about Europe today!
    It's a very truthful book Bruce Bawer has written. For me personally there was no new information, because I live in Denmark where we have a quite uncensored media. In other European contries the establishment practises more political correct sensorship upon the media I think, and have even written laws preventing people from expressing the truth. I must admit that I don't quite share Bruce Bawers belief in "The War Against Terror". For example after this so called "War Against Terror" had had it's victory in Iraq, the world witnessed a hitherto unprecedented flood of terror attacks in Iraq! No, the root of terror attacks in the West lies in the muslim immigrant population residing in the west (All Western terror attacks was carried out by Western muslim immigrants).

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good but thin on citations
    This is a good book that says a lot of things that need to be said, whether you agree with them or not.It is very pro American and sometimes I forgot that the book was about Islam in Europe and not about anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism or homophobia.But he ties it together and makes some very good points.

    The author is gay, Jewish and American.Understandably, he has a lot to be worried about with the rise of Islam in Europe, since he lives there.And his concerns are very legitimate and well stated.However, I was disappointed in this book because it was personal and informal.I was looking for something more academic, with statistics and quotes well cited, based almost solely on research and not much on personal experience.(He uses statistics but doesn't always cite them.)Because of this I walk away wanting to do some research of my own to double check his facts and quotations.

    `Europe Slept' is a book written with conviction and urgency.I recommend it but with the warning that it is more like editorial than it is journalistic or scholastic--a matter of style really.

    Kindle Edition Note: This book has linked endnotes that are well done.It also has a link after each note to take you back to the proper place in the text.Thought this is not the most that can be done with Kindle formatting, it is much better than other books I have read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Who deserves each other more than the Europeans and Arabs?
    I can't think of any other two groups.

    This book contained so much information and food for thought that it's hard to know where to even begin.

    1. It was very easy reading and not too long (237 pages of prose). The topic pulled me in from the beginning.

    2. If a gay Europhile could find out what is happening in Europe between the host populations and the Muslims (and connect the dots), could this book actually be an understatement of the magnitude of the issue?

    3. The author is very intelligent, fluent, and articulate and there were a lot of points that this book could have been used to make (for example, the role of academia as a Fifth Column in Western societies-- or about the general foolishness of academic ideas that spill out into part of the mainstream), but that he did not make nonetheless. He hinted at it when he talked about the mechanism by which European politicians are produced out of European academic institutions. I also found myself wondering about the direction of causality: Do academics have stupid ideas and they influence governments? Or do governments have stupid ideas that they support academia to propagate? In any case, this was not a philosophy text, and so those issues were not dealt with.

    4. The book was a marvel of memory and detail. These incidents described are things that must have been written down carefully over a number of years with careful attention paid to the newspaper headlines.

    5. I enjoyed the author's perceptive observation that a lot of the neo-hippie Westerners who went out of business when the Vietnam war was over found another rallying point in defense of the radical Muslims. Again, this topic was introduced briefly and not thrashed out.

    So.......if I live to see this play out, then I have been thoroughly convinced that the two parties discussed in this text richly deserve each other. ... Read more

    33. Vision of Islam (Visions of Reality. Understanding Religions)
    by Sachiko Murata, William Chittick
    Paperback: 352 Pages (1998-06-01)
    list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$15.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1557785163
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    Covering the four dimensions of Islam as outlined in the Hadith of Gabriel--practice, faith, spirituality, and the Islamic view of history--The Vision of Islam draws on the Koran, the sayings of the Prophet and the great authorities of the tradition. This clearly written book introduces the essentials of each dimension and then shows how each has been embodied in Islamic institutions throughout history. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (37)

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent
    I already had a cd series based on this book. I love the book and the quality of service I received from Amazon.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well written, comprehensive introduction
    Given all the other reviews here, I do not have much to add regarding the content. I will just say that although I have lived and worked in Muslim countries, this is the first comprehensive book I have read on the subject of Islam. Rather than just sketching the basic beliefs, as is done in many shorter works, this book goes deeper. It's also very sympathetic and almost exclusively an insider's view, "emic" rather than "etic" if you like those terms.

    If there is a bias, it is toward a presentation that is conciliatory to other religions. To overstate it a bit, this view says, "Although some less-informed or uneducated Muslims believe that Islam is the only way to salvation, there's plenty of room in the Koran to indicate to the enlightened that good, god-fearing, Christians, Jews, and even Hindus and others can also be saved." Someone who knows a lot more than I told me that the problem with this is that it ignores the issue of abrogation, the idea that gives precedence to later Koranic revelations than earlier ones, and that the later revelations tend to be less conciliatory.

    Another limitation is that the book describes "high" Islam rather than folk Islam as practiced by millions of ordinary people around the world. Also, although Shariah is described as one of the main elements of Islam, there is not even an overview of its important elements. All in all, the book is more concerned with the abstractions and theology of Islam than with what it means in practice to average Muslims in various contexts.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Do not hesitate to buy
    this is a wonderful philosophical introduction to Islam for non-Muslims and a reaffirming read for those already of the faith. The authors did a great job capturing the beauty of Islam and what it's about.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspired me to read an authentic Qur'an

    This book is, by far, on of the best clear and consise overviews that works to explain the main doctrines and spirituality of the Islamic faith.It also did so without bias.It is a thick book with plenty of explanation.It gave me an understanding of the belief and practices of Islam that are based on the scriptures of the faith.

