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101. The Road To Al-Qaeda : The Story
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102. The Complete Idiot's Guide to
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103. The Shakers: Two Centuries of
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104. An Introduction to Classical Islamic
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105. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the
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106. The Vision of Islam (Visions of
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107. The Mantle of the Prophet
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108. Global Civilization: A Buddhist-Islamic
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109. Islam And The Blackamerican: Looking
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110. Islam and the Jews: The Unfinished
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111. A Concordance of the Qur'an
112. Islamic Political Identity in
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113. The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence
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114. Suicide Bombers : Allah's New
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115. Joy : The Happiness That Comes
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116. The Case for Islamo-Christian
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117. The Qur'an: A New Translation
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118. Religion and State
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119. Why I Am Not a Muslim
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120. Islamic Art and Architecture (The

101. 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
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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

102. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Koran (Complete Idiot's Guide to)
by Muhammad Sarwar, Brandon Toropov, Sheikh Muhammad Sarwar
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Asin: 1592571050
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Alpha Books
Sales Rank: 73692
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A simple, explanatory guide to Islam's central text.

Taking the same approach as the bestselling The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to the Bible, this book presents a balanced overview of the Koran, explaining not only the "flow" of the Koran, but also what it has to say about Allah and humanity, virtue, justice, life on earth, the afterlife, women, love, unbelievers, faith, and tradition.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to Read
It is much as Moses taking the name of God in vain by the very act of writing 'His' ten commandments. Another discourse on how to do what it is impossible for a human being not to do ("the will of God"). The Koran seems (I have not read the Koran, but only the first nine and a half chapters of this book for idiots-I'm still reading) poetic. It seems at once to have better and worse expressions of God than does the Bible (to be totally inclusive and totally exclusive, both at the same time; a man's desire).
The Iliad is the best paradigm concerning God that has ever been written, and then even in Odysseus it seems that we find the creeping in of such phrases as "whether it be the will of God, or some man's will...."
Old Testament-The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
New Testament-Do not take for doctrine the commandments of men.

God cannot be objectified. Allahu Akbar. Assalamu Alaikum.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent! I learned a lot--and I'm a Muslim.
I had previously been impressed by Yahiya Emerick's "Complete Idiot's Guide (CIG) to Understanding Islam," so when I saw the CIG for the Qur'an, I had to pick it up. Like all CIGs, it's an easy read. You'll find yourself browsing through the book many times--seeing what catches your eye, as well as reading it all the way through. I'd recommend this book for all--both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. I think pretty much anybody will learn something from going through it. It would also be a great dawa tool, along with the CIG to Understanding Islam. ... Read more

103. The Shakers: Two Centuries of Spiritual Reflection (Classics of Western Spirituality)
by Robley Edward Whitson
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Asin: 0809123738
Catlog: Book (1984-04-01)
Publisher: Paulist Press
Sales Rank: 559144
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent description of Shaker beliefs
"The Shakers: Two Centuries of Spiritual Reflection" is an excellent effort at understanding Shaker beliefs.

The book, from its introduction by Gertrude M. Soule, flows very well and gives good detail of the key aspects of Shaker life throughout the nineteenth century. The first writings are a testimony to how Shaker community served to give experience of the Divine to each Believer and direction to his/her life. There is an excellent description of Joseph Meacham's viewpoint of how Shakerism relates to the life of Christ, and there are several other simple but effective sources later in the book.

The next section deals with the way in which Shakers lived out their lives within the context of the Gospel and how Shaker theology was related to the ideal of Christ and Wisdom of earlier sects. Indeed, the whole chapter shows Shaker theology possessed a mystical spirit vased on the idea of the Light of God and the discernment of spirits. This areas shows how Shakers taught "to make the way of God their occupation" and how Shaker writers believed themselves illuminated by the divine Spirit.

