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41. The Vision of Islam (Visions of
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42. The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives
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43. Islam: A Thousand Years of Faith
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44. Islam and the Jews: The Unfinished
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45. Silent No More: Confronting America's
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46. Inside Islam: The Faith, the People
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47. Reason, Freedom, and Democracy
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48. Jesus and the Muslim
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49. Contemporary Debates in Islam
50. The Muqaddimah
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51. The Prophet & the Messiah
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52. The Dark Side of Islam
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54. More Than a Prophet: An Insider's
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55. The Place of Tolerance in Islam
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56. Religion and State
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57. The Road To Al-Qaeda : The Story
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58. The Mantle of the Prophet
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59. Islam And The Blackamerican: Looking
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60. Unholy War: Terror in the Name

41. The Vision of Islam (Visions of Reality. Understanding Religions)
by Sachiko Murata, William C. Chittick
list price: $18.95
our price: $18.95
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Asin: 1557785163
Catlog: Book (1995-01-01)
Publisher: Paragon House Publishers
Sales Rank: 47381
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on Islam as a religion
Most texts on Islam discuss it as a historical or political phenomenon. The authors of this book succeed at not resisting to this temptation.

I've taken the introductory course on Islam taught by Professor Chittick for which this book was written for. I am a Muslim and I've read a lot about Islam, and still, the book and course were great for me. This class helped me conceptualize Islam as a religion with its own perspective on the human relationship with God.

The text takes a traditional perspective - Islam (submission/actions and law), Iman (faith/thought), Ihsan (doing what is beautiful/intent) - based on the Hadith of Gabriel. If you want to know about Islam's answers for the perennial questions facing man, then this book will help take you along the path of answers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simple and Complex, like life...
First let me say that I consider myself a well-informed Muslim with mixed liberal and conservative views, depending on the issue at hand. I only read parts of this book before I recommended it to an American friend of mine who asked me for a book about Islam... and she loved it. The book is both beautiful and illuminating, written in a simple and friendly style, based on a series of lectures. I have read many books about Islam and by far this one is the best (to come from a non-Muslim), although not the most comprehensive. After this I would like to attempt a reply to a confused reader who reviwed the book on August 3rd and attacked Islam and all other world religions as well. To him or her I say that religions are like any other part of our life, they can be ABUSED, and this is no fault of Islam or any other religion. In this Islam, Christianity, Budhism, etc... are not different from, say, nuclear power, or chemistry, or books... confusion, war, rape, murder, etc. are the result of a confused and stupid mind that falls victim to its own sinister desires. For most people, religion provides peace and spiritual guidance and attainment. But that doesn't come through knowing about religion, but through LIVING it. Islam is a lifestyle. Any body can claim they are religious and can commit the most horrendous crimes in the name of relgion or in the name of Marxism or Capitalism or any other creed. Islam can show you how to be a good human being, but it cannot force you to be one. One has to Strive (jihad) to be good in this world by overcoming one's own unwholesome desires. For those who vilify Islam or any other religion, I say you first need to clean your heart and mind of the athiest confused clutter in your heads. Then take a long nice walk to a mosque or a church, and sit in peace with yourself and God...Life is a mystery that we can only guess at through God's signs...And He knows best, the Absolute, the All-Knowing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Introductory Book On Islam Available
Sachiko Murata who wrote "Tao of Islam" and her husband William Chittick, translator of "As-Sahifa Al Kamilah Al Sajjadiyyah by Ali Ibn Al Husayn" and various books on Tassawuf have produced the most comprehensive and thorough book introducing Islam. You will not find the typical devotional material here. Those pamphlet-books which declare "Islam The Greatest Religion" have done enough damage already. In this title you will find an exploration of the intellectual and spiritual realms of thought which have defined and constituted Islam up until the contemporary age. They have broken the book down into three parts primarily, the first is called "Islam" and deals with the basics of religious foundation, the second is called "Iman" which pertains to the spiritual dimensions of self-surrender, and the third is called "Ihsan" which deals with the elaboration and beautification both inwardly and outwardly of the deen. This is the best title available, and trust me I've just about read them all, introducing Islam to the lay-person, Muslim and Non-Muslim alike.

4-0 out of 5 stars Islam from the soul's p-o-v
A great look at Islam from the "phenomenological" perspective. Not for beginners, more for intermediate students who've already grasped the general "how-to's" and "where-from's" and who, as the authors intend, wish a book that gives the insights of a practicing Muslim imbued with the faith of the heart as well as the facts of the mind. The authors' sympathies seem to be with the former, but as practioners of the latter, they manage to bridge the gap between an inner view and an objective analysis.

You can tell that Chittick and Murata have refined much of this material in classrooms--they frequently provide analogies that Western readers can understand, and anticipate objections and confusions predictable from newcomers. I appreciated their sensibility that can teach both those within Islam and those observing it from the "outside"; they assume that both groups will learn from their fair-minded approach. While a bit soft on the Islamists and their narrow interpetations, they do criticize (pretty late in the book) such limitations, although typically in a gentle, understated manner. It's only fair to notice when this book appeared. My only reason for four stars is because a revised edition would be very appropriate with the renewed interest in Islam and the need for an updated global context.

However, most of the wisdom in this study is timeless. My favorite part was that devoted to the Muslim conception of the afterlife and the intersection of good and evil within the power of the divine. Not the easiest topics, but very worthwhile for the careful, patient reader. The attention devoted to these ideas pays off. Over hours spent thinking about the authors' encounter with the hadith of Gabriel, I came away from this book enriched and invigorated.

Carefully compiled and meticulously written, the combination of Western objectivity and personal enthusiasm (in the root sense: to be filled with God!) motivates what must have been a labor of love as well as a considerable effort intellectually for the authors to compile. No mere textbook, but no fuzzy inspirational tract, this volume combines scholarship with love and scrutiny.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Vision of Islam is still my favoritebook on Islam!!!
This book remains my favorite after reading many books on islam over the past few years. It gave me a much deeper understanding of the essential phylosophy and world reality of of the quran and prophet Muhammad. This book does a good job descxribing the approah of the quran to many of the philosophical dilemmas that we face as a modern society searching for truth such as actions verse faith, good verses eveil, predestination, and god's omnipotence verses god's nearness. I especially appreciated the emphasis on quranic references which remove the question of teh veracity of any particular hadith.

The last section on the world of dreams as a comparison to forms of reality was very interesting but I definately think it is in the realm of speculation.

I would also recommend reading biographical books about teh prophet muhammad to figure out what kind of person he really was. There are many goos readings such as by Martin Lings, and Salahi. ... Read more

42. The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives
by Carole Hillenbrand
list price: $60.95
our price: $60.95
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Asin: 0415929148
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 166228
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With breathtaking command of medieval Muslim sources as well as the vast literature on medieval European and Muslim culture, Carole Hillenbrand has produced a book that shows not only how the Crusades were perceived by the Muslims, but how the Crusades affected the Muslim world - militarily, culturally, and psychologically. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives
This is the best-produced academic paperback I have ever seen. The book is wonderfully illustrated. The photographs are supplemented by hundreds of intriguing drawings in the wide margins. The text is spaciously presented and easy to read. I found zero typographical errors in more than six hundred pages of text, a delight in these days of hasty editing. Hillenbrand's writing is clear, straightforward, and balanced. The book presents a much-needed new perspective on the Crusades. Five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hillenbrand's The Crsuades: Islamic Perspectives
This book is an excellent review of the most up-to-date knowledge we have about contemporary Islamic persepctives on the "Wars of the Cross." The author carefully sets our her purpose in writing this work, which includes both Muslim sources for the major figures and events, as well as Muslim perceptions of the Crusaders and how the Crusades have influenced Middle Eastern history. Anyone wishing to learn fully about this time period must read this work.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Resource
I have only skimmed the surface of this book, yet am very impressed. The bibliography alone is a treasure for anyone studying the Crusades. It's arranged so that the translated chronicles are used to illustrate points in the narrative. The index is detailed and useful, while the narrative itself is easy to read and divided into subsections within the chapters (for example: Old Frankish Women, Marriage, Medicine etc.) A welcome addition to Crusades scholarship, especially for students/readers who cannot read the originals. ... Read more

43. Islam: A Thousand Years of Faith and Power
by Jonathan Bloom, Sheila Blair
list price: $16.95
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Asin: 0300094221
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Yale Nota Bene
Sales Rank: 116782
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In its first thousand years-from the revelations to Muhammad in the seventh century to the great Islamic empires of the sixteenth-Islamic civilization flourished. While Europeans suffered through the Dark Ages, Muslims in such cities as Jerusalem, Damascus, Alexandria, Fez, Tunis, Cairo, and Baghdad made remarkable advances in philosophy, science, medicine, literature, and art. This engrossing and accessible book explores the first millennium of Islamic culture, shattering stereotypes and enlightening readers about the events and achievements that have shaped contemporary Islamic civilization.Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair examine the rise of Islam, the life of Muhammad, and the Islamic principles of faith. They describe the golden age of the Abbasids, the Mongol invasions, and the great Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires that emerged in their wake. Their narrative, complemented by excerpts of the Koran, poetry, biographies, inscriptions, travel guides, and even a thirteenth-century recipe, concludes with a brief epilogue that takes us to the twenty-first century. Colorfully illustrated, this book is a wonderful introduction to the rich history of a civilization that still radically affects the world. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars History written by art historians
This book does not give an accurate or chronologicaly coherent description of the birth and rise of Islam. The authors of the book are not Islamic historians, they are art historians writing about an age and culture that did not produce significant works of art. To a person unfamiliar with Islam it seems complete and accurate.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book explains it all!
This book is the companion to the PBS movie, Islam: Empire of Faith. I began reading this book, full of stereotypes against Islam. This book really opened my eyes. The whole History of Islam has been filled with misunderstanding. I would recommend this book to any person. It is extremely well written, and it would help anyone to better understand Islam!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
This is a wonderful introduction to the Islamic Empire and (to some extent) Islam itself. It's meant to be a companion to the PBS video "Islam: Empire of Faith." It covers the same time period (the first 1000 years of Islam), but doesn't have the same exact content as the video. There is some overlap, but not enough to make either the book or the video redundant. This book is written by a husband-and-wife team of professors (historians) at Boston College. This is not dry history, by any means, but a vivid description of Islam and its origins, practices, and political rule. It's not sensationalist and/or imbued with the "Islam as Enemy Number One" mentality that pervades so many modern books about Islam (many of which are written by journalists or other people not qualified to be writing about Islam, Muslims (American or not) and the Muslim world in the first place). It's just fascinating reading about the second largest religion in the world and how it built the most glittering civilization the world had ever seen. The authors themselves say that to understand Islam today, we must focus not on the misdeeds committed by a few in its name, but "appreciate its glorious history and achievements." It doesn't have much on Islamic beliefs and practices or Islam and politics: it really is mostly history. But it's history that puts Islam (modern and past) into perspective and that will (hopefully) help us Westerners put some of myths about Islam finally to rest.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
This book was such a great book. It really shows some of the points that are not shown very often nowadays. It is a super read for anyone who doesn't know that much about Islam. I would tell everyone to go out and read this book, it shows the true Islam.