    After I read this I went to a mosque to pick up a Quran.Now I know never to judge a religion based on the actions of a few followers.I reverted after studying the religion.It is clear that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance.Muslims share a brotherhood with Jews and Christians.

    I use Islam as a way to make my life better, positive and to affect the world in a positive way.Clearly, God is speaking, and the message is one of mercy, peace and humility.I feel like this book will help other people understand what Islam is really about.

    Hopefully, we Muslims can really walk the walk and talk the talk of the kindness, charity and respect for others that God commands through Islam.

    This book is very straight forward and the interested reader will have no problem with the format.Muslims should already know the content within this book, but if you are new to Islam and interested in exploring the faith, this book will surely challenge your pre-existing prejudices and lead you to an unbiased view of the scriptures.

    Thank God this book exists.If people will only read this book, I won't have to be afraid of being attacked by Islamophobic elements when walking down the street in my hijab!Perhaps if the USA leaders would read it then they would stop bombing Muslim civilians and committing genocide in the Middle East.

    I really wish people wouldn't draw false conclsuions of Islam because of what they see in the media.Then couldn't others draw false conclusions about Christianity if they judged it by what our Christian President Bush and the US military are doing?No one should be so simple minded as to blame a faith for the bad actions of *some* of its followers.

    Vision of Islam should be a requirement for every undergrad student in a comparative religions course.It is truely excellent!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good but Dense
    As a relatively well-read perennial student of the Middle East, I was genuinely excited when I ordered this book. A Muslim friend recommended it, and I usually enjoy his recommendations.

    This book is a wealth of knowledge. It is far deeper than an "introduction" to Islam, and though it claims it to be for those who know little of the religion, I would not recommend this book to those wanting a true introduction to the faith. This book is dry and dense, but knowledgeable. It explores more complicated theological issues than most have the patience for or interest in. I learned a great deal from the book, but instead of picking it up and digesting 30 pages without effort, it was a hard slog.

    I highly recommend this book for those who already have a good basis of the religion and are interested in a deeper understanding of Islam, not because the book is well written, far from it, but because I have yet to find a better introduction to more esoteric debates within the religion.

    Unfortunately, for readers who want just an introduction to a religion foreign to them, I cannot help you for I have not found anything worth recommending. If you can, however, read Karen Armstrong's book on the topic while picking through her obvious bias, I do recommend that. You have been warned, many of her "facts" are arguable and rest on interpretation - interpretation, no less, from the followers of the religion, who had quite a stake in making it seem a fact. ... Read more

    34. The Oxford History of Islam
    Hardcover: 768 Pages (2000-01-01)
    list price: US$65.00 -- used & new: US$35.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0195107993
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    Lavishly illustrated with over 300 pictures, including more than 200 in full color, The Oxford History of Islam offers the most wide-ranging and authoritative account available of the second largest--and fastest growing--religion in the world.John L. Esposito, Editor-in-Chief of the four-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, has gathered together sixteen leading scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to examine the origins and historical development of Islam--its faith, community, institutions, sciences, and arts. Beginning in the pre-Islamic Arab world, the chapters range from the story of Muhammad and his Companions, to the development of Islamic religion and culture and the empires that grew from it, to the influence that Islam has on today's world. The book covers a wide array of subjects, casting light on topics such as the historical encounter of Islam and Christianity, the role of Islam in the Mughal and Ottoman empires, the growth of Islam in Southeast Asia, China, and Africa, the political, economic, and religious challenges of European imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and Islamic communities in the modern Western world. In addition, the book offers excellent articles on Islamic religion, art and architecture, and sciences as well as bibliographies.Events in the contemporary world have led to an explosion of interest and scholarly work on Islam.Written for the general reader but also appealing to specialists, The Oxford History of Islam offers the best of that recent scholarship, presented in a readable style and complemented by a rich variety of illustrations.Amazon.com Review
    The entire history of Islamic civilization is, of course, too much to cover in a single volume, but John Esposito comes close. In a book topping 700 pages and containing over 300 photographs, Esposito brings together experts in fields such as early Islamic history, art and architecture, science and medicine, Islam in Africa and Southeast Asia, and contemporary Islam. Beginners will be swimming in new discoveries, while old hands will find connections and facts they never suspected. Majid Fakhry, for instance, shows not only the influence of philosopher Ibn Rushd (Averroes) on European intellectuals but also unveils the claims and counterclaims within Islamic philosophy over time. Dru Gladney takes us on an eye-opening journey through Islamic Central Asia and even China, where the Muslim Hui people are recognized as the country's third-largest minority nationality. And have you ever seen an exquisite mosque with towering spires made entirely of mud-brick, like there are in West Africa? Unfortunately, Esposito apparently couldn't find room here for separate sections on Sufism or Islamic literature, but there are more than enough mosques, paintings, historical maps, and tapestries throughout to keep you turning pages and learning with fascination. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars phenomenal!!!
    the oxford history of islam is, in my opinion, a masterpiece.while i am no content scholar of islam, i note that the few facts that i do know corresponded with the facts presented in this book.the text is written in a manner quite easy to read.frankly, i still have difficulty distinguishing islamic names.the thickened pages and the exquisite photography and separate sections describing history, religion, architecture ... make this book truly outstanding.i bought this at the used price.while i'm glad i did, knowing what i know today, i would have paid the full market price and been delighted!!!i recommend this book for anyone who wishes to better understand islam, scholars might be bored - familiar with the content and, it really is for the generalist.but, what a great book for the generalist!