The third chapter "Sharing The Christlife" turns the focus away from theological matters to practical Shakerism and the observation of a religious life. Here we see the character of celibate communalism that was a fundamental Shaker doctrine and how the interests of each Believer must be the interest of all. Shakers felt the Spirit led them into this order, and in the fourth chapter we see a return to theological reflection. Because Shakerism believed God to have both male and female attributes (Ann Lee was seen as the Second Coming by believers), this part focuses on the role of Christ, and simple description of the birth and life of Christ are most effective to see Shakerism's connection to the Peace Churches of the Reformation.

This part is more difficult to read than the relatively unchallenging earlier parts, but illustrates the manner by which Shakerism was effective in developing the humanity of Christ in a way rarely seen since the first millennium. There is a lengthy treatise on historical redemption that illustrates Mother Ann's historical role, and on the dual nature of the Godhead and Trinity. The last two chapters focus on the role of spiritual gifts in Shakerism that served to enhance their lives beyond rigid routine. The gift of peace, unity, and simplicity so evident in Shakerism during the nineteenth century are put out impressively throughout these parts. Written in touching mystical language, they show Shakers as people possessed of a truly joyful spirit.

Focusing on as many Shaker writers as possible, the book gives a very good understanding of who these people were and how they evolved during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Rather than becoming incongruent, the use of many authors illustrates the communal spirit of the Shakers.

An impressive historical resource.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Resource
This volume is an excellent introduction to the breadth of Shaker experience, the diversity of writings, and the depth of thought. Shakers are often unfairly associated with an idealized view of a lifestyle or fine furniture rather than their groundbreaking theology, vital interaction with society at large, and unprecedented ability to take themselves both lightly and seriously. This volume respects "the Believers" and kindly reveals them to ecumenically minded folks. Students who can appreciate a tradition with a fluid nature will enjoy this book. ... Read more

104. An Introduction to Classical Islamic Philosophy
by Oliver Leaman
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Asin: 0521797578
Catlog: Book (2001-11-12)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 331145
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Book Description

Although Islamic philosophy represents one of the most important philosophical traditions in the world, it has only relatively recently begun to receive attention in the non-Islamic world. This is a new edition of a successful introductory book, expanded and updated to take account of recent scholarship. It focuses on what is regarded as Islamic philosophy's golden age, and will appeal to students and to any general reader interested in this philosophical tradition. ... Read more

105. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (4 Volume Set)
by John L. Esposito
list price: $175.00
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Asin: 0195148037
Catlog: Book (2001-04-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 550470
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This unique reference is a comprehensive encyclopedia dedicated to the institutions, religion, politics, and culture in Muslim societies throughout the world. Placing particular emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World contains over 750 articles in four volumes on Muslims in the Arab heartland as well as South and Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Americas. An invaluable resource, the Encyclopedia offers extensive comparative and systematic analyses of Islamic beliefs, institutions, movements, practices, and peoples on an international scale. The alphabetically arranged articles range from brief 500-word essays to major interpretive and synthetic treatment of topics such as the Islamic state, pilgrimage, law, marriage, and foreign relations. Related entries cover areas of general interest such as social and political movements, women, Muslim minorities, human rights, Islam in the West, and interreligious affairs. And prominent figures that had a lasting impact on Islam are explored including Muhammad, Aga Khan, Malcolm X, Muhammad Iqbal, 'Ali Shari 'ati, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Hasan al-Turabi. Truly multidisciplinary, this work reflects the breadth and depth of contemporary scholarship in Islamic studies. Combining the tools of the humanities and social sciences to examine the interrelationship of religion, politics, and culture in Muslim societies, it explains the changing realities of Muslim life. Its unique focus makes The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World an invaluable reference for scholars and students of many disciplines, government and media analysts, and anyone interested in increasing their understanding of Islamic politics and culture. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable
This is a fantastic set of books, both for the layperson and the scholar. It's written by a wide assortment of experts in the field, people who are extremely qualified and unbiased. A wide range of topics is covered. This IS the modern Islamic world, though, so there's very little historical information. But I use it constantly, both to satisfy my own curiosity and for a book I'm writing. Thank you to the editors and contributors of this great work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo, Mabruk ! Dr. Esposito
I just received my set of 4 volumes and already consulted it for an article I'm preparing. I was surprised at the breadth of the articles and the references provided. The information available in each article extends beyond the basic and lends itself easily to in-depth investigation. A truly excellent work and well worth the expense. For the Middle East Studies professional, analyst, academic, consultant this encyclopedia will be very useful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent encyclopedia about MODERN islamic topics
I had heard much praise about this encyclopedia. Still, I was hesitant to spend the money..... so I visited a library that had them on their shelves. I read and read, for hours - with pleasure! I then went home and placed my order.