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy reading
This book is suitable for readers who wish to get a good introduction to the history of Islam. A good point to note is that it does not incorporate the cliche biasness that the west perceives of the religion and its followers. If you wish to find stories about terrorism, PLO and Osama bin Laden then this is not the book for you, the closest you can get to that is the ancient assassin sect. From the book, one can appreciate how much Islam has enriched civilization! Also, I found it exceptionally interesting to discover so many English words that originated from Arabic which the author has included. However, at times, i do find the book a little fragmented and also there are times where I felt that the author just had not included enough information to satisfy. Nonetheless, a good read. Enjoy! ... Read more

44. Islam and the Jews: The Unfinished Battle
by Mark A., Ph.D. Gabriel
list price: $13.99
our price: $10.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0884199568
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: Charisma House
Sales Rank: 28663
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What Fuels the Conflict?

To make sense of the headlines today, you need a clear understanding of the teachings of Islam.

¡§I didn¡¦t just do research about Islam; I lived it for thirty-four years!¡¨

Learn the truth! Author Mark Gabriel presents facts, not opinions, about what is going on in the Middle East, especially between Muslims and Jews. Dr. Gabriel describes:

ľ Why Palestinian Muslims reject peace offers
ľ Why Muslims commit suicide to kill Jews in obedience to Allah
ľ The real reasons radical Islamic groups want to destroy the state of Israel
ƒæ Why the Quran calls Jews ¡§the children of monkeys and pigs¡¨
ľ The truth about the Arabian holocaust led by Muhammad against the Jews

Dr. Gabriel¡¦s purpose is to expose the teachings of Islam, not to hurt Muslims. He says, ¡§Muslims are my people, my family. I love Muslims. The problem is with the teachings of Islam, not with the people. Muslims are suffering from Islam more than anyone else in the world.¡¨

Special chapters include:
ľ Stories from former members of the PLO and the radical Islamic group, Hizbollah
ľ A comparison of Islamic holy war and the Crusades
ľ An explanation of the role of Abraham and Ishmael in Islam

This book will show you what started the unfinished battle between Islam and the Jews and what it will take to bring the battle to an end.

Mark Gabriel, Ph.D was born into a Muslim family in Egypt and was able to quote the entire Quran by the age of twelve. His childhood education was spent in Muslim schools, and he earned a doctorate degree in Islamic history and culture from Al-Azhar University, the most prestigious Islamic university in the world. As a product of his education and culture, he was a classic anti-Semite, but now his heart has completely changed. This book tells his story and explains the source of Muslim attitudes toward Jews. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Make Sense of the Middle East
Why do suicide bombers attack Israel the same day that leaders from Israel and the PLO are meeting to negotiate peace? If you want to know the real answer, then you need to read Islam and the Jews. This book is quick and easy to read, but it explains without apology the role Islam plays in the current problems in the Middle East.

Most significantly, the author himself is a former Muslim from Egypt who once fanned the flames of the rhetoric against Jews. Now a Christian who honors and admires the Jewish people, he seeks to expose the true teachings of Islam. The story of his own personal journey out of anti-Semitism grabs your attention in the beginning of the book-from his hiding under his bed during an Israeli air raid in 1967, to serving in the Egyptian army, to fiery sermons against the Jews preached at mosques in Egypt.

He does not rely on Western interpretations of Islam. Instead, he focuses on the Quran and the historical records about Muhammad's actions and teachings. He holds a doctorate degree in Islamic history from Al-Azhar University in Cairo.

After you read this book, the headlines you read about the Middle East every day will finally make sense. You may also be surprised to find that you feel a new sympathy toward those who are devoutly practicing Islam.

5-0 out of 5 stars How the Quran Views Non-Muslims
I served in the U.S. Army back in 1991 when we liberated Kuwait (sorry, I didn't find Saddam back then). That started my interest in Islam, after noticing that the public buses in Saudi Arabia had signs on the front door directing: "Women enter through rear door." Why so? -- and what gives with all of these veiled women, and why were poor, foreign women with young babies begging for alms on the streets? ISLAM AND THE JEWS cites verses in the Quran explaining the separation of the sexes in public places. (The begging women turned out to be divorced women left on the streets to survive.)
What I really find so valuable about this book in how the author cites specifically numbered Surahs(paragraphs-verses)from the Quran/Koran in revealing the beliefs of Allah as given to the Angel Gabriel as spoken/recorded by Muhammad. One can read the many other current books discussing Islam, but very few cite specific verses from the Quran to explain or justify WHY and/or HOW a Muslim is supposed to follow Islam.
This ex-Muslim Egyptian-born author details why there appear to be "contradictions" within the Quran. Why is it reported in the American press that Islam respects Jews and Christians? This book explains that when the Jews would not follow Muhammad's revelations, that he then received a new revelation that the only "good" Jews or Christians were those who would pay a tax(zakat) to the Muslims -- essentially, a "protection racket."
This ex-Muslim author must be revealing the "truth" about the fundamentals of Islam, after all, just look at the sad, poor, embarrassing bad-mouthings that are written by his critics: they just don't like his documentation.
I have two of the Qurans mentioned in this book, the moderate Ali translation, as well as the English translation published by the religious ministry of Saudi Arabia: The Noble Quran. I have looked at EVERY citation listed by this author, EACH one is a true and correct quotation!
The author explains that the Quran is not written in a straight timeline sequence. It is recorded from the largest chapters to the shortest -- hence, the chronological dates of each chapter are all mixed up. One has to refer to another booklet to see how scholars believe the chapters were revealed to Muhammad by date.
What is really enligtening in this book is that the author explains how Muhammad's (Allah's) views changed about Jews. Originally, Muhammad had tolerance for the Jews while he tried to entice them to convert to Islam and pay taxes to him. However, when they didn't, Muhammad told his followers that it was okay to wage war against the non-Islams and loot their valuables.
This author's companion book: "Islam and Terrorism" makes a wonderful revelation (with specific verse citations) as to how the Quran justifies Usama/Osama bin Landen's suicide-bomber attacks against Christians.

5-0 out of 5 stars Islam and the Jews - surprising to read!
I was surprised that this was not only an interesting and sometimes riveting book to read, but it also had a message of peace and reconilation for these two groups of people who seem so opposed to one another. I was also pleasantly surprised at the author's credentials, bringing credibility to this message.

1-0 out of 5 stars Another Lost Soul
Mark Gabriel, i'm not even going to call this author by his so called Doctors degree as a title, due to the fact that his thoughts does not show his "Dr's" Degree. Its amazing how much lies someone must tell in order to present an inaccurate view of something. I find it very hard to believe that Mark Gabriel was a devout Muslim and an Imam at that!! He He, so illogical. Any Imam that hear this irrational and inconsistent story of his conversion from islam will laugh. Its mentally, socially, physically, irrationally and illogically impossible for one to convert from being a devout Imam in Islam to becomeing a "Christian." This conversion had to be for some financial reason or something. And if Islam is such a "Bad and Contradictory" religion, howcome 50 thousand people in the U.S alone are converting to Islam every year? Half of whom were devout christians. Not only that, Islam is sweeping across the world with it's converts and a total of 1.3 Billion followers and growing. And to end this peace of writing, Mark Gabriel says that he "Memorized the Qur'an by heart and was an Imam, (which i find as a big lie) He has this big misconception about what a holy war is, and the arabic word for holy war. I think he needs to reconsider Islam learn arabic and stop following a way of life that will lead him to hell-fire.

5-0 out of 5 stars An honest and revealing book!
Most people got their religious belief from their parents, and they just accept it as the truth without much questioning. It is actually dangerous. I was brought up in a Buddhist family and was happy about it before I was confronted by another religious belief. Mum always told me that all religions were good. We were all worshipping the same God. Does this sound familiar to you, too? So it was really shocking to me when I found out that there were different spirits ruling behind each religion. The truth is, idols can not save any body and reincarnation is not only a curse according to Buddhism but also a fat lie! There is one question that I'd like to pose to Muslims. How do you know that the spirit who gave Muhammed revelations in the cave was truly from God? The funny thing is, I've encountered some evil spirits. And trust me, they could tell you anything but the truth. If that spirit was not really Gabriel but an imposter, then there is no wonder that Quran entices people to die and to kill in the name of Allah. Why would a "holy" god promise to give virgins and alcohol to the men who die in jihad? What a picture of lust and indulgence that Allah has portraited for his naive followers! It sounds more like a brothel than a holy heaven! After I read this book, I was reminded about some strange opinions and accusations that Muslims had about Jesus and against the Christian Bible. I didn't know what they were talking about and wondered where they got all those funny ideas from. Now I know why --- simply becasue the Quran told them so. I've done my research and questioned everything because I was deceived once by Buddhism and didn't want to be deceived again by anything or anyone. Now I know what I believe and why I believe. But do you? Or you prefer to just accept things mindlessly because the Quran says so and so? Once again you might tell me what Quran says. My muslim friends told me that they were not allowed to question Islam's authenticity. Anyone who questioned was doomed to hell. Well, what a system of controlling and manipulation Islam is! Let me tell you plainly, if you don't question, you're risking your own life and your whole eternity. What if Jesus He did die and die for your sins becasue you cannot afford to pay for your sins and are powerless to save yourself? Imagine if He died for your sins but you refuse to believe in this and let Him take away your sins? It wasn't an easy death for Jesus, but will you care enough about the price He paid for you and start to seek the truth? ... Read more

45. Silent No More: Confronting America's False Images of Islam
by Paul Findley
list price: $15.95
our price: $13.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590080017
Catlog: Book (2001-07)
Publisher: Amana Publications
Sales Rank: 95539
Average Customer Review: 3.98 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

SILENT NO MORE; Confronting America’s False Images of Islam

In his recently released book Silent No More: Confronting America’s False Images of Islam, Paul Findley, a 22-year veteran of Congress, chronicles his long, far-flung trail of discovery through the World Of Islam: the false stereotypes that linger in the minds of the American people, the corrective actions that the leaders of America’s seven million Muslims are undertaking, and the community’s remarkable progress in mainstream politics.

It is an indispensable source for Muslims and for anyone who speaks, writes, or worries about human rights, interfaith harmony and global cooperation.With precise citations, Findley, a Christian, debunks in his narration, the stereotypes of Islam.The author of four other books, two of them on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Findley draws on his decade-long experience as the senior Republican on the House of Representatives subcommittee on the Middle East, his personal knowledge of the region and its leaders, as well as his nationwide acquaintance with U.S. Muslims.