    3-0 out of 5 stars inconsistent, but informative
    This history of Islam is a putative book for beginners and scholars alike. However, I doubt that absolute beginners will find the book useful. Too many times the authors barrage the reader with names of Islamic movements, terms, place-names, and people. Often they do this and fail to provide much needed explanatory background.
    That being said, many of the chapters are excellently written and supremely informative. From the Prophet Muhammad and the early Caliphate, to Islam in the global world, almost every important topic is covered. The book is also extremely fair and balanced in its coverage. There is no Bernard Lewis venom, nor cheap apologetics toward Islamic societies.

    I would recommend this to a novice with some background. A true beginner's book it is not, but a truly enlightening book it certainly is.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Venerable, Solid Islamic History Text
    I was required to read this text as part of a college History of Islam course, one of several classes I've taken dealing with Islamic studies.The chapters have been prepared by various scholars and expositors and deal with the genesis of Islam through the turn of the last century (the text was published in 1999).The chapters are presented in an essay format and have a consistent feel throughout.Since the material was prepared by distinct authors, there's occasional beneficial overlap in which certain important personalities pop up again and again, lit up by slightly varying perspectives.

    The authors do an excellent job of leading the reader-student through the early period of Islam, then through the various caliphal dynasties, and then through the distinct Islamic civilizations and the main empires (northern African/Arabian, Ottoman/Turkish, Safavid/Persian, and Mughal/Indian) through the Colonial into the post-Colonian/Modern period.In addition to covering the expected historical events and personalities, there are some great chapters on Islamic contributions to art, architecture and science.

    A few of the chapters seemed to contain a bit of editorializing and some softening of negative aspects of Islamic history and the conduct of some Muslims, but the overall quality of the writing is excellent.

    I won't be selling this text.I'm eager to hang onto it as a reference.

    4-0 out of 5 stars BEST SINGLE BOOK ON ISLAM
    This is probably the best single work on Islam available, including material on its history, art, customs and impact worldwide.If one has limited time or interest in the subject, they could stick with this book alone and learn a great deal.The first half is superb as an introduction to the faith, particularly the chapter on Christianity.The authors do a fine job of weaving history and religious tradition together in their descriptions and accounts.

    So why not five stars then? Unfortunately, things fall apart considerably in the second half.Chapters focus on the faith in different regions, which is fine, but here the authors move away from basic explanations and focus on material of interest to experts.We are not told, for instance, what factors made Islam a success or failure in parts of the Far East or Africa.How effective were Muslim missionaries in these areas?How does religious practice differ from place to place? This is an edited work, so the book's quality varies from chapter to chapter.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
    A great book about the history of Islam. A must buy for all people! ... Read more

    35. A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam
    by I. A. Ibrahim
    Paperback: 76 Pages (1999-05)
    list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$0.65
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 9960340112
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    This book is specifically written for non-Muslims to help them better understand Islam.Some of the topics in this book are: - Evidence that Islam is a true religion. - Proofs that the Qur'an is the literal word of God. - Scientific miracles in the Qur'an with scientific illustrations. - Why Muhammad is truly a prophet sent by God? - Some benefits of Islam. - General information on Islam. - Pillars of faith. - Correction of some misconceptions about Islam. - The status of women in Islam. - What Islam says about terrorism. Features of the book: 43 illustrations (39 in color); 76 colorful pages on glossy, coated, 115 gm paper; Laminated 350 gm cover; High quality printing; More than 375,000 copies have been printed. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (16)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Western introduction 2 1/2
    A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam is clearly written as primer for citizens of the western World.It pages are glossy and heavy with plentiful illustrations.In this, the book is of good quality.

    The arguments found within the pages of the book are standard Islamic apology and would only serve well for a person uninterested in researching its claims.For instance, standard claims of introducing mathematical concepts and advanced tools of astronomy are suggested as Islamic creation.Very simple research reveals these to be inaccurate claims although Muslims did play a substantial role in carrying the technologies to the West.

    Additional flaws are found in the treatment of Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament of the Bible.Biblical verse used to attempt a connection between Old Testament Scripture and the prophet Muhammad are taken from their context and clearly disqualify Muhammad.

    Had the book been written more objectively, I would have appreciated the attempt to share history and knowledge regarding Islam.As it is, I enjoyed reading it but would not recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book to Read
    This Islamic guide is for non-Muslims who would like to understand Islam, Muslims (Moslems), and the Holy Quran (Koran).It is rich in information, references, bibliography, and illustrations.It has been reviewed and edited by many professors and well-educated people.It is brief and simple to read, yet contains much scientific knowledge.
    you can read more about the book at

    5-0 out of 5 stars Similar web site available
    I have not read this book but got an idea about it from the reviews here. I suggest you to visit the following web site for similar downloadable free documentaries and articles.