Each word/catagory/topic is well explained in plain and easily understandable english. The contributing writers are well established in their respective fields. (John Esposito is the editor and not the sole writer of this encyclopedia.)

I can sincerely recommend this encyclopedia, for scholars, teachers, students all (muslims and non-muslims) interested in knowing more about islam and the muslim word. ... Read more

106. The Vision of Islam (Visions of Reality. Understanding Religions)
by Sachiko Murata, William C. Chittick
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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

107. The Mantle of the Prophet
by Roy Mottahedeh
list price: $26.95
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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

108. Global Civilization: A Buddhist-Islamic Dialogue
by Majid Tehranian, Daisaku Ikeda
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Asin: 186064810X
Catlog: Book (2003-08-02)
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
Sales Rank: 184446
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Book Description

Global Civilization emerged from a series of conversations between two peace advocates of Japanese and Iranian origin. It covers the encounters between Buddhist and Islamic civilizations from the 7th century to the present. The topics discussed in this spirit of dialogue include such diverse subjects as the nature of religious faith today, global ideological terrorism, religious fanaticism, and universal human rights. Ikeda and Tehranian, two important representatives of their respective faiths, propose dialogue as the most effective method of conflict resolution at interpersonal, intra-national, and international levels.
... Read more

109. Islam And The Blackamerican: Looking Toward the Third Resurrection
by Sherman A. Jackson
list 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

110. Islam and the Jews: The Unfinished Battle
by Mark A., Ph.D. Gabriel
list price: $13.99
our price: $10.49
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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

111. A Concordance of the Qur'an
by Hanna E. Kassis
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Asin: 0520043278
Catlog: Book (1984-03-01)
Publisher: University of California Press
Sales Rank: 234056
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112. Islamic Political Identity in Turkey (Religion and Global Politics)
by M. Hakan Yavuz
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Asin: 0195160851
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 465174
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Leading theoretical work on Islam, politics, and democracy.
The illiterate readers, (considering their spelling and grammar),who gave this path breaking book negative reviews obviously have some axe to grind while lacking any graduate level training in political science or contemporary Turkish politics and society. While the bookshelves are filled with the pap produced by third rate journalist and instant pundits on Islam and politics, this contribution is a serendipitous discovery. Yavuz is the first to have conducted indepth field work on the gamut of Turkish Islamic political and social movements. He has obviously mastered the theoretical literature on political development and transitions to democracy. He applies these insights in a novel fashion in being the first Western based scholar to predict the rise of the current AKP party of PM Erdogan into power. Yavuz shows the conditions under which oppositional Islamic movements can move toward the promotion of democratic reforms and pluralism and liberalism more generally. Given the present mess in the Middle East and Iraq, the theoretical insights of this book are absolutely vital in discerning the conditions under which Islamic political and social movements may achieve compatibility with liberal democratic norms and modernity. In addition to scholars of modern Turkey and the Middle East, this book should be required reading for all American policy makers dealing with the wider region.

The title gives you an idea of having a very promissing book, but after you read, it doesn't make any sense at all.The book is a repetition of Resat Kasaba, Nilufer Gole, John Esposito, Graham Fuller etc.So, instead of wasting $50 bucks and days of torture of reading, I would suggest to go for the scholars that are more relevant with the topic.It seems that Yavuz looks at every islamic movement through "political" glasses even the fact Gulen and Suleymanci movements have nothing to do with it.Or seing every single movement in Turkey through Naksibendi Sufi Order mind might be because he couldn't produce any idea but stick with his Ph.D thesis as a promissing future(!).Besides, the book was just relaesed but it's already outdated with the fast changing pace of Turkey.The Gulen movement is not "national" and "turkish" anymore or the RP's fast up-and-down move is not possible to explained with Yavuz's "constractivist" ideology, even he tries to cover that with AKP's success in the last chapter. He should get more help from his Pol-Sci students if he really want be a well-known scholar.