He writes: “Most Americans have never read a verse from the Qur’an, nor met a person they knew to be Muslim.Their distorted images of Islam come from snippets of television news and headlines that falsely link Islam with terrorism and the degradation of women. They have no awareness of Islamic principles and beliefs—monotheism, peace, charity, compassion, interfaith tolerance, women’s rights—common principles that should bind Muslims, Christians, and Jews together.” The book is published by Amana Publications and is available from the publisher or the main bookstores such as, Barnes and Nobles and Borders.

Quotes from Silent No More: The partisan arena: “After being quietly on the sidelines for years, [Muslims] are gaining prominence in government and demonstrating skill in politics.They are getting elected to public office, helping other candidates win, providing leadership in political party and government policy activities, and establishing a presence in the judicial branch of government.” [See page 221]

Bloc voting success: In November 7, 2000 presidential voting, “Muslims were the main new political element in Florida, whose twenty-five electoral votes finally settled the outcome of one of the most protracted presidential contests in history…. Bush benefited substantially from Muslim bloc voting. Florida Muslims provided him with a net margin that exceeded 60,000 votes, sixty times his winning margin.” [See pages 268-269]

“Muslim bloc voting brought about a major alteration of the American political landscape…. During the year, over seven hundred Muslims sought election as candidates…. One hundred and fifty-two were victorious….In major political campaigns of the future, every serious contender for a major office will seek an interview with Muslim leaders.As Albert Gore lists errors in his presidential campaign, his failure to reschedule his cancelled date with [national Muslim] leaders may head the list.” [See pages 271-272]

“The Muslims who are engaged in organizational and public policy activities have made impressive strides in interfaith understanding, but they constitute only a small fraction of Islam’s community in America.” [See page 218] Findley’s advice to Muslims: “They must defend their faith aggressively and publicly against misconceptions and misrepresentations, especially those expressed by professed Muslims. Muslims should identify themselves publicly with Islam and seek ways to present the truth about their faith to non-Muslims…. Muslims can display their religious affiliation modestly but effectively by wearing a lapel pin, necklace, or ring that displays the word Allah, star-and-crescent, or some other visible linkage with Islam.[As a result of this display] their own good behavior and worthy accomplishments will be identified with Islam.” [See pages 282-284] “At present, television audi ... Read more

Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's about time...

As a Muslim growing up in the USA, it has always been hard for me to be named a terrorist everytime I read the paper or turn on the television.

Although many of these facts are known by the Islamic community, which has written about the prejudice and bias against Islam, no book until now was available for all Americans to read. In his book, Paul Findley, described as "First class" (Christian Science Monitor) and "Straightforward and valid" (Washington Post), confronts, as well as explains the false images of Islam and Muslims in America throughout the past few decades.

I certainly believe this is one of those books that must be read, not only for the Muslims that are desperate to get a brake, but also for the Americans who think to themselves after Headline News; "How can this religion have over one billion followers if it's about blowing up everything they see?"

Hopefully, this book will have great positive effect on Americans and their idea of Islam...

4-0 out of 5 stars Islam does not = terrorism
This book gets an A for effort for its attempt to
bridge the gaps of ignorance and the stereotypes of Muslims in America. Mr. Findley, gives a good perspective of Islam from his years of travel, and interfaith dialog from his point of view as an American and Christian.

I believe some of the reviews of this book have been full of bias and hatred. Its not fare that every book or thought on Islamic issues be tied to September 11th. Would it be fare to tie the Oklahoma bombing to Christianity just because a crazy man claimed to be Christian, or the many bombing of various clinics in this country, or other past evils in the world, Europe.... EVERY RELIGION HAS EXTREMIST!!! What the author is trying to say that there is a powerful anti- Islamic force in America and that our society should check its bias, sometimes racist ideologies toward Muslims and Arabs.
Should an entire religion always be related to to one act of evil. The Bible says, (MAT 7:2) when you judge, judge fairly with the same measure that you judge...

Can a gentleman write a book with the intentions on united people of different faiths with out getting slammed by narrow minded obvious foes?

The author's Islamic base was limited and in parts flawed as he related to dogmatic issues. Women leading prayers in mixed or all male group on page 147. His insistence on it being ok for women to shake hands or not wear scarves just because some do and some don't. Islam doesn't have to and shouldn't conform or be molded into any Western mores. I agree with his basis belief, that we share a common belief, believing in the God of Ibrahim.

I totally agree with Mr.Findley's claim that "sometimes false images of Islam arise from malice..." (page 68)I believe it is done from pure laziness and ignorance and some times for political means.

I challenge some of you to go to your nearest library and visit the micro film room. Read a newspaper from the 1800, 50's and 60's and check out the tone of each decade. Public hangings of African Americans were legal in this country. There was a time when Jews were hated just as African American. Should an African American eternally hate Whites based on this American holocaust? No, and American shouldn't hate all Arabs because of September 11th.

Mr.Findley book at least challenges us to look at Muslims and Islam from another perspective-one without bias. Please read the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely important!
The importance of this book cannot be overstressed. Nowadays, when distorted and inaccurate images of Islam so strongly pervade the West, this highly momentous contribution provides a valuable antidote to islamophobia. Why is it that when mainstream media describe Islam, they only use the word in conjunction with some of the following nouns: fundamentalism, terrorism or extremism? Why do they focus only on certain minority groups within Islam that by no means are representative of the entire Islamic community. There is and there always will be extremism in Christianity, Judaism and Islam but as it stands today, the entire focus is on Islam. Why has no one spoken of Orthodox Christian fundamentalism when Bosnian Serbs were committing abhorrent crimes against Bosnian Muslims in Bosnia? Bosnian Serbs destroyed every single mosque (approximately 600 in Serb-controlled areas) while almost every church remained intact in the areas controlled by Bosnian Muslims. Almost 90% of Bosnian Muslims have been expelled from Republika Srpska while many Serbs still live in Sarajevo, Tuzla etc. In 1995, Bosnian Serb forces committed one of the worst massacres in Europe since World War II killing approximately 9,000 Muslims in Serbrenica. Many Muslims report being called "bloody Turks" by Serb soldiers even though all such links are preposterous let alone completely groundless. What connection can there possibly be between Bosnian Muslims and today's Turks? None! If these acts are not indicative of Orthodox Christian fundamentalism then I do not know what is. Before the war in Bosnia began, Serb intellectuals frequently portrayed Muslims as intractable fundamentalists who belonged in the Middle East. Islam was and still is considered by the majority of Serbs an abberation. Even the recipient of the Nobel Prize, Ivo Andric, described Muslims in his book The Bridge on the Drina as atavistic people whose views were reactionary and completely incompatible with those of the Westerners. Andric also asserted in his book that Bosnian Muslims in fact were treacherous and cunning converts who betrayed their Christian brothers. Another highly influential writer of Serbia, Vuk Draskovic, urged the Serbs to annihilate all Bosnian Muslims as they allegedly posed a threat to "Greater Serbia". Similar views are constantly voiced through Serbia. During the course of the Bosnian war, Russians and Greeks never condemned Serb atrocities in Bosnia and they sought to prevent a military intervention in Bosnia against their Orthodox Christian brothers. Once again, a clear and unequivocal example of Orthodox Christian fundamentalism and yet no mention of this fact in mass media. Secularized, Bosnian Muslims were and still are much less religious than their Serb and Croat counterparts. Even though Serb nationalism has been extremely well documented by many eminent Western scholars, none has shed light on Orthodox Christian fundamentalism. Similarly, there is no discussion of Jewish extremism in the Western media in spite of the flagrant Israeli violations of human rights. When Isrealis kill the Palestinians then it is in self-defence but when the Palestinians kill Israelis then it is a clear act of terrorism. When Israelis assassinate civilians who happen to be in the vincinity of the so called terrorists then it is collateral damage. The abominable acts perpetrated by the Israelis are always somehow justified in the corporate media, the opposite is never true of the deeds committed by the Palestinians. Thus, the corporate media rarely if ever account for Christian or Jewish extremism. Furthermore, in a study conducted by the Wall Streed journal, prominent Arab Americans were asked what they thought fuelled the Arab hatred for the American government. The answer was unanimous: UNCONDITIONAL U.S. SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL. In order to be able to obliterate terrorism we have to examine its roots. Given the results of this study, it should not be so difficult or is it? Highly recommended!!

2-0 out of 5 stars The great shame
This trash book pretends it 'confronts' the 'false images' of Islam. But what false image are we talking about? The author claims that many Muslims, especially in America, have obtained high roles as politicans and business leaders and that theirfore the idea of Islamic terrorist is false. But the problem is that it is not false. The terrorists of Sept 11th really did live in America. They did train in America. They really did kill 3000 Americans. So this book should have been more honest in realizing their are many images of the Islamic faith from the ultra-orthodox to the religiously moderate to the apostate and the terrorist. This book is a shame.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent view of Americans and Muslims
For individuals who which to know more about the connections between Muslims and Americans, this is the book. Even as a graduate student, no other book taught me more about the Muslim mindset. Compared to Findley's other book, "THEY DARE TO SPEAK OUT", this is a far more optimistic tome. I particular enjoyed the section where the Constitution melds perfectly with traditional Islamic belief. I also liked learning more about why Muslims dress the way they do, how men/women interect, and the growing political power.

Sadly, this book has a flaw that is not its own fault; it was released just before the 9/11 attacks, and I felt that the attacks cast a shadow over the book that needed explaining. I recommend "THEY DARE..." to cover this. ... Read more

46. Inside Islam: The Faith, the People and the Conflicts of the World's Fastest Growing Religion
by John Miller, Aaron Kenedi
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
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Asin: 1569245681
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Marlowe & Company
Sales Rank: 257798
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Inside Islam offers an unprecedented and timely exploration of Islam in all its complexity—from the prophet Muhammad and the book of Qur’an to the sacred city of Mecca, the role of women in Islam, and the status of the modern faith in cities and countries throughout the world. This volume assembles fourteen accessible, insightful essays by many of the world’s preeminent writers, historians, journalists, and scholars who have addressed the subject of Islam:

Karen Armstrong * Bernard Lewis * Huston Smith * V. S. Naipaul * Ryszard Kapuscinski * Geraldine Brooks * Thomas Cleary * Akbar S. Ahmed * Michael Wolfe * Robert D. Kaplan * Geneive Abdo * Mark Singer * William Vollman * Fareed Zakaria

Organized into three sections—the origins of the Muslim faith, the people around the world who adhere to its tenets, and its historic and modern conflicts, Inside Islam is for everyone seeking new levels of understanding about the religion whose influence is being felt around the world now more than ever. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars A cross- sampling of views
I think the intro by Akbar Ahmed articulates best that there will always be a debate as to why certain authors works were included in this book. I personally like the sections from Huston Smith, Akbar Ahmed, Thomas Cleary and Michael Wolfe.
The sections I find the most problematic were Women in Islam by Geraldine Brooks and to some degree "Why they hate us" by Fareed Zakaria. Ms. Brooks's essay deals with a family conflict which ends up in murder. For someone who want's know about Islam this is hardly the place to start. Similarly Mr. Zakaria is obective and presents some good information of "why they hate us", but there is a big problem in how eg he refers to the Quran. I will not even repeat what he says, but this is nothing but poisonous.