    Excellent documentaries available there for free.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Dashed hopes
    I purchased this book as part of my investigation into the teachings of Islam.I looked at several "List Mania's" made up by Muslims and they all recommended this book (as well as others).I truly wanted some books that would give a credible account to someone who is seeking to understand Islam's teaching without any preconceptions (i.e., apart from the media's portrayals).My hopes of finding such with this book were dashed.

    What I found was quite disappointing.For example, the authors refer to several "scientific miracles" to substantiate the claim that the Qur'an was divinely inspired.They argue from Qur'an 23:12-14 that in the process by which Allah created a human in the womb, Allah makes it into a "chewed substance."Then theyactually have a photo of a chewed piece of chewing gum next to a drawing of an embryo (p. 9) and say that the embryo at this stage looks similar to a piece of chewing gum.THAT is the scientific evidence of the miraculous nature of the Qur'an?Surely this is insulting to anyone who with any kind of education, and I'm sure that this kind of "evidence" is embarrassing to most self-respecting,educated Muslims.

    Example #2:Quoting from Qur'an 24:43, "Have you not seen how God makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a stack, and then you see the rain come out of it..." the authors suggest that Mohommed couldn't have known this since it was only recently discovered by science that clouds are pushed by the wind, join, and stack together.Yet could not an uneducated child discern this by watching a storm gather in the distance?In fact, the book has a picture on p. 25 that would suggest to the naked eye causally observing the clouds that they push together, join, stack, and rain comes down.Again, this is supposed to be scientific evidence of the miraculous nature of the Qur'an.

    #3.Another embarrassing point in the book.On page 34, it quotes John 1:19-21 when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask John the Baptist if he was the Prophet (spoken of in Deuteronomy 18:15, 18, according to a cross reference in the NIV Study Bible).John the Baptist answered, "No."The authors conclusion:"We conclude from this that Jesus Christ is not the prophet mentioned in Dt. 18:18."But it is obvious from the text itself that John the Baptist was not saying that Jesus wasn't the Prophet, only that he himself was not that Prophet.At best, this is sloppy 'scholarship' in mistaking John the Baptist for Jesus.At worst, this is a sly attempt to pull the wool of the readers eyes.

    If you are looking for a good book on Islam that will present its teachings in a clear light (apart from poor attempts at propaganda), pass this one by.If you are looking for an attempt by some Muslims to give crediblity to their way, this might be a good book to get to see what they consider "good" evidence and arguments.It has some other seemingly useful information, but from the above examples, I'm not sure what is reliable in this book.I stand utterly amazed that it has received some rave reviews on this amazon site.I wish I had not bought it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide,talks about many things including Terrorism!
    This book is excellent overall! It talks about many issues, though briefly. It even talks about what Islam says about Jesus Christ, treatment of women, muslim faith and beliefs, and Terrorism! Lots of pictures, although mainly in the 'Scientific Miracles' section. It, amazingly, has 12 editors! One more good thing is the extensive reference section. ... Read more

    36. The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity
    by Seyyed Hossein Nasr
    Paperback: 352 Pages (2004-09-01)
    list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060730641
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description

    As the specter of religious extremism has become a fact of life today, the temptation is great to allow the evil actions and perspectives of a minority to represent an entire tradition. In the case of Islam, there has been much recent confusion in the Western world centered on distorted portrayals of its core values. Born of ignorance, such confusion feeds the very problem at hand.

    In The Heart of Islam one of the great intellectual figures in Islamic history offers a timely presentation of the core spiritual and social values of Islam: peace, compassion, social justice, and respect for the other. Seizing this unique moment in history to reflect on the essence of his tradition, Seyyed Hossein Nasr seeks to "open a spiritual and intellectual space for mutual understanding." Exploring Islamic values in scripture, traditional sources, and history, he also shows their clear counterparts in the Jewish and Christian traditions, revealing the common ground of the Abrahamic faiths.

    Nasr challenges members of the world's civilizations to stop demonizing others while identifying themselves with pure goodness and to turn instead to a deeper understanding of those shared values that can solve the acute problems facing humanity today. "Muslims must ask themselves what went wrong within their own societies," he writes, "but the West must also pose the same question about itself . . . whether we are Muslims, Jews, Christians, or even secularists, whether we live in the Islamic world or in the West, we are in need of meaning in our lives, of ethical norms to guide our actions, of a vision that would allow us to live at peace with each other and with the rest of God's creation." Such help, he believes, lies at the heart of every religion and can lead the followers of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) as well as other religious and spiritual traditions to a new future of mutual respect and common global purpose.

    The Heart of Islam is a landmark presentation of enduring value that offers hope to humanity, and a compelling portrait of the beauty and appeal of the faith of 1.2 billion people.

    ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (29)

    5-0 out of 5 stars reasoned and enlightening
    Prof Seyyed Hossein Nasr presents us with a well thought out didactic--showing us westerners how Islam can present all of humanity with a real base that can support and fill our quest for moral and epistemological legitimacy. Recommended for all people (except, of course, for female dogs who refuse to cover themselves).