5-0 out of 5 stars a window into Islamic movements in Turkey
Hakan Yavuz takes his reader's into a detailed journey into the largely unknown aspects of Islamic movements in Turkey. So far Islamic movements both in Turkey and elsewhere have been discussed with a bias on political movements. Yavuz' book is important in the sense that it also covers social Islamic movements, most specifically the Nurcu movement in Turkey. What I like about this book is its theoretical framework that takes on the traditional modernist perspective's dichotomous understanding of modernity and tradition. highly recommended to any student of Islam and Turkey.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and intelligent discussion on islam in Turkey
A well-crafted comprehensive look at the role of Islam in Turkey. The book offers some original and compelling explanations regarding the social transformation that Turkey has experienced since the 1980s. Specifically, the author mentions the role of opportunity spaces in the evolution of Islamic movements and ideas as a result of economic and political liberalization.I think anyone who is interested in Turkey, Islamic movements, and the relationship between Islam and modernity would get a great deal out of this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book on the evolution of Islamic movements
This is the best book on contemporary Islamic movements in Turkey. Yavuz, who is the leading scholar of Turkish politics and Islam, offers a new conceptual framework, a typology to map Islamic movements and identifies the conditions under which these movement become more democratic and pluralist. Moreover, the book argues that the history of the post-1980 Turkey is about the formation of opportunity spaces and their socio-political implications. The key concept of the book is the "opportunity spaces" and this book must be read by everyone who studies Islam, identity, and politics in Turkey. ... Read more

113. The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam : From Polemic to History (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)
by G. R. Hawting, G.R. Hawting
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Asin: 0521651654
Catlog: Book (1999-12-09)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 85098
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Why and under what circumstances did the religion of Islam emerge in a remote part of Arabia at the beginning of the seventh century? Traditional scholarship maintains that Islam developed in opposition to the idolatrous and polytheistic religion of the Arabs of Mecca and the surrounding regions. In the first book-length study of pre-Islamic Arabian religion, G. R. Hawting adopts a comparative religious perspective to suggest an alternative view. By examining the various bodies of evidence which survive from this period, the Koran and the vast resources of the Islamic tradition, the author argues that in fact Islam arose out of conflict with other monotheists whose beliefs and practices were judged to fall short of true monotheism and were, in consequence, attacked polemically as idolatry. The author is adept at unravelling the complexities of the source material, and students and scholars will find his argument both engaging and persuasive. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Generally Tendentious
Though a relatively short work, Hawtings work is an interesting attemtpt to tease out what can be considered historical among the Muslim tradition concerning religion in the pre-Islamic period.
Nonetheless, this work is one that is fraught with problems. Most of this revolves around the treatment of the term "mushrikoun" throughout the Qur'an insofar as Hawting undertakes a great deal of equivocation of the term.Insofar as the bulk of his books locates the impetus behind the chronicling of pre-Islamic Arabian cults with an unlikely narrow interpretation of 'mushrikoun' which he credits Muslim scholarship with imposing on the Quran--wrongly in I believe being that 'mushrikoun' was a term widely applied to anyone other than a Muslim both in the Koran and early Muslim works contrary to Hawtings claim--his scenario remains tendentious, unconvincing and speculative.
Despite this deep flaw, the treatment of the material is fascinating and engaging as a whole--redeeming much of the books' flaws. ... Read more

114. Suicide Bombers : Allah's New Martyrs
by Farhad Khosrokhavar
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Asin: 0745322832
Catlog: Book (2005-02-28)
Publisher: PLUTO PRESS
Sales Rank: 117459
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Book Description