If someone does not know too much about Islam I would say tread with caution. If you want to get a sampling and decide which books to read further then obviously this is a one way to do it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fourteen accessible, insightful essays
Inside Islam is edited by John Miller and Aaron Kenedi and provides fourteen accessible, insightful essays by many of the world's prominent writers and historians, each of whom address the subject of Islam and its beliefs. Essential to an understanding of the region's sentiments and conflicts and especially recommended for young adult readers.

4-0 out of 5 stars A well rounded compilation of essays, politically correct.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the articles were both dignified and for the most part objective. A novice in my study of the Muslim faith, I found this book to be enlightening and informative.

However, I found what I believe to be crucial questions about the foundations of Islam to be unanswered, (for those of us who want to think the best of the Islamic faith). First, if (according to the Quaran and the Nation of Islam,) all White men are evil, how is it that we are "redeemable" at all? Does this explain the fundamentalist position that we are the infidel that needs to be destroyed? Of course, I realize that not all practicing Muslims believe this, but I would question my faith if such a system supported a notion so extreme. Is there a New Testament of sorts in the Q'ran that clarifies this, or are we all doomed?

Secondly, I would find it insulting to be called a nominal Christian, or a moderate. I am either a follower of Christ, or I am not. Recently, Muslims seem to want to be identified as "moderates". Is this a political position for fear of persecution, or to disquise a higher goal, which many fear?

Furthermore, the sensationalist rehetoric of the lead minister of the Nation of Islam does not go unnoticed, any more than that of other extremists who claim to want peace and equality. Many misguided souls blindly trusted Hitler, Lenin, and Jim Jones. Unfortunately such cases, the threat of death always follows the apostate. Who would choose such an oppressive life? How does the average Muslim account for such atrocious human rights violations supported by their holy book? A person's life must be consistent with his or her faith, or it is not true faith at all. Constantine smeered the Christian faith by forcing it upon his constituants. Islam punishes lack of loyalty with death. If your faith is inconsistent with your values and lifestyle, then perhaps your faith is misguided, but the Muslim religion tolerates no such disloyalty. Out of necessity it seems, moderate cells are cropping up all over the place. This is the part that many do not understand. To this day, all over the world, people are converted at the point of the sword. If one's faith is true, shouldn't he trust God to bring about a person's salvation in spirit and in truth? Political correctness will never address these problems.

There is a conflict that arises as the values of one's faith are juxtaposed against that of another, and underlying principles (such as true respect for women as God's creation, and Salvation through God's love and grace, and not merely anything we have done or can do to earn it)that we are asked not only to narrow our thinking, but to comprimise our values.

Personally, I have found that learning about other faiths and cultures solidifies and/or challenges my own. This is a good thing. "Inside Islam" does a fine job of contributing to such a goal. I'm just not sure that the world is ready to be as sympathetic with a militant religion as it is with the people who seem to be suffering so much under it-one that is notoriously cruel to it's most vulnerable people, the women and children.

Is it the capitalist's fault for the poverty of entire nations, or the greed of the few at the top who refuse to share their bounty with the rest? This issue was covered nicely in Inside Islam, "Why they hate us". People of all faiths have been guilty of using and abusing others in the name of their God. The crucial point is what the foundations of the religion are.

My goal in reading this book was to discover just what those foundations are. I discovered a complexity of philosohic thought about the Muslim faith and the culture of Islam, some of which bordered on justification of human rights violations based upon the secular idea of cultural relativism, and sympathy for the victims of abuse in the name of Islam. I share in the sympathy.

Another no less informative resource worth reading is "Behind the Veil...Unmasking Islam",written by Abd El Schafi.
This book directly quotes the Quran and through interviews with the most respected Islamic Scholars, builds consensus for what the real "creed" of the Islamic religion is, concerning women, "apostates", slavery (sexual and otherwise), marriage, prostitution, and divorce, attitudes toward nonmuslims, and the militant nature of the religion as the method by which fundamentalists (such as the Taliban)spread their faith. This book is not politically correct, but no less compassionate as a result. ... Read more

47. Reason, Freedom, and Democracy in Islam: Essential Writings of Abdolkarim Soroush
by Abdolkarim Soroush, Mahmoud Sadri, Ahmad Sadri
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 0195158202
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 511547
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Abdolkarim Soroush has emerged as one of the leading moderate revisionist thinkers of the Muslim world. He and his contemporaries in other Muslim countries are shaping what may become Islam's equivalent of the Christian Reformation: a period of questioning traditional practices and beliefs and, ultimately, of upheaval. Presenting eleven of his essays, this volume makes Soroush's thought readily available in English for the first time. The essays set forth his views on such matters as the freedom of Muslims to interpret the Qur'an, the inevitability of change in religion, the necessity of freedom of belief, and the compatibility of Islam and democracy. Throughout, Soroush emphasizes the rights of individuals in their relationship with both government and God, explaining that the ideal Islamic state can only be defined by the beliefs and will of the majority. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Collection Of Arguments And Theories
This is a great work which is basically a collection of essays by Abd al-Karim Surush. Surush's practical philosophy and political theories are very illuminating because he deals with many of the tough issues confronting the Muslim world and the application of religious pratice within democratic forms. I highly recommend this work for anyone seriously interested in Muslim thought regarding such ideals as democracy, freedom of expression and liberty.

1-0 out of 5 stars The title is misleading
I originally bought this book for 2 reasons:

1. To find out what all the hoopla is about Dr. Soroush.
2. To discover what Islam has to say about Reason, Freedom , and Democracy.

After purchasing and reading this book, I have to conclude that neither of my goals have been achieved. Regarding reason number 1, I still do not understand why this person has become so center-staged in Iranian politics and contemporary issues. I have to resort to my own theory about him. Maybe because he has fallen out of favor with some of the ruling mullahs, and therefore had to leave his homeland and earn a living writing philosophical or pseudo-philosophical books. Now the answer to reason number 2 is even less clear. I can only conclude that the title has nothing to do with the subjects of the essays. He does write about reason, freedom, and democracy, but where is the Islam? Maybe the title should have been: The Ideal of Reason, Freedom, and Democracy as wished by an Iranian intellectual exile from the Islamic Republic.

Anyway, I am completely disappointed with this book. Still, I give it 1 star because the author at least had a good sense not to remain in Iran and move to Cambridge, Massachusetts!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Need for a Theoretical Context
Undoubtedly, this text constitutes an essential contribution to the discourse of ideological resistance within contemporary Iranian society. Soroush, as a phenomenally visible public intellectual, has commanded an unrivaled status among those more conservative participants in the revolutionary cause, although the extent to which his writings can potentially incite a tangible political movement remains to be seen. With respect to this particular compilation, the exercise of translation is certainly exceptional and the readability with which the inherent complexity of Soroush's fusion of Islamic theology and modern philosophy is conveyed throughout the course of the book proves admirable. Nevertheless, this text warrants one primary criticism in that it fails to provide a theoretical contextualization of Soroush's thoughts amidst the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. More precisely, there is a definite need for further elaboration on the relationship of Soroush's intellectual contributions to the socioeconomic and cultural state of Iran as we now confront it, the nation's stace vis a vis the project of modernity, and the global marginalization which the country has been compelled to endure at the hands of an authoritarian theocratic apparatus. ... Read more

48. Jesus and the Muslim
by Kenneth Cragg
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
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Asin: 1851681809
Catlog: Book (1999-03-01)
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Sales Rank: 655749
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49. Contemporary Debates in Islam : An Anthology of Modernist and. Fundamentalist Thought
list price: $69.95
our price: $69.95
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Asin: 0312215800
Catlog: Book (2000-07-07)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Sales Rank: 1005972
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Book Description

During the second half of the nineteenth century, a group of prominent Muslim theologians began to critically examine classical conceptions and methods of jurisprudence and devised a new approach to Islamic theology. This new approach was nothing short of an outright rebellion against Islamic orthodoxy, displaying an astonishing compatibility with nineteenth century Enlightenment-era thought. In the 20th century this modernist movement declined, to be replaced by another cultural episode, characterized by the growing power of Islamic fundamentalism. This volume looks at these two very different approaches to Islam. The editors have selected the most prominent Islamic thinkers of modernist and fundamentalist viewpoints, diverse nationalities, and from both the late decades of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the 20th century. The writers discuss their own views with regard to such issues as philosophical and political perceptions of democracy, the state, the history of Islam, women’s rights, personal lifestyle, education, and the West.
... Read more

50. The Muqaddimah
by Ibn Khaldun
list price: $29.95
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Asin: 0691017549
Catlog: Book (1969-03-01)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 273636
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Muqaddimah, often translated as "Introduction" or "Prolegomenon," is the most important Islamic history of the premodern world. Written by the great fourteenth-century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldûn (d. 1406), this monumental work laid down the foundations of several fields of knowledge, including philosophy of history, sociology, ethnography, and economics. The first complete English translation, by the eminent Islamicist and interpreter of Arabic literature Franz Rosenthal, was published in three volumes in 1958 as part of the Bollingen Series and received immediate acclaim in America and abroad. A one-volume abridged version of Rosenthal's masterful translation was first published in 1969.

This new edition of the abridged version, with the addition of a key section of Rosenthal's own introduction to the three-volume edition, and with a new introduction by Bruce B. Lawrence, will reintroduce this seminal work to twenty-first-century students and scholars of Islam and of medieval and ancient history.

... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterful work that is good for all times

The English interpretation of Ibn Khaldun's historical works should be read by all those who wish to gain a better understanding into the currents that drive human civilization. The scholar's words, although they were written down over six hundred years ago, contain insights that are remarkable and wisdom that will provide the reader with a fresh outlook on the world around them.

The work deals with the various conditions that underly the rise, maintenence, maturity and decline of civilization and of the political entities that are created by people. The role of the "dynasty" (government) in the economy, the effect of taxation, the circulation of wealth, and other aspects of the political economy are set down in great detail.

Ibn Khaldun describes the stages that every civilization passes from the turmoil of the inception of political entities, through the stability of the "middle period," to the "senility" and decline. Where the pursuit of luxury and ease in a sociey dominates and results in the eventual death of the dynasty. His parallel of the life of a society and with the life of an individual is a thing that is thought provoking.