    5-0 out of 5 stars so interesting and wise
    This book is so full of wisdom and just written so beautifully. So many people are so ignorant to the teachings of islam and have a totally warped idea of muslims and what I love about this book is that it educates you about the religion without putting the others down. In fact it teaches you how most religions are related to each other. Its the best book for anyone wanting to know the truth about islam.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best book on Islam
    It is impossible to capture Nasr's wisdom in a single work, however, he has managed to write the best book on Islam in English. Anyone who has an interest in Islam and Muslims -- even if they espouse a negative view -- must read this book and allow themselves intellectual honesty in considering Nasr's views and guidance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book On Islam
    I adore the author and love the book. It's a true look at Islamic theology. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get to know Islam.
    I also wanted to point out that I found some of the reviews here surprising. Since when writing with reference and knowledge became defensive???
    This author is very respectable. Just look for him online and you'll know it for yourself.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good way to know Islam
    Everyone who is a little confused about the real aim of the Muslim religion has to read this wonderfull essay. Especially Christian people are called to this useful reading. Precious deepenings of the matter - according to the perspective of the Perennial Philosophy, well represented by the words of S. H. Nasr - make this book a sort of must for those people interested in studies of comparative traditions. ... Read more

    37. Introduction to Islam (4th Edition) (Mysearchlab Series for Religion)
    by Frederick Mathewson Denny
    Paperback: 432 Pages (2010-01-14)
    list price: US$73.33 -- used & new: US$55.68
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 013814477X
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    An Introduction to Islam, Fourth Edition, provides students with a thorough, unified and topical introduction to the global religious community of Islam.  In addition, the author's extensive field work, experience, and scholarship combined with his engaging writing style and passion for the subject also sets his text apart.


    An Introduction to Islam, places Islam within a cultural, political, social, and religious context, and examines its connections with Judeo-Christian morals.  Its integration of the doctrinal and devotional elements of Islam enables readers to see how Muslims think and live — engendering understanding and breaking down stereotypes. 


    This text also reviews pre-Islamic history so readers can see how Islam developed historically. 

    ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars great shipping
    Great seller. The book got to me ahead of schedule and I was ready for class!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Islam
    This text was one used in my grad-level course on Islam.I enrolled in this class because, as a Christian, I wanted a deeper understanding of Islam.In particular, I wanted to be able to speak intelligently within Christian circles about Islam, particularly because of the current political tension that has so many fearfully approaching the topic, often with a set of stereotypical, illogical ideas.My motives for reading this book are definitely the lens through which I write this review.I found this book full of tedious information but ultimately lacking practical synthesis.If you want a historical account of the roots, both political and philosophical, of Islam then this is a fine book, although his chapters are often organized in a rather confusing manner (my fellow students are in basic agreement on this point, each of us having to present on several chapters).If you want a book that will help the average person understand the basic tenants of Islam and assist the reader in understanding Islam as a movement; if you want to be able to feel like you really have a grasp on Islam, particularly in how it relates to the current global climate, then I would suggest you keep looking.Denny really doesn't delve into modern relevance until the last portion of the book.I also felt that the author was unconvincing to some extent.He obviously is arguing in favor of Islam as a religion, and I am not critiquing this.But, he fails to offer some much needed critique of enculturated-Islam's past, and when he does, he has a tendency to justify unethical historical/political choices by claiming that Christianity has behaved in even more unethical ways.Now, while I wouldn't argue with his critique of enculturated-Christianity's often unethical behavior as an institutionalized movement (think "the Inquisition!"), but this is a logical fallacy.It is an error to defend one wrong by demonstrating another (perhaps worse) wrong.Critique of religious movements is healthy and necessary for they often (being human-run) get "off-track" and a little more critique would have strengthened Denny's argument in favor of Islam.All-in-all, I would suggest this book as a supplement to a library on Islam but not as a primary text to understand the movement.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Answer for Every Question Concerning Islam
    I read this book because of a desire to understand as much as I could about Islam - I was not disappointed when I finished this book.The author provided an answer to every question that I had before reading this book and has given me the desire to read more about certain aspects of this religion.For me, the most interesting chapters were those that detailed the basic beliefs and practices of Islam, Islamic life and the family, Islamic community life and finally the issues concerning Islam in the modern world.I more fully understand their beliefs, but maybe more importantly, the challenges the religion faces as "progressive" Muslims try to open free dialouge about their religion - and the obstacles they face in doing so.
    Highly recommend - if at all intersted in Islam, you will not be disappointed in the knowledge you will gain.

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellently presented
    I bought this book because my knowledge of Islam was minimal and I wanted something thorough, but not scholarly.This book was perfect.It's laid out as an undergrad textbook, with the sort of logic we westerners expect to see when being introduced to something.The chapters each have an over-view, then break into well-defined sections.If there are four important things about something, Denny gives four section headings.He also reviews information, where needed.

    The best thing about the text is Denny's strategy of leaving many words in Arabic (after he has explained the terms);that means you won't learn about an idea under a name specific this translator.Sometimes there's a longish space between iterations of a term - 50 pages, for example - but the excellent glossary and the very thorough index make it possible to recover the information easily.