In the West, the suicide bomber has become a familiar image in newspapers and on television. In Palestine, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and elsewhere, the results of suicide bombing have been devastating. What drives young men and women to become suicide bombers? This is not a question that is often addressed. This remarkable book provides some of the answers, and explores how the suicide bomber relates to the concept of the martyr in fundamentalist Islam. Farhad Khosrokhavar contrasts it with the idea of the martyr in Christianity. Most importantly, he offers a clear insight into the different ways in which the concept is viewed within Islam, including divisions within Islamic fundamentalist groups, which change according to the political situation of the country in which they are based. Drawing on extensive interviews with jailed Islamist militants, Farhad Khosrokhavar examines differing attitudes towards the 'sacred death' in various Islamic countries, including Iran, Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt. He also investigates transnational networks such as Al-Qaeda, offering portraits of various prisoners who belong to the group. Farhad Khosrokhavar distinguishes between two types of martyr: those from the developing world, who are excluded from what modernity has to offer; and the minority who live at the heart of the Western world -- a mainly middle-class diaspora from the Middle East and the Maghreb who are at ease with several cultural codes, but whose experience of the West is still marked by racism and discrimination. ... Read more

115. Joy : The Happiness That Comes from Within (Osho, Insights for a New Way of Living.)
by Osho
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Asin: 0312320744
Catlog: Book (2004-03-18)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Sales Rank: 29715
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Joy, Osho posits that to be joyful is the basic nature of life. Joy is the spiritual dimension of happiness, in which one begins to understand one's intrinsic value and place in the universe. Accepting joy is a decision to "go with the flow," to be grateful to be alive and for all the challenges and opportunities in life, rather than setting conditions or demands for happiness.

The Insight for a New Way of Living series aims to shine light on beliefs and attitudes that prevent individuals from being their true selves. The text is an artful mix of compassion and humor, and readers are encouraged to confront what they would most like to avoid, which in turns provides the key to true insight and power.

Joy is a wondrous investigation into the source and importance of joyfulness in our lives.
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Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Rajneesh (Osho) Sufi???
These posthumous books published by Rajneesh's people are regularly described or categorized as "Sufi" or "Sufism." Was Rajnessh a Sufi? I don't know of any of his commune devotees at "Rajneesh puram" who would have called themselves Sufis.

Let's be honest and leave the Sufism to Sufis.

5-0 out of 5 stars Osho does it again
In "Joy--The Happiness that Comes From Within" Osho proves himself once again to fit squarely in the tradition of cultural physicians past and present (Nietzsche, Colin Wilson, Erich Fromm, Laing) and clearly states that society as it exists is little more than a mass neurosis of fear, culturally glorified narcissism, and above all, fear of openness. Perhaps the only problem with his work is that it is being marketed in a culture directly inimical to it's message--as a Westerner, I have trouble inculcating his on-the-mark attacks simply because I am a Westerner. Osho has written the same book countless times, and his message never becomes less relevant for the repetition. He is a poet, philosopher and sage all at the same time, and his constant exhortation to 'drop the ego' could be characterized as the central message in his work. The only thing I take issue with in his work is his persistent dismissal of culture's irrevocable (and sometimes irreversible) influence on the individual. If one could simply 'drop out' of this mass neurosis a lot more intelligent people would have done it by now. Nonetheless, his work is invaluable and I am certain that one day Osho's name will be up there with the greats of both literature, eastern thought and creativity. ... Read more

116. The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization
by Richard W. Bulliet
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Asin: 0231127960
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Sales Rank: 21557
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117. The Qur'an: A New Translation
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Asin: 192969444X
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Starlatch Press
Sales Rank: 71816
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Book Description

This is a new and complete translation of the Qur'an-the Muslim scripture-by one of the premier translators of religious texts in the world. The meanings of this sacred text are rendered into the English language with subtle touches of poetry, allowing for the opportunity to fully understand the spirit and soul of the Qur'an. This direct and timely rendition is an essential source for the modern seeker. ... Read more

118. Religion and State
by L. Carl Brown
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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

119. Why I Am Not a Muslim
by Ibn Warraq
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Asin: 0879759844
Catlog: Book (1995-05-01)
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Sales Rank: 26517
Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (176)

4-0 out of 5 stars Thank you for your "submission"
Warraq takes a brave stance against Islam and "wicked" religion in general, and he deserves extra credit for starting this project in response to the Rushdie affair, and not Sept. 11.