I hope more people will read this book and thereby experience the genius of Ibn Khaldun.


Sharif M. Sazzad

5-0 out of 5 stars The Newton of Social Sciences!
I first read this book as part of a history course, but I only appreciated it when I read it later at a slower pace (the first time was just some pre-exam cramming!). I like to use the analogy of ibn Khaldun being the Isaac Newton of social sciences since their contributions were similar in a way: they both took a very ordinary happenings that people take for granted everyday (the falling objects in Isaac Newton's case, everyday social life in ibn Khaldun's case), researched them and gave some marvellous findings. ibn Khaldun shows how societies and people group together to form communities, cities and eventually countries and nations. He shows through logical reasoning the relationship between social and economic circumstances within a society, plus many other fascinating findings that show that the medieval Arabs must have had some very organized researchers and thinkers. Definitely one of the best books ever written on social sciences.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dated in ways, but nonetheless carries some core truths
You can chisel out the sections on temperature and race, temperature and behavior, for these are silly and offensive. He compares Sub-Saharan Africans as just a hair above dumb animals, and he slams Arabs and Bedouin in other ways. However, his sections on economics and social politics are still valid, and he was a pioneer in areas that other Westerners tend to get credit for.

Before Adam Smith outlined the need for "Specialized labor" in a commercial society, there was Ibn Khaldun. Khaldun wrote of the pivotal role of "crafts" and specialization of crafts in a functioning human society. He even suggests that skills in crafts are limited, that is, if you're a master shoe-maker you in all likelihood won't be a master farmer. Therefore, master shoe-makers should make as many shoes as they can and farmers should farm as they can, so as to produce as many goods between the two of them than if they shared their time doing both. Before there was Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig Von Mises, Ibn Khaldun implied the need for Rule of Law. Khaldun chastized the Bedouin who disrupted the social order through their raids, and sent the craftsmen packing. Some sort of consistent legal standard and social order is needed to ensure that specialized labor has the ability to perform its "crafts". Before there was Reaganomics and Arthur Laffer, there was Ibn Khaldun. You want more tax revenue? Cut taxes, which provides incentive for people to work harder and expand their enterprises. More business, more economic growth, more tax revenue. High taxes deter enterprise and shrinks tax revenue. Arthur Laffer? Yes, but Ibn Khaldun 300+ years earlier.

The issue Khaldun is most known for is "squadness", Group Feeling, Group Narcissism, Tribalism, whatever you wish to call it. Governments and regimes come and go based on the strength of the leaders to appeal to group cohesion. This could be religious, blood, nationalist, whatever, but regimes need ideological cohesion in order to survive. Once that group feeling is lost, the regime becomes weak and conquerable if not self destructive. Multiculturalism and Postmodernism would be signs of cultural disorder and eventual social crumbling to Ibn Khaldun. Crane Brinton, Erich Fromm, Erik Hoffer all touched on the "Group Feeling" themes in their own works, in different ways and emphases, and in many ways did it better (they had more historical examples to pull from, since history has dramatically accelerated since Khaldun's time), nonetheless, Khaldun was the one who first articulated this concept of political and social (dis)order.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not for Everyone
Arnold Toynbee described this book as " Undoutedly the greatest work of its kind that has ever been created by any mind in any time or place ..." That is what convinced me to read the book, but I don't think it is for everyone.

In addition to being the "earliest critical study of history", the book is truely encyclopedic, coverying sociology, culture, theology, and economics , in addition to history. It covers the rise and fall of dynasties and civilizations ( you can see why Toynbee liked it), the necessary conditions for civilization to arise and what determines the level of civilization that will be achieved by a given population.

To pick one topic on which I have some backgroud, economics , the author sucessfully analyzes the effect of demand and supply on prices, the effect of population growth on the economy, the effect of low stable prices on commerce, and the different ways merchants make profits. All, long before these were understood in Western Europe. He also presents the case for Supply Side Economics ( the proposition that raising taxes will result in lower revenue) 600 years before Art Laffer and Ronald Reagan.

Although he refers frquently to God, Muhammad, and the Qur'an (Koran), and has an entire section devoted to theology , his approach is consistently analytical rather than religious. In many was he is influenced by Aristotle, whom he quotes favorably several times.

Unfortunately I found this a difficult book to read. Although I realize that the book has tremendous historical importance, and was highly original at the time it was written , reading it in the 21st Century I found much of the theory of history to be obvious. Not being familiar with Muslim history , I found many of his examples to be incomprehensible. Lacking a knowledge of Medeival Muslim society and culture, I found much of the institutional discussion to lack content and therefore interest.

I'm sure that for someone better read on early Muslim history and society, this is a great book.But if you are not, I do not reccomend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Shockingly amazing. A real treasure of knowledge
I first came across this amazing gem of a book while browsing through the travel section of a Borders bookstore, while my friend shopped for his software books. Just a casual glance at a couple of pages were enough to take me by storm. I almost felt as if both 'my sensibilia and my intelligibilia' (commonly used words in this book) had taken the first sip of one of the most beautifully intoxicating drink.

I soon brought it home and read it, and I read it like a hog, literally. Although, the language is a bit archaic for me, I suppose the difficulty stems from the fact that I am from a totally different field, (I am a computer systems engineer); at every turn of a page, I wished and prayed that I could pour the entire contents of the book into my head in one moment. Very rarely have I had such a desperate feeling to read a book in it's entirety.

A.J. Toynbee has remarked quite aptly about this book. "Undoubtedly the greatest work of its kind that has ever been created by any mind in any time or place..."

And I totally agree with him.

Besides delving into great details on the science of history and sociology, Ibn-Khaldun has touched upon topics I could never have imagined a scholar of those times would even think of. Mind dazzling discussions on even distant subjects like the classification of sciences, alchemy, medicine, mathematics/algebra/geometry (conics! surds!), lexicography, grammar, politics, warfare, trade, customs duties, taxation, espionage, inheritance, astronomy, astrology, sorcery, magic, physics, metaphysics, agriculture, sufism, Islamic jurisprudence, tips for students and teachers, concept of perception and extra-sensory perception, and tons of totally amazing stuff.

He even indicates where we can get even more detailed information on these topics.

He provides a very close-up view of contemporary scholarly exercise and debates and controversies. Discusses ancient and contemporary scholars and their books, Arab as well as non-Arab (Greek, Roman, Persian, Syrian, Coptic,...), casually reviewing/criticising their works as he goes along (sometimes quite insensitively and also unfairly at times, though I assume it was ultimately a classic way of scholarly interaction acrosss space and time that exists in all ages - perhaps!). However, he does ultimately provide us with great insights into works of ancient and contemporary scientists, scholars and philosophers. He has already added a number of Greek, Arabic and Persian books to the list of books I MUST read now. Amazing book indeed. A must for anybody who is interested in the monumental works in the field of knowledge.

God is the best in Knowledge. ... Read more

51. The Prophet & the Messiah : An Arab Christian's Perspective on Islam & Christianity
by C. G. Moucarry, Chawkat Moucarry
list price: $14.00
our price: $11.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0830823158
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Sales Rank: 149307
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In an age of media distortion and widespread stereotypes, Christians and Muslims both need a greater understanding of each other's faith. What do Christians believe about the Bible? What do Muslims believe about the Qur'an? And what do both Christianity and Islam have to say about Jesus and Muhammad?

In this evenhanded and conciliatory book Chawkat Moucarry calls Christians and Muslims to engage in genuine dialogue, urging them to relate to each other with true humility and respect. In a straightforward fashion he describes and compares the central doctrines of both Christianity and Islam, explaining key beliefs and debunking common misconceptions.

Christians who read this book will learn much about Islam. Likewise, Muslims who read it will discover why Christians are convinced of the truth of Christianity. Sure to provide grist for informed discussions, this rare book is one that both Muslims and Christians can fruitfully study together.

"Writing out of a rich experience of interfaith dialogue in both Arabic and European cultures, Chawkat Moucarry issues a stirring challenge to Christians and Muslims to move beyond mutual ignorance and caricature. His book is itself an example of sensitive, humble yet bold engagement with Islamic beliefs, and should be pondered by Muslims and Christians alike." Vinoth Ramachandra, author of Faiths in Conflict?

"Chawkat Moucarry shows courage in arriving at clear answers to difficult questions through meticulous and rational argumentation, while striving to demonstrate the greatest sensitivity and respect for those who would reach alternative answers. This important work will serve as a valuable new resource for Christian-Muslim interaction. Adherents of both faiths should read it and use it as a key reference point in diverse contexts of interfaith dialogue." Peter Riddell, Centre for Islamic Studies, London Bible College ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Friendly Approach To Two Tension Gapped WorldViews!!!
The Prophet and the Messiah: An Arab Christian's Perspective on Islam and Christianity, by Chawkat Moucarry, presents a contrast and comparison between Muslim beliefs and Christian beliefs. Moucarry appeals to the audience that the best way in which to witness is through friendship and everyday dialogue.
Author's Perspective
The author himself is of Arab/Muslim ancestry and Christian heritage. Moucarry states his primary thesis on p. 15, "This book attempts to examine the claims of both Christianity and Islam....what I am seeking, I suppose, is to build a bridge between the Christian and Muslim communities." Moucarry himself has lived in both of these types of communities throughout his life and realizes that there is a surmounting tension growing that must be resolved. He feels that the best way to do such is plainly through simple dialogue. He has seen that in the book market there are many books that are full of harsh criticisms between these communities, thus he decided to write a book in which would as positively as possible shine the light of God into both of these "religions." After having lived as both, he felt that the best possible way to approach each would be to mirror them through contrast and comparison.