    The only fault I could find - aside from the somewhat self-satisfied tone of his first-person plural narrative style - is that he never addresses the way he sets up the book.Does Islam naturally lend itself to western academic organization?Did the author impose this organization on the material in the service of his readers?If so, what would a Muslim text look like?Or did the western academy get this principle of organization from the Arab world, as we got our number system?

    The second edition is MUCH cheaper than the third edition - the post-9/11 edition - but the history of Islam hasn't changed.Save your money and get the second edition.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Iran
    This text book is great for someone who wants to learn about Islamic doctrines. The author of the book is mostly discussing Sunni sect and at some point referes to Shi'ite Muslim in Iran.
    ... Read more

    38. Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam
    by John L. Esposito
    Paperback: 208 Pages (2003-11-13)
    list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$9.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0195168860
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon left us stunned, angry, and uncomprehending. As it became clear that these horrifying acts had been committed in the name of religion, the media, the government, and ordinary citizens alike sought answers to questions about Islam and its adherents. In this level-headed and authoritative book, John L. Esposito, one of the world's most respected scholars of political Islam, provides answers. He clearly and carefully explains the teachings of Islam--the Quran, the example of the Prophet, Islamic law--about jihad or holy war, the use of violence, and terrorism. He chronicles the rise of extremist groups and examines their frightening worldview and tactics. Anti-Americanism (and anti-Europeanism), he shows, is a broad-based phenomenon that cuts across Arab and Muslim societies. It is not just driven by religious zealotry, but by frustration and anger at U.S. policy. It is vital to understand, however, that the vast majority of Muslims are appalled by the acts of violence committed in the name of their faith. It is essential that we distinguish between the religion of Islam and the actions of extremists like Osama bin Laden, who hijack Islamic discourse and belief to justify their acts of terrorism. This brief, clear-sighted book reflects twenty years of study, reflection, and experience on the part of a scholar who is equally respected in the West and in the Muslim world. It will prove to be the best single guide to the urgent questions that have recently forced themselves on the attention of the entire world. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (33)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Yet another book we need to read during the age of terror
    More scary stuff. My dad, a political scientist, says this'll get worse before it gets better. I don't know what else to say except that books such as Esposito's are important if we're going to understand things, and therefore know what to do.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Unholy War
    Written in response to September 11, Unholy War is aimed largely at an audience unfamiliar with the subject matter of Islamist movements and terrorism.Esposito has not written an apologetic book and is in no way trying to suggest that terrorism in any form is warranted.After having read the book cover to cover, the one-star reviews that others have written apparently came from people that didn't bother reading the book.The point of this review is not to engage close-minded people, but please don't let their rantings and ravings keep you from picking up what is ultimately a very helpful book.

    Unholy War is divided into four chapters.The first looks primarily at Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, two of the most well known terrorists in the world.Esposito looks at their backgrounds and provides a brief description of how these men became what they are today.The chapter looks at the personal histories of each individual with emphasis on the events and experiences that shaped their lives.Chapter Two explores the idea of jihad and some of the foundations of Islam.Anyone that finds themselves asking whether or not Islam is a violent religion or how men like Bin Laden are able to twist Islam to fit their worldview will come away from this chapter with a wealth of knowledge.Chapter Three provides a series of case studies that are relevant to violent Islamic movements.Egyptian movements, Hamas, and Wahabism are all discussed here.The sections on Wahabism are particularly helpful as Esposito explains that while the term often times is applied liberally to violent movements, it is actually the brand of Islam propagated and practiced by the Saudi regime.He also discusses "Wahabism" in the central Asian context of states like Uzbekistan and Tajikstan.Although brief, the section is valuable since most discussions of this subject tend to leave out events in these countries.The final chapter offers some thoughts on how to move forward.The recurring theme here is that Islam is not a monolithic or static religion.Esposito provides brief character profiles of several prominent Muslim leaders that are moderate reformers that in no way condone the actions of what ultimately is a very small percentage of the world's second largest religion.For those that always lazily ask "where are the moderate voices condemning the violent actions of al-Qaeda?", well...Esposito provides several in his brief final chapter.The biggest problem with people asking this question is that they must assume that just because they don't hear the moderate voices, the moderate voices must not exists.It doesn't take much time or effort to find them.Either these people just aren't trying, or they're purposely trying to make people think all Muslims are violent.Either way, it's bringing the discourse down to a dangerous and ignorant level.

    Even though Unholy War is aimed at someone not necessarily familiar with the subject, those well versed in Middle Eastern politics and history will still find the book useful as a brief refresher.Esposito is a wonderful writer and one of the most respected Islamic/Middle Eastern historians out there.The book's ultimate goal is to bring to light some of the more important issues surrounding a very complex subject.Esposito is largely successful in achieving this goal and the discourse on the subject will surely benefit from his work.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Short, Clear and Bias
    Esposito do not blame the fundamentalists only for the conflict but also he blames the misunderstanding of America and its policies toward the Muslims world for escalating the conflict.
    Esposito has his own agenda, as he is the founding director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, he want to see a dialogue between the West and Islam. Interestingly that the center he founded is funded by a Saudi Billionaire Prince, a connection which makes Esposito judgments questionable somehow.
    Also he tries to present liberal Islam(he calls it reformed) as a strong candidate to defeat the terror creed embedded in fundamental Islam. While he forget that most of the Muslim figures he is referring to have little weight in the Muslim religious arena.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't Wast Your Time...
    Instead of spending the time to read this book you could engage in an activity that would be more entertaining and/or more worth your time...like sleeping or donating blood through a collapsed vein!