The comic collides with the tragic in his description of "modern" life in Muslim countries...where Miss Piggy is an Enemy of the State at the same time women are treated as propery and despite their sequestration from the world, are vulnerable to rape and "honor killings" by their husbands or other male relatives.

The past is no more benign. Misrepresentations of centuries of bloody Muslim history have left many in the Western academic establishment (even today) defending Islam as tolerant, opposed to dogma, and a vibrant force in keeping civilization intact during the Medieval period. The Muslims opposed to the "colonial" invasions of Europeans in the 19th century were responsible for brutal conquest of much of Africa, India, Central Asia, and South Asia in previous eras.

Crowning the sullied past and the uncertain present of the Muslim world are the confusing scriptures and traditions surrounding the "Prophet", often considered the most influential person in history, about whom very little is known. A sober look at the murky period of the 7th century ( in Arabia, maybe, but possibly in Palestine or Mesopotamia, too ) tells us that Muhammed could have indeed been the murderer of POW's, the polygamist, the pederast, the despot that the traditions indicate...or he may have been something completely different...maybe even a Christian cleric who decided to break with the established church.

Sometimes, we of the West marvel at the richness of "Islamic" art and culture, but should realize that little richness could come from Arabia, and that the marvels are those of the conquered peoples. Without Byzantine, Greek, Coptic, Sassanian, Zoroastrian (where do you want me to stop?) culture, there could not have been an "Islamic" culture as we know it.

I would encourage other apologists that are considering posting reviews to read this book before condemning it...

5-0 out of 5 stars A much needed work
Even though this book does have some organizational flaws, I still give it five stars because I admire the effort put into it and its message needs to be heard. I am the only person like me that I know--one who converted to Islam while fully believing and then leaving after only a half a year. I simply found it more and more difficult to blindly swallow the beliefs. The beginning of the end was learning that ikhtilat (mixing of the sexes) is prohibited--even though this book does not really talk about that specifically. When I read all hundred reviews for this title, I couldn't rest until I ordered it. I had basically left Islam right before I received this book and it has amazed me that I ever was part of such a religion.

What is great about this book is that it attacks Islam from every angle: historical, moral, philosophical, logical, and scientific. While it does sound bitter at times--I was surprised to hear Warraq describe all religions as "sick men's dreams"--it is the facts which one must consider. When people scream out that the book contains lies, I guess that's about the only thing they can say, or else try to justify the tenets of Islam that the author describes. Yes, he does quote the Qur'an and the Hadiths, and the only way to refute what he says is to say that he's misquoting them or to try to justify Muhammad's behavior.

Some of the Islamic dogma that he describes is not accepted by all Muslims, such as the concept of predestination, but to find a couple of errors in his book is not to disprove it. I have seen the apologetics for Islam. I was once one of the MILLIONS who used the lame arguments, "Islam is a peaceful religion. Islam respects women's rights." This book describes the real Islam, if by the real Islam you mean what's written in the Qur'an. To argue that violent people today are not following Islam is a lame argument. Islam was a warring religion from the time of Muhammad--this is what the book describes, not the Muslims of today.

This book is largely a compilation of other writers' quotes, which might be why Warraq does not have a death sentence against him. But he also has some philosophical ideas of his own, tearing apart the principles of unquestioning submission found in Islam. I'm sure if somebody tried really hard, they could disprove the inconsistencies the author finds in the Qur'an, by using mental gymnastics (like saying he misinterpreted the text, took something out of context, etc.). But I am tired of forcing myself to believe in something that I can't believe in. Islam has taught me that it's possible to find a defense for any legal/social practice: stoning adulterers, female circumcision, requiring the hijab, or cutting off hands of thieves. Muslims today dream of the Golden Age when the Shari'a was in full force, but if this legal code were in place, I don't see how it could be called a Golden Age.