Presentation of Material
Dr. Moucarry divided his book up into five sections:
1. The Scriptures (Moucarry gives a detailed account of both the Christian bible and the Muslim Qur'an. He addresses the issue of why Muslim theologians have said that Christians/Jews have falsified the Bible and then ends this section by carefully showing that there could not have been any falsification.)
2. The Key Doctrines (Moucarry now turns to many of the specifics that hold these two worlds together and how there are through discrepancies among the Muslims beliefs.)
3. The View of Jesus Christ (Moucarry now begins the largest section of his book. He opens through direct quoting of what both the Bible and the Qur'an specifically state about Jesus and which would be more accurate.)
4. The View of Muhammad (Moucarry opens the view of Muhammad as seen through the Qur'an and the Hadith. Muslims believe that the Bible (and the alleged Gospel of Barnabas) clearly teaches the forthcoming of this great Prophet-of which Moucarry carefully exegetes the Christian Bible and shows to whom were really foreseen.)
5. Contemporary Issue (Moucarry ends his book by addressing somewhat of the "missions" focus as to how these two worldviews can begin a careful and proper assimilation under the Lordship of the true God Jesus Christ.)
Prominent Features
There are several areas as to where I find this book a tremendous aid. The first area is the extent to which he has researched and written. Moucarry has not just written a basic apologetic as to why "Christianity Stands True," but he has written in such a diverse and expansive way as to shine light into many of the untouched areas of both views. To present the message, he has allowed the two texts to become transparent and to show its true colors. Thus by doing so, he has in the end revealed that the Bible is Theological and Spiritually superior to that which the supposed Great Prophet has written. I believe that what aids his writing is the fact that he has lived both lives and is able to write as such.
I think that the second area to which is most beneficial is his superior use of direct quoting. He does not merely say, "So and so said this and that." No, he directly quotes many Islamic theologians and many, many passages from the Qur'an. What further aided this is that he did the same with the Christian Scripture.
The last area to which is helpful is that this book could most definitely witness (through the Spirit) to a Muslim reading it. He has created this book to be a dialogue for these two perspectives, thus laying a paved road to enter into friendly discourse and not harmful, driving tension.
Personal Insights
I think that the greatest insight (that is as coming from the Christian perspective) is that Satan will stop at nothing to malign the True Word of God. Probably one of the most fascinating peeks at Satan's trickery I have seen while reading this book came from p. 46:
The Qur'an urges the 'People of the Book', that is, Jews and Christians, to receive the
final revelation God had entrusted to Muhammad (2:41 ; 4:47 ). This call is based on the assumption that the Qur'an is God's revelation in Arabic confirming the preceding revelations, that is, the Torah and the Gospel.

This just shows that there is not always going to be this huge bombardment attack from the Evil One-of which most are very subtle. We must be ready to always defend the attacks (whether great or small) of the Prince of this world. We must stand guard and be prepared "in season and out of season." Go and befriend a Muslim because they are just as we are-created in the image of God!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great introduciton
Like the other reviewer, I also enjoyed "The Prophet and the Messiah". He is highly educated in the filed of Islamic studies and is a well-known spokesman for the educated interaction of the two faiths. From my own limited knowledge of the literature, this has been the most useful of the books on the subject owing to its organization and content. It is not polemical, although Moucarry is clearly a Christian.

One little observation is that many books of this sort approach Islam from the Protestant theological tradition. In some ways this seems to be useful since the majority of Protestants and all true Muslims hold a "Quranic" notion of the Book. That is, it is literal and intact as given. In Christian terms, this means that functionally most Protestants have zero conception of how the New Testament was formed from the liturgical heart of the Church, and not vice versa. So in this way the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura (bible alone) has a false bond with Islam on a textual level. It should be noted, however, that when speaking with Moslems it needs to be remembered that their equivalent to Jesus Christ incarnate of Mary as God is not Muhammad, but the Qur'ân. We have an incarnated God, they have an "inscripturated" God. There is much to learn from the ancient Churches of the Near and Middle East in this regard.

Other useful books in this regard are Cragg's "Muhammad and the Christian", "Paths to the Heart" edited by Cutsinger is very useful if you have an interest in Sufism and Eastern Orthodoxy, Bell's "The Origin of Islam in Its Christian Environment", Daniel Sahas' "John of Damascus on Islam: The Heresy of the Ishmaelites", and Stockle's "The Doctrine of Islam and Christian Belief".

5-0 out of 5 stars Eye opening and helpful
Recently popular Christian writer Don Richardson published a book called "The Secrets of the Koran" in which the author chronicles passages in the Koran that he finds offensive and he wants to bring to the attention of Christian leaders (and all leaders for that matter).

In "The Prophet and the Messiah" author Chawkat Moucarry takes a different approach. Moucarry looks at both the Bible and the Qur'an and examines places of connection between them. Quoting both the Qur'an and Islamic theologians, Morcarry finds places of dialog between Christians and Muslims that can lead to a better understanding of both religions and can move a Muslim into a better understanding of the true Christian message.

One of the main goals Moucarry has in his book is to create dialog between the Muslim believer and the Christian believer. In writing about his childhood in Syria, Moucarry comments:

Although Christians and Muslims have been living together for hundreds of years, they have always had a ghetto mentality, especially with regard to their faiths. Mutual ignorance, some would argue, was the price of trouble-free coexistence . . .This compromise proved quite unacceptable to the teenager I was at that time.

Moucarry's book then proceeds to chronicle important doctrines and beliefs of each faith looking at:
- the Holy books for both Muslims and Christians
- key doctrines for both faiths
- Jesus Christ and issues relating to Him
- Muhammad and issues relating to him.

Along the way Moucarry also looks at key problems between both faiths.

For example in Chapter 10 Moucarry looks at the Crucifixion. For many this subject is a place of disagreement between Christians and Muslim that seems irreconcilable. Moucarry helps us see what the Qur'an really says and how early Muslim interpreters did not see this verse as a problem. It was only later that this problem came up. (Read the book to find out more).

Moucarry does the same thing for many other key issues such as Jesus the Son of God, the Trinity, Mohammad's prophethood, and the Bible foretelling of Mohammad.

With each issue Moucarry looks at what the Qur'an says and what the Bible says and then at the writings of key theologians to help us understand how believers have dealt with this key issues. Along the way we gain deeper understanding of both faiths and, for the true seeker, we gain a greater ability to have dialog and to be able to seek truth together. ... Read more

52. The Dark Side of Islam
by R. C. Sproul, Abdul Saleeb
list price: $14.99
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Asin: 1581344414
Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
Publisher: Crossway Books
Sales Rank: 43970
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Basics for the Christian
I would recommend this book to the average Christian who wants to know more about Islam. Mr. Saleeb's first-hand knowledge of Islam and Christianity provide a reliable source for the facts shared. He brings to light the sharp pragmatic differences between the two religions, while R.C. Sproul does an excellent job showing the philosophical division.

After reading this book it should be clear that Islam is vastly different from Christianity. This is an important point considering that many today would like to say that Islam and Christianity are so similar. One last point is that the book only spends one little chapter at the end discussing the violent side of Islam. And even here Mr. Saleeb clearly states that most Muslims are friendly people. His point is: the violent minority are justified in their actions (according to the Quran).

The comment about the author dismissing "thousands of years of Christian ignorance" is erroneous. First of all, it was not his "main argument." Second of all, for nearly a thousand years, many Christians (including priests) did not have a good knowledge of the Bible (and even if they did, they were working with the Latin Vulgate, and not the original text). Furthermore, the crusades and inquisition were both political moves primarily. No student of Jesus Christ could consent to such violent actions. These charges require only but a little study of the Bible and Church history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Is there a bright side?
Good book. My only objection is against the title -- there is really no bright side to Islam, it is all dark. May God judge and destroy this false religion. But unlike Islam, we will not use terrorism to do it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book
In this book, R.C. Sproul and Abdul Saleeb (pseudonym), a Muslim convert to Christianity, discuss the major doctrinal differences between Christianity and Islam. They demonstrate that these two religions have fundamentally different views on a number of doctrines, and they present a defense for the Christian view of each. The seven doctrines discussed in the book's first seven chapters are Scripture, the fatherhood of God, the Trinity, sin, salvation, the death of Christ, and the deity of Christ. The final chapter presents the roots of terrorism in the Qur'an and Muslim tradition. For all of these topics, the two authors deal well with the differences between Christianity and Islam. There is one additional area that would have benefited this book greatly, in my opinion. It lacked any significant historical introduction to Islam. While not essential for understanding the material in the book, it would have still helped the average reader, who is most likely unaware of the "who, when, where, how, and why?" of Islam's founding and continuance to the present day.

1-0 out of 5 stars Flawed Arguments
The main argument of this book is that Islam is evil since Muslim terrorists can quote the Quran, and Christian terrorists like Timothy McVeign could not quote the Bible.

However, this is completely naive, and ignores the thousands of years of Christian ignorance where millions of people were executed, tortured and otherwise made miserable simply because of their beliefs. These nefarious actions were carried out by churches and religious figures that full well knew the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. Often, these figures knew more than the average person, due to the restriction of religious knowledge.

I would like to see a book that adresses this issue, and the ignoring of such an argument calls into question the credibility of this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Does Islam have a "dark side"
If you have an interest in this topic, this is definitely a book to check out. It's a quick read at just over 100 pages but it's packed with information. It's written as a conversation between Saleeb and Sproul with one asking the other how Muslims and Christians respond to questions about their faith.

One of the most interesting sections in the book is the chapter on "the dark side of Islam". Some make the analogy that Osama Bin Laden is to Islam what Timothy McVeigh was to Christianity. This is absolutely false. Bin Laden can quote Qur'anic verses and traditions from Muhammad that justify his actions. McVeigh could not quote from the Bible or refer to Jesus to justify his actions. Supporters of Islam claim that Muslim terrorists are misinformed and misguided fanatics who are misinterpreting Islamic texts. However, these terrorists can quote many texts from the Qur'an to support the legitimacy of their actions.

The authors also point out that some Muslims are fond of saying that the jihad, or holy war, in Islam is only a defensive action. Only in cases of self-defense or fighting oppression are Muslims allowed to fight. However, self-defense and oppression have much broader meanings to Muslims. Muslims argue that America is attacking them by exporting its secular cultural values, by exporting Hollywood movies and destroying the cultural norms on their countries.

This book is by no means a complete study on Islam but it is good place to start if one is interested in identifying the significant differences between Islam and Christianity. ... Read more

53. The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization
by Richard W. Bulliet
list price: $24.50
our price: $19.60
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Asin: 0231127960
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Sales Rank: 21557
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54. More Than a Prophet: An Insider's Response to Muslim Beliefs About Jesus and Christianity
by Emir Fethi Caner, Caner & Caner, Ergun Mehmet Caner
list price: $13.99
our price: $10.49
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Asin: 0825424011
Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
Publisher: Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry
Sales Rank: 63778
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Organized in a question-and-answer format, this book is designed to help Christians explain their faith to Muslims. It not only contains the answers to the most common objections, supposed refutations, citations, and arguments, it lovingly but unequivocally presents the key tenets of Christianity-Jesus Christ is more than a prophet. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Useful and Well-Organized
More Than a Prophet has been a helpful book in understanding the beliefs of Islam versus the traditional beliefs of Christianitiy. It is wonderfully organized for quick reference and in comparing and contrasting the religions, it offers insight into some of the contradictions of Islam and how the Christian might use those contradictions to show the deity of Christ to the Muslim. I found this book extremely useful and plan to soon read another book by the Caner brothers: Unveiling Islam.