    Now, I can definitely appreciate Esposito's attempt to offer some solutions.There are a surplus of folks who write books or give speeches about problems and why they are problems, but there are too few offering solutions.This was the only aspect of the book I found useful and respectable.The rest of the book was hard for me to swallow.

    It was stated that: "One cannot overstress the fact that Islam does NOT condone terrorism. In point of fact, Islam strictly prohibits killing of innocent civilians. Those who perpetrate these abhorrent atrocities are hijacking Islam. It is imperative to understand that an overwhelming majority of Muslims abhor terrorism and the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent civilians."Well...if the OVERWHELMING majority of Muslims were so adamantly against terrorism and murder then WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THEY?This is the major obstacle that anyone who writes a book on this topic must face.Where are the masses of Muslims protesting what Al Qeada did to America?Why were there hundreds of thousands of Muslims dancing in the streets just hours after September 11th, 2001?If a Muslim man (living in a Muslim nation) decides to leave Islam for a Christian faith then why must he fear for his life?

    You know, I really hate to say it because it's a pensive outlook on the world in which we live, but Islam just isn't the religion that Mr. Esposito claims it to be.It's not irresponsible, immature, or warmongering to say that Islam isn't happy with the existance of Isreal because the evidence is on the news and in the papers almost every single day!

    It would be a great day in my life if I could recant the things I've just written because it would mean a complete reformation of Islamic nations, but I fear such a change simply will not happen because of the inherrent nature of the religion that is Islam.I applaud Mr. Esposito's attempt to dumb-down the nature of Islam in an effort to paint it as a peaceful, funloving way of life, but in life...if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck...well, then...it must be a duck, right?

    One last thing...why is it considered provincialism to even remotely say that Islam is not a religion, state of mind, or way of life that is peaceful and centered around love and honor?I think the social-liberals have hijacked thinking in a way that is not their own, thus making it nearly impossible for a man to be taken seriously if he doesn't already march to the beat of their drum.I tend to call a spade a spade and until I'm proven otherwise I will continue to hold the opinion that Islam is a religion of oppression and antipathy.I do, however, look to the day when hoards of Muslim people gather together to dispell the malevolence of their religion and culture that has taken a stranglehold of how they should be living and what they should be practicing in way of religion.

    Don't buy the book if you don't want to be spoonfed the idea that Islam is a religion of peace and beauty.Go ahead and buy the book if you're unsure what to believe because it might give you some ideas to think about.Definitely buy the book if you truly believe Islam is a cultural and religious beacon of love, peace, and gentle nature that is simply just misunderstood.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great Book
    when brainswashed people like insidous from Fresno used ad-hominem to attack this book,you know this book is a must read. ... Read more

    39. Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics
    by Daniel Ali, Robert Spencer
    Paperback: 179 Pages (2003-09)
    list price: US$11.99 -- used & new: US$6.84
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0965922855
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    Islam. For some, the word is frightening; for others, mysterious. For all, it is a religious force that cannot be ignored. Now here’s a question-and-answer book on Islam written specifically for Catholics. Inside Islam addresses Islam’s controversial teachings on God, jihad, the role of women, and more. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (31)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Basic required knowledge for a Christian
    Question and answer format gives basic understanding of most important issues in clear and concise way.Points out in detailed format major differences between Christianity and Islam by someone who's been a follower in the past.Strongly recommend for any Christian who wants to expand their religious horizons.

    5-0 out of 5 stars reads like a Baltimore catechism
    Couple of years now and my mom still hasn't read this.I figured if she's gonna read anything on the topic she'd read something like this, especially since it's so reader-friendly.

    But it's sat on her shelf and she apparently hasn't touched it.She'd never admit it, but I think the reason is that it doesn't have an imprimatur or even a nihil obstat.I imagine there's a lot of people like my mom whose chief objection boils down to that.

    Anyhow, the book:unlike Spencer's other, more well-known books, this one is overtly religious in nature.It was co-written by Daniel Ali, a convert to Catholicism, formerly Muslim.A lot of the text seems neutral, non-alarmist, and even flattering to Islam.But most of it, of course, isn't.

    It's short (about 150 pages), but what's really different about this one is that it reads like one of those scholastic catechisms.Here's a sample (note the completely neutral tone):

    22.Did Muhammed claim to be divine?

    No.Muhammed claimed to be a messenger from Allah and a warner of His impending punishment of unbelievers (Sura 7:188).He emphatically insisted that he was only a human being, and not in any way divine.In the Koran, Allah directs him:"Say:'I am but a man like yourselves, but the inspiration has come to me that your God is one God'" (Sura 18:110).

    Most the answers, however, are much longer.