If you are happy with Islam, then I am fine with that--you don't need to read this book. But not everyone feels this way, and I feel sorry for those believe something because they think they have to. For me, leaving Islam was a rather painful (and very freeing) experience, and this book helped a great deal.

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable work of research
Before I started actually reading this book, I had little hopes for it. I thought it would be little more than a former Muslim's personal diatribe against his religion, something on the order of a rebellious teenager's rants against his disciplining parents. There are a number of books out there like that, and I have no interest in them.

But as I read it, my oh my, how my impression changed. Far from being a personal rant, this book is as thorough of an examination of Islam as I have found anywhere. It is possible to disagree with the author's sources and materials, perhaps, but you certainly cannot fault his careful, systematic, and thorough research methods. I have read books by famous international experts whose methodology was not as careful or as exhaustive as Warraq's. This work is both a critique and a work of erudite scholarship. Even if you do not like the author's conclusions, you cannot read it without learning a great deal.

Granted, this is not a good book for those who are completely satisfied with their religion and who have no desire to advance their understanding beyond their current beliefs. And, yes, those people will even be offended by this book, just as the Catholic Church was once offended by who questioned it; and who, in the process, removed the shackles from human inquiry and triggered an advancement of human understanding that had never been seen before.

For those who are interested in applying the civilization-advancing tools of the scientific method and modern historical research to this topic, this book is an exceedingly rich and invaluable resource. It will also prove invaluable to Westerners who want to better understand the motives and contextual background of phenomena like the Bin Ladens, the Iranian mullahs who refer to us as the "Great Satan," and the numerous conflicts around the world that seem to inevitably involve members of this religion. The author makes clear that not all Muslims are Bin Ladens. He also makes clear that a Bin Laden could not exist without Islam. The two go hand in hand. This is a point that the author urges non-Muslims to take very seriously.

After reading dozens of books in this area, this is the one that made everything crystal clear. I really cannot rank it highly enough. Warraq is to be congratulated and admired for his bravery and his hard work toward advancing human understanding. Works like this make a valuable contribution to all who value free inquiry.

4-0 out of 5 stars Finally someone said it.
Because of the imperfect translation from Arabic to English in the Quran many people ignorantly convert to Islam everyday choosing bondage over freedom. Many people read the techings in the Quran referring to the Mecca years and conviently disregard the Medina years of Muhammad, which if read correctly negates the Mecca years. Now one may say this author may lack information on how to write a book, this and that or whatever, but the information in this is very valuble just the same. If you are considering buying this book you may be a Muslim with doubt. If you want to read a book that will open your eyes this book is a good start. Another book that maybe worth a look is Islam and Jews writen by Dr. Mark Gabriel; Doctor of Islamic History and Culture and former graduate and professor at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt. With passages like Surah 4:47, 9:5 and many others in the Quran you can not help but to be in doubt. It is only natural.

5-0 out of 5 stars Recycled Hatred against Ibn Warraq
I have read the book, and glossed over the recent reviews on Ibn
Warraq. Most of the reviewers have not produced a shred of evidence to discredit Ibn Warraq. Yes, they are loud with their
latent hatred. But, that's it. A mullah knows the mosque and that's all he thinks he needs to know. Similarly the detractors of Ibn Warraq know to hurl baseless arguments often laced with vile invectives, lacking any substance.

For one thing, it is really funny to see that the reviewers do not respect the basic right of an author to write whatever s/he
wants to. Yes, in a such a process the author may generate articles that are unpleasant to a certain community (Muslims). But, the author is not obligated to write "politically correct"
articles. That is not scholarship, but, I would submit that it
is possible that Muslims maybe unfamiliar with (or outright rejcet) such concepts as found in the civic institutions in secular, democratic cultures. The very form of the outrage from reviewers reflects the intrinsic hollowness associated with Islam. Islam has a very fragile sense of security. For this reason it (Islam) is intricsically hostile towards any form of criticism other than mindless adulation and total submission. This irrational attitude is surely unacceptable by any individual who has a sense of self-respect. That's what Ibn Warraq's book is all about.