1-0 out of 5 stars What inside perspective
The Caner brothers give a good testimonial on why Jesus should be worshipped. What they do not do is show why he should be worshipped by Muslims according to their own religious doctrines. Simply by being born to Muslim parents, the Caner brothers have dubbed themselves insiders, and use this book as nothing more than a missionary tract. I admire them for wanting to spread the light of Christ, but I feel that this is done in a dishonest way.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you need real answers about Islam, this is the book!
It's one thing to suspect that Islam's view of Jesus and Christianity's view of Jesus are different. It's another to be able to argue it. Many of us firmly believe in Jesus, but we just don't have the Scriptural support to argue why He's so important, let alone the knowledge of the Qu'ran to be able to make that argument clearly to Muslims.

But this book helps, by posing the most common questions Muslims ask about Christianity, and showing how real answers are found not only in the Bible, but also ultimately in a personal relationship with Christ. Can you show that Jesus is the Son of God? Did you know many Muslims mistakenly believe our Trinity includes Mary? Do you know why Jesus is unique? If not, then you need this book, which takes you step by step through our most important doctrines. Even if you have no theological training, More Than a Prophet is easy to understand, and will help you, in turn, to understand your Muslim neighbors.

We are not enemies, and the Caner's go to great pains to show that. We are, instead, pilgrims on the same journey. More than a Prophet helps to reaffirm where that journey should be headed, and makes sure that we all get on the right road. ... Read more

55. The Place of Tolerance in Islam
by Khaled Abou El Fadl
list price: $15.00
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Asin: 0807002291
Catlog: Book (2002-11-08)
Publisher: Beacon Press
Sales Rank: 257230
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

We suddenly find ourselves with very little knowledge of a religion and culture that continues to have an enormous impact on our world. Through a close reading of the Qur'an, Khaled Abou El Fadl shows that injunctions to violence against nonbelievers stem from misreadings. Even jihad, or so-called holy war, has no basis in Qur'anic text or Muslim theology, but instead was an outgrowth of social and political conflict.

Reading the holy text in the appropriate moral and historical contexts shows that Islamic civilization has long been pluralistic, and even usually tolerant of other religions. Leading scholars of Islam offer nuanced commentary
... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars position and counterpoint
An excellent essay and responses by numerous informed commentators to understand the very real place of tolerance in Islam - especially in theory and scripture. Worth reading thoughtfully to correct the common partial or out of context quotations and polemics by Islamphobes. Most informed on the History would recognize Islam has also been significantly more tolerant that Christianity (if not Secularism) whatever the numerous exceptions at various places and times. It would have be nice to have fuller development of some themes and some historical examples but that was not the task that authors set for themselves.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent book on the place of tolerance in Islam! And yes Islam just like any religion can be either tolerant or very oppressive depending on the believers interpretations. The reader/reviewer who gave one star wishes to imply that there is no tolerance in Islam and that it is just a violent religion. What childish notions, believers of all relgions have oppressed minorities and forcibly converted them. This is not an accusation that can only be leveled at just Muslims, but to all followers of any religion. Ther is ample evidence that shows contrary to popular belief Islam was NOT spread by the sword.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Short Volume
This is an excellent short volume. The best thing about the book is that various viewpoints are presented. Fadl writes his opinion on how classical Islam is tolerant, and that it has only recently been perverted. In response we get to read other opinions ranging from those who feel that Islam is naturally anti-tolerant, to those who feel that Fadl is a "sell-out" for lack of a better word, for trying to fit Islam into a Western ideaology.

Excellent reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book
Finally a breath of fresh air , away from either cliche stereotypes of Islam or puritanical versions of it . A good book for both academics and lay persons wanting to learn more about some aspects of islamic theology and history and how they pertain to present day debate about Islam and democracy . All put forward in a simple and eloquent manner . The various essays in this book just prove that there is wide room in Islam for diversity of opinions sometimes mutually excluding one another . More importantly it goes to show that it is imperative to keep the doors of dialogue wide open . And this book has successfully achieved both .

5-0 out of 5 stars Does tolerance have a place in Islam?
What a refreshing departure from the largely vacuous and incredibly simplistic discussions about Islam in the mass media! In this remarkable collection of biting, pithy essays, a number of prominent academics and intellectuals conduct a lively debate on the question of tolerance in Islam in light of the horrifying, sobering events of September 11, 2001. Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, a scholar of Islamic law at UCLA, presents and defends his case for tolerance in Islam. Contributing essayists include Tariq Ali (an atheist and Trotskyite), Abid Ullah Jan (a rigidly conservative Muslim), Amina Wadud (a Muslim feminist), Stanley Kurtz (a rightwing American), Qamar-ul Huda (a partisan of Sufism), as well as such prominent academics as John Esposito, Milton Viorst, R. Scott Appleby, and others.

Abou El Fadl opens with a moving essay on the place of tolerance in Islam. He is resolute in his opinion that tolerance does indeed have a rightful place in Islam and that fanaticism, particularly of the sort propagated by such monsters as Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, is the product of subjecting Islam?s sacred texts to totally ahistorical, decontextualized readings. He argues that extremist groups have always existed in the history of Islam. However, extremists had always been marginalized by the mainstream of Islamic legal thinkers, not a few of whom considered holier-than-thou terrorism an outright criminal offense against Islamic law.

Furthermore, classical Islam thrived on an astonishing diversity of opinions, largely made possible because doctors of the law were free of state control. "The reality," says Abou El Fadl, "is that when compared to the puritans of modern Islam, classical Muslim scholars look like raving liberals." It is only after the colonization of the Muslim world that traditional institutions of law were dismantled and that Islam's doctors of the law were absorbed into the power structure of the recently imposed nation-state system. Such an alliance between the state and the religious establishment effectively ruled out divergent legal opinions and superimposed an obdurately conservative and narrow interpretation of Islam. Abou El Fadl understandably attributes the suffocation of contemporary Islamic legal thinking to this unholy alliance between religion and power. Furthermore, he reserves decidedly acerbic criticism for Saudi Arabia's notorious brand of puritan Islam, Wahhabism.

Abou El Fadl introduces some startling facts about Islamic history, such as the classical debate concerning Islamic imperial expansionism and the poll tax. Apparently, the Prophet of Islam did not impose a universal system of poll taxes on non-Muslims and 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Caliph, made an agreement with certain Arab Christian groups for them to pay the zakat (charitable tax) just like Muslims.

The responses to Abou El Fadl's essay are equally engaging, but I only want to mention the more interesting of these. Tariq Ali expectedly relegates the role of religion to an inferior place, exuberantly foretelling the rise of agnosticism and atheism in Muslim countries, and focuses on geopolitics to explain the rise of Muslim fanaticism. Stanley Kurtz, of the (neo-) conservative Hoover Institute at Stanford University, seeks to blame the population explosion and economic failure of Muslim societies for the rise of extremism - an argument that conspicuously avoids addressing the disastrous role of US foreign policy on the Middle East. John Esposito presents a careful analysis of the struggle between conservatives and reformers in contemporary Islam, and observes the pressing need for Muslims to reappropriate religious authority from the fanatics by way of classical Islamic legal theories.

The most disappointing response of all is that of the Pakistani Muslim conservative Abid Ullah Jan. In his essay, audaciously titled, "The Limits of Tolerance", Jan turns the entire discussion upside down and directs belligerent questions about tolerance against the West instead. He absolutely rejects any designation of any Muslim group whatsoever as fundamentalists and puritans, insisting that they are all (he doesn?t bother to name them) engaged in "principled resistance", a rather bizarre description for what often constitutes terrorist activities. Jan also defends the integrity of the Taliban, without bothering to comment on their indiscriminate massacres of Shi'ite Muslims and their horrifying treatment of women, religious minorities, and foreign aid workers. Nowhere does he condemn the killing of innocent civilians by terrorist groups. He insists that Muslims who promote tolerance are simply self-hating, Anglophilic sellouts. It is not surprising then that Abou El Fadl returns the criticism in his concluding essay.

It is unfortunate that many conservative Muslims, of whom Jan is but acutely symptomatic, are psychologically incapable of self-criticism where self-criticism is long overdue. As John Esposito says, "If Western powers need to rethink and reassess their foreign policies and their support for authoritarian regimes, mainstream Muslims worldwide will need to address more aggressively the threat from religious extremists." Looking in the mirror is apparently the greatest challenge for everyone. The need for Muslim introspection is precisely where Dr. Abou El Fadl has played so impressive a role before and after 9-11.

Irrespective of whatever view one has on the question of tolerance on Islam, this book is a must read. A more diverse collection of essays on this topic, packed into so modest a number of pages, will be impossible to come by. This book highly recommended, no question about it. ... Read more

56. Religion and State
by L. Carl Brown
list price: $22.00
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Asin: 0231120397
Catlog: Book (2001-09-15)
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Sales Rank: 546860
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Book Description

If Westerners know a single Islamic term, it is likely to be jihad, the Arabic word for "holy war." The image of Islam as an inherently aggressive and xenophobic religion has long prevailed in the West and can at times appear to be substantiated by current events. L. Carl Brown challenges this conventional wisdom with a fascinating historical overview of the relationship between religious and political life in the Muslim world ranging from Islam´s early centuries to the present day.Religion and State examines the commonplace notion -held by both radical Muslim ideologues and various Western observers alike -that in Islam there is no separation between religion and politics. By placing this assertion in a broad historical context, the book reveals both the continuities between premodern and modern Islamic political thought as well as the distinctive dimensions of modern Muslim experiences. Brown shows that both the modern-day fundamentalists and their critics have it wrong when they posit an eternally militant, unchanging Islam outside of history. "They are conflating theology and history. They are confusing the oughtand the is," he writes. As the historical record shows, mainstream Muslim political thought in premodern times tended toward political quietism. Brown maintains that we can better understand present-day politics among Muslims by accepting the reality of their historical diversity while at the same time seeking to identify what may be distinctive in Muslim thought and action. In order to illuminate the distinguishing characteristics of Islam in relation to politics, Brown compares this religion with its two Semitic sisters, Judaism and Christianity, drawing striking comparisons between Islam today and Christianity during the Reformation. With a wealth of evidence, he recreates a tradition of Islamic diversity every bit as rich as that of Judaism and Christianity. ... Read more

57. The Road To Al-Qaeda : The Story of Bin Laden's Right-Hand Man (Critical Studies on Islam)
by Montasser al-Zayyat
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
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Asin: 0745321755
Catlog: Book (2004-01-20)
Publisher: PLUTO PRESS
Sales Rank: 79102
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"The Road to Al-Qaeda" is a controversial book. Written by an Egyptian human rights lawyer, it is the first English-language account of the development of tensions between violent and non-violent factions in radical Islamist movements, from the perspective of an insider. It is also a biography of one of the world's most-wanted terrorists: Egyptian-born Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri. Widely recognized as the man who will take over the leadership of Al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden, he is also the reputed architect of the Riyadh bombings in Saudi Arabia.