    (Spencer, by the way, is a Melkite Catholic.)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Totally Biased
    Being a catholic reading this book I had hoped for something a bit more informative. It did give a lot of legitimate information about the tenets of Islam at first, but the further I read the more i relaized it was just another Islamaphobic work that (much like it accused muslims of doing) advocated trying to convert them all. It also blurred instances where christians were just as guilty of violence in the name of religion as were muslims at the time. (for instance the first crusaders killed more christians in jerusalem than the muslims did when they took the first and second time, or that it was Christian Serbs trying to annhilate the Bosnian Muslims in the mid 1990's; however they did blame jihad for the problems there.)

    I checked out Ali's christianislamic.org website and found it to be a completely biased attempt to convert people as opposed to its claims that it wanted only to foster unbiased dialogue between the two religions.

    I am friends with quite a few Muslims, and only one of them talks to me about conversion. He was studying to be a christian minister when he converted.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but could have been MUCH better!
    I think that this Islam is an important subject of study and conversation, particularly for those seeking a balanced perspective on the religion and the culture it engenders. I think this book brings much good information to the discussion. However, I also think there are many flaws to this book. I don't think the way they approached the Q&A format worked. Some questions were far too obvious to develop, and others were far too complex to treat fairly in a paragraph or two. There also didn't seem to be too much thought as to how the questions were arranged. While much of the book was fair and balanced, there was a stridency to some of the writing which distracted from focusing on the point which was being made. I think the subject would be much better served by a prose work detailing the origins and beliefs of Islam, the encounter and comparison/contrast with Christianity.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Informative
    Very good work by a knowledgeable Author. Daniel Ali has proven his first-hand life experience and subject knowledge beyond doubt. ... Read more

    40. Encountering the World of Islam
    Paperback: 618 Pages (2005-09-01)
    list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$24.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1932805249
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    Encountering the World of Islam guides you on a journey into the lives of Muslims around the world and in your neighborhood. Through this comprehensive collection, you will learn about Muhammad and the history of Islam, gain insight into today’s conflicts, and dispel western fears and myths. You will also discover the frustrations and desires of Muslims and learn how to pray for and befriend them.Encountering the World of Islam provides a positive, balanced, and biblical perspective on God’s heart for Muslims and equips you to reach out to them in Christ’s love.

    Encountering the World of Islam features articles from eighty authors who have lived throughout the Muslim world, from West Africa to Southeast Asia. Experienced missionaries, scholars of Islam, and other well known authors, including several Muslims, contribute to this extensive ministry resource.


    • Highlights in each lesson provide insight into Muslim culture, the Qur’an, and Muslim women.
    • Discussion questions and other assignments will deepen your understanding as you reach out to Muslims with the love of Christ.
    • Charts, maps, and illustrations illuminate the text and provide additional context.
    • An extensive, easy-to-use glossary clarifies Muslim terminology. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must read for anyone interested in Islam
    I would seriously recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Islam. I read it while I was overseas and liked it so well and recommended it so highly, I had to sell my copy to someone before I came home!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Tone & Great Overview of Islam
    5 Stars for the books Content: "ZERO" stars for Kindle version - I would give a negative.

    The Book is a valuable resource because it has many persons contributing to the perspective. The chapters, and articles are written by a plurality of authors, all of whom have great field experience in Islamic contexts.

    More than enough depth in content (details) to inform us about Islamic history, thought, and current day issues, yet easy to read.

    I appreciate the TONE of the book. It promotes loving dialogue, and building relationships. Don't be afraid to befriend and embrace Islamic people and families. We share lots of common ground, a deep desire to love God, and similar desires for our family & community. We Christians have MUCH more in common with Islamic neighbors than we do with our secular, pluralistic, postmodern, or naturalist neighbors who live, look, and speak like we do.

    Perfect for URBAN PEOPLE wishing to understand their Muslim neighbors better. The great resource for Churches wishing to understand and engage in dialogue with the Islamic community around them.

    Also a must read for Short-term workers, Short-term missions teams, and interns. A great book to introduce people to the Islamic world-view and mindset.

    Does a great job taking away the needless fear of dialogue and building relationships with Islamic people.
    Some very practical insight about how to answer some of Islams most probing questions in a loving manner.

    KINDLE VERSION IS A MESS & SUCKS- It is a total MESS (Buy a hard copy) Kindle is a mess because the book has little inserted articles at the bottom of the pages that will span the bottom of two facing pages - The kindle does not convert it well. You are reading and then stop mid sentence- To begin the small inserted article at the bottom, then pick up the original reading at the top of the next - then the second half of the inserted article at the bottom of that page. It's so chopped up it is VERY annoying and you are flipping back and forth trying to make sense and piece it together for one coherent read.

    Not worth the CRAZY kindle price either. Get a hard copy for the same price.
    Andy Rayner

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very informative
    This is an excellent and informative book on Islam.May it find its way into every home so we can understand this growing religion and challenge us to reach out to its followers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Christian approach to Islam
    There are many longish books on Christianity and Islam..this book although 500 pages long is very readable and also practical. As well as informing us about the history of Islam and the beliefs of Muslims it also takes us around the world to the main Muslim people groups. It informs us how Christians can relate to Muslims so that we avoid causing hurt or offence and can commend our Christian faith to them. ... Read more

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