Salman Rushdie was issued his death warrant by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for the chapter titled "Jahiliya" (meaning Ignorance) in his book "The Satanic Verses". While one may debate whether the act of killing Rushdie was right (or wrong), the main feature of Islam is clear. ISLAM BREEDS INTOLERANCE. Essentially the Quran is very explicit about this:

"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter."

(Quran[005:033], Abdullah Yusuf Ali's English translation.)

The hatred for Ibn Warraq and Rushdie, by faithful Muslims stems
from the dictates in the Quran as cited above. Both have waged
a war against Islam (in the eyes of the faithful Muslims) by their defamatory writings against the revelation from Allah
via archangel Gibreel (Gabriel) via Mohammed to all mankind. So,
even if such an act of war (i.e. defiance of the revelation) is not fought with swords/weapons/missiles/bombs/AK-47, it deserves
retaliation (in form of Jihad). That's exactly what mots of the
reviews are all about. Blind obedience of the Quran.

Surely, in USA Martin Scorcese had filmed THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, and he did not die nor did the Christians (or the Pope
of Vatican) issue any decree to have Scorcese killed. The US Government did not ban Scorcese. This does highlight one of the major differences between Christians and Muslims.

I would state that this observation supports the most provocative theory advanced by Prof. Samuel P. Huntington
in his book about the Clash of Civilizations. Yes, mostly Islam and the West are at diametrically opposite poles, and hence are antithesis of each other, ideologically. This ideological rift is best seen displayed by the reviews against Ibn Warraq, which accuse him of writing "unpleasant" stuff about Islam.

Finally, my view of Ibn Warraq's book is that he has researched the sources very well, and has fabricated nothing, unlike what the reviews seem to indicate. To the skeptic, I may add that if you do not want to buy the book, read it at your local public library and then take a decision. Don't be overwhelmed by the spate of recycled hatred against Ibn Warraq, as seen here on this forum. ... Read more

120. Islamic Art and Architecture (The World of Art)
by Robert Hillenbrand
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0500203059
Catlog: Book (1998-03)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Sales Rank: 50992
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Covering one thousand years of history and an area stretching from the Atlantic to the borders of India and China, Robert Hillenbrand incorporates all the latest discoveries and interpretations in this authoritative guide to the arts of Islam. From the supreme confidence of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem to the scores of exquisite buildings of Ottoman Istanbul; from the extraordinary virtuosity of Persian painting in the fifteenth century to the vivid ceramic tradition of Ottoman Iznik--Hillenbrand does justice to both the highlights and the ongoing evolution of the full range of Islamic arts. Supported by a glossary of Islamic terms, a time line, and maps, this book traces the architecture, calligraphy, book illumination, painting, ceramics, textiles, and metalwork of a vastly accomplished and influential civilization. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Indepth Introduction
As a beginner to the world of Islamic Art and architecture, I recently completed reading this book and found it a good introduction. It covers the development and major themes in architecture, ceramics, figure painting and calligraphy (textiles to a smaller extent) of Ummayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, Saljuq, Atabegs, Mamluks, Islamic Spain and Morrocco, Ilkhanids/Timurids, Safavids and the Ottomans.

Islamic art and architecture of the Indian Subcontinent (eg Dehli Sultanate or Mughal India) is not covered at all in this book.

It has a good sampling of pictures in colour of especially major architectural monuments. I think the strength of this book is especially strong as an introduction to Islamic architecture. Its coverage of the other areas is not bad either.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Divine
This book has an unbilievable combination of detail, broad coverage of various topics, ability to keep attention concentrated due to a great way the book is written. Illustrations were both artistically beautiful and helpful in understanding the topics covered. I am in love with this book and, after library reading it, I am ordering it today!!! ... Read more

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