The original version of this book sold widely across the Arabic world. Reproduced in translation here, with an extensive introduction from distinguished scholar Ibrahim Abu Rabi, it stands alone as an unrivalled account of the divisions within militant Islamist ideology. The author provides insight into the internal politics of Islamic Jihad, and the radicalisation of bin Laden's deputy; he examines Zawahiri's opposition to efforts by other militant Islamists to call a ceasefire with the Egyptian authorities; and he narrates the redirection of Zawahiri's activities towards the US and Israel.

As an insight into one of the key minds behind Al-Qaeda this book makes unparalleled and disturbing reading. It is an important document for anyone who seeks to understand how a minority extremist ideology came to have such an impact on world events. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Provides western readers with critically important insights
Also available in a hardcover edition (0745321763, $65.00) The Road To Al-Qaeda: The Story Of Bin Laden's Right-hand Man by Montasser Al-Zayyat is the biography of one of the world's most-wanted terrorists -- Ayman al-Zawahiri. An Egyptian, Ayman was identified as the man to take over the leadership of Al-Qaeda after the death or incapacitation of Osama bin Laden. Since the September 11 attacks, Ayman is also the reputed architect of the Riyadh bombings in Saudi Arabia. Enhanced with an extensive introduction from the distinguished Islamic scholar Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi, The Road To Al-Qaeda provides western readers with critically important insights into the tensions between violent and non-violent factions within radical Islamist movements. No contemporary Islamic Studies collection can be considered complete or comprehensive without the inclusion of The Road To Al-Qaeda.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
By rendering this book into English, Ahmed Fekry and Sarah Nimis have done a tremendous service for anyone seeking more insight into international terrorism than she can get from a talking head on the evening news.

Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi3's introduction, though a bit meandering, provides useful background and presents interesting questions.

Highly recommended. ... Read more

58. The Mantle of the Prophet
by Roy Mottahedeh
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
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Asin: 1851682341
Catlog: Book (2000-08-01)
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Sales Rank: 128827
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

First printed fifteen years ago, Roy Mottahedeh's intriguing vista upon Iranian society and the lives of those who lived through the revolution remains as relevant today as it was then. The story of a young mullah growing up in the ancient and sacred city of Qom, this is not just a fascinating study of life in post-Khomeini Iran, but a striking survey of Muslim, Persian, and Shi'ite culture from the Middle Ages to today. A particularly timely title, given recent developments in Iran, The Mantle of the Prophet serves as a fascinating study of Middle Eastern law and life. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A book that left a lasting impression
I read The Mantle of the Prophet many years ago. OSmehow the Amazaon computer knew me well enough to reccomend it, and it brought back the impression that this book left me. It is wonderfully written and relates the mix of socio-economic events and the Shi'a culture that coalesced to foment the Islamic Revolution in 1979. However, the sense the reder gets while rapidly going through it, is that the book presents this very thoughtful and clear historical and sociological argument in the manner of a novel, you can't put the book down. This no ordinary academic text and Mottahedeh combines the skills and art of the poet and novelist with the clarity and facts of an academic. I have never read such an interesting and clear - devoid of controversy or criticism - description of what's it like to study in a Shiá Madrasa, to undertand the curriculum and the stages that a student must follow to become an Ayatoallah. Mottahedeh also offers a simple and brilliant, powerful description of the cultural contrast that existed between the supericially modern and wealthy cosmopolitan Teheran and the countryside, which supplied so many of the clerics that influenced the masses living on the fringe. This book is as invaluable to the specialist, and is an excellent complement to the socio-hiostorical classic text by Ervand Abrahamian "Iran Bewteen two Revolutions", yet it can also be read and enjoyed by the non-specialist just the same. This was, however I look at it, one of the finest books I've ever read in my life

5-0 out of 5 stars Rise of learned
Very comprehensive information about the shia, shia philosophy, development of learned in shia hierarchy and finally Islamic revolution in Iran. The story is written about a certain person as he grow up in Iran, got his education in religious centers and involved in the actions. The history and information are given as the situation requires background about it. It is very nicely written, easy to read entertaining and informative.
Sometimes I found names mixed, to many names with too different philosophies to keep up, so it is a fast book to read, time to time you may have to come back and repeat.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Pleasant Read
Roy Mottahedeh skillfully weaves together the lives of several people from Iran to present a personal point of view of modern history with a vantage point rarely presented in other modern history texts. He also does not fail to address all the necessary points in history that set the stage for actions in Iran's recent history and give the reader an adequate foundation for understanding Iran's revolution.

5-0 out of 5 stars An indispensable and beautifully constructed book about Iran
This book alternates between historical and analytical background and culturally rooted biography. The focus is on the personal development of Shia clergy in modern Iran. Mottahedeh displays impressive historical learning and insight into a culture much maligned and misunderstood in the West. A good and informative read on an important subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating history of Iran through one man's life story.
Anyone with an interest in history,philosophy, religion, the Middle East, Iran, or human nature, would find this erudite, beautifully written, very readable and sensitive story of one man's life as a religious scholar in Iran, a thoroughly satisfying read. Iran's history from ancient times to the Revolution of 1979 is interwoven with the biography of a Shiah Islamic cleric. The book's strength comes from the author's clarity of expression and his deep and broad understanding of his subject.A wonderful book! ... Read more

59. Islam And The Blackamerican: Looking Toward the Third Resurrection
by Sherman A. Jackson
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
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Asin: 019518081X
Catlog: Book (2005-05-30)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 129400
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Book Description

Sherman Jackson offers a trenchant examination of the career of Islam among the blacks of America. Jackson notes that no one has offered a convincing explanation of why Islam spread among Blackamericans (a coinage he explains and defends) but not among white Americans or Hispanics. The assumption has been that there is an African connection. In fact, Jackson shows, none of the distinctive features of African Islam appear in the proto-Islamic, black nationalist movements of the early 20th century. Instead, he argues, Islam owes its momentum to the distinctively American phenomenon of "Black Religion," a God-centered holy protest against anti-black racism.Islam in Black America begins as part of a communal search for tools with which to combat racism and redefine American blackness. The 1965 repeal of the National Origins Quota System led to a massive influx of foreign Muslims, who soon greatly outnumbered the blacks whom they found here practicing an indigenous form of Islam. Immigrant Muslims would come to exercise a virtual monopoly over the definition of a properly constituted Islamic life in America.For these Muslims, the nemesis was not white supremacy, but "the West." In their eyes, the West was not a racial, but a religious and civilizational threat. American blacks soon learned that opposition to the West and opposition to white supremacy were not synonymous. Indeed, says Jackson, one cannot be anti-Western without also being on some level anti-Blackamerican. Like the Black Christians of an earlier era struggling to find their voice in the context of Western Christianity, Black Muslims now began to strive to find their black, American voice in the context of the super-tradition of historical Islam.Jackson argues that Muslim tradition itself contains the resources to reconcile blackness, American-ness, and adherence to Islam. It is essential, he contends, to preserve within Islam the legitimate aspects of Black Religion, in order to avoid what Stephen Carter calls the domestication of religion, whereby religion is rendered incapable of resisting the state and the dominant culture. At the same time, Jackson says, it is essential for Blackamerican Muslims to reject an exclusive focus on the public square and the secular goal of subverting white supremacy (and Arab/immigrant supremacy) and to develop a tradition of personal piety and spirituality attuned to distinctive Blackamerican needs and idiosyncrasies. ... Read more

60. Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam
by John L. Esposito
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0195168860
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 91390
Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (27)

3-0 out of 5 stars Missing a few points
I picked this title hoping to increase my understanding of how these groups justify terror in pursuit of their goals. Esposito is an expert (per his bio), but after reading the book, I'm concerned. The conclusion I got from the book is that mainstream Islam is now the violent, death-to-the-infidel that myself and most others fear. The author does some justice to Islam's history, skipping though, some very important events. The battle of Tours and the later seiges of Vienna, where Moslem expansion into central Europe ended, are skipped. I have to think that if a people's memory is that long, that these defeats play some part in the character of the culture. Esposito fails to mention them. Also, his reformers of the last part of the book are mostly without voice outside of a very small area. I'm glad there are a few peaceful men (notice no Muslim women are mentioned anywhere) but, historically every major cultural change has been accompanied by years of violence. The freeing of the French people, and the American Civil war come to mind. The dictators and tyrants who currently rule the mid-east know this and are very wary of having their subject peoples direct their frustration inward. They would all probabaly be replaced if attention was directed to the true source of the citizens troubles. Esposito mentions this, but doesn't elaborate. I wish he had. Fine background into Islamic belief, but fails to truly describe why thousands danced in the streets of Levant on 11 Sept '02.

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent primer
Esposito, certainly one of the foremost scholars today who deals knowledgeably with the interrelationship of Islam and Christianity, has produced this short but extremely readable and relevant book detailing in succint form what he believes to be the issues that are the basis for the struggle between radical Islam and America. I highly recommend this book for people who come to the issue with little prior knowledge about the issues shaping the problem, or anyone who wants to have a better understanding of the topic, regardless of the amount of knowledge they bring to the table. This book just may whet your appetite for more reading on the subject!

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Understanding
He tells it like it is. No B.S.

Muslim extremists follow Wahabism, not Islam. Both Muslim Extremists(or wahabists) and anti-islamic authors try to reinterpret the Quran(usually by taking verses out of context) to justify the killing of innocent civilians.

The Quran still remains unchanged. Fact is, the Quran encrouages believers to promote justice by any means necessary. Cause without justice, one can't have peace. It is a realistic book.

Anti-Islamic authors tend to show what some brutal Muslim leaders have committed and then try to relate it to Islam and make it seem as if these leaders are doing what Islam instructs. They want to prove that Islam is Muslims! It is NOT! Not one book exists that shows me a verse from the Quran that tells Muslims to spread Islam by force! Not surprising, cause it doesn't exist.

Yes, there are more than 1.2 billion Muslims around the world, but how many follow the Quran? Sadly, not as much as one might think(espicially in the arab world)

Very recommended book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good book
Read the book for yourself and make up your own mind; for all the critics i have only one question: did you really read the book?

1-0 out of 5 stars Missed it by a mile....
Esposito sure has a nice way of glossing over the truth. The heart of the matter is missed and the fundamental force behind the Islamic faith is left in the corner of the closet somewhere. Since he shared his ideas, and we do have 1st Amendment rights, here are mine - the Islamic faith and the teachings of the Koran are to drive the believer of these misconceptions with a goal of world domination - religiously and if necessary, violently. How blatant and how clear the Koran is. How necessary for us to realize that to stop the core of this terrorism is to stop the spread of this "religious system", or dare I/we say - militant system? It's also time to put an end to political correctness. ... Read more

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