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The Trouble with Islam: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"I have to be honest with you. Islam is on very thin ice with me....Through our screaming self-pity and our conspicuous silences, we Muslims are conspiring against ourselves. We're in crisis and we're dragging the rest of the world with us. If ever there was a moment for an Islamic reformation, it's now. For the love of God, what are we doing about it?"

In blunt, provocative, and deeply personal terms, Irshad Manji unearths the troubling cornerstones of mainstream Islam today: tribal insularity, deep-seated anti-Semitism, and an uncritical acceptance of the Koran as the final, and therefore superior, manifesto of God. In this open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Manji asks arresting questions. "Who is the real colonizer of Muslims - America or Arabia? Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation? What's our excuse for reading the Koran literally when it's so contradictory and ambiguous? Is that a heart attack you're having? Make it fast. Because if more of us don't speak out against the imperialists within Islam, these guys will walk away with the show."

Manji offers a practical vision of how the United States and its allies can help Muslims undertake a reformation that empowers women, promotes respect for religious minorities, and fosters a competition of ideas. Her vision revives Islam's lost tradition of independent thinking. This book will inspire struggling Muslims worldwide to revisit the foundations of their faith. It will also compel non-Muslims to start posing the important questions without fear of being deemed "racists." In more ways than one, The Trouble with Islam is a clarion call for a fatwa-free future.

Irshad Manji is a journalist, television personality, and writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto.

In blunt, provocative, and deeply personal terms, Irshad Manji unearths the troubling cornerstones of mainstream Islam today: tribal insularity, deep-seated anti-Semitism, and an uncritical acceptance of the Koran as the final, and therefore superior, manifesto of God. In this open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Manji asks arresting questions. "Who is the real colonizer of MuslimsAmerica or Arabia? Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation? What's our excuse for reading the Koran literally when its so contradictory and ambiguous? Is that a heart attack you're having? Make it fast. Because if more of us don't speak out against the imperialists within Islam, these guys will walk away with the show."

Manji offers a practical vision of how the United States and its allies can help Muslims undertake a reformation that empowers women, promotes respect for religious minorities, and fosters a competition of ideas. Her vision revives Islam's lost tradition of independent thinking. This book will inspire struggling Muslims worldwide to revisit the foundations of their faith. It will also compel non-Muslims to start posing the important questions without fear of being deemed "racists." In more ways than one, The Trouble with Islam is a clarion call for a fatwa-free future.

"Bracing . . . [This book's] spirit is undeniable, and long, long overdue . . . The relationship between the state of contemporary Islam and the mass murderers of Al Qaeda is not a simple one; but it surely exists. In the voice of this young woman, you can hear the willingness to ask why, and how the situation can be remedied. You can hear, in fact, the distinct tone of liberalism, a liberalism that seeks not to abolish faith but to establish a new relationship with it. If we survive this current war without unthinkable casualties, it will be because that kind of liberalism didn't lose its nerve."Andrew Sullivan, The New York Times Book Review

"[Manji's] ideas have already set off a searching debate."Clifford Krauss, The New York Times

"Tightly reasoned and packed with knockout punches."Pat Donnelly, Montreal Gazette

"Manji is blazingly articulate."Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail (Canada)

"The Trouble with Islam is beyond controversial. It may ignite a firestorm of protest . . . [The author's] easy conversational style, addressed to 'my fellow Muslims,' makes it accessible to a wide range of readers."Leslie Scrivener, The Toronto Star

"Irshad Manji is a fresh, new, and intriguing voice of Islamic reform. This wonderfully written book will surprise you, educate you, even entertain you."Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case for Israel

"Uganda-born Manji fled with her Muslim family of South Asian extraction to Canada when she was two. Growing up there, she was affected as much by North American as by Muslim social conventions, and she became a woman with a career (in broadcasting) and an out lesbian. She remains Muslim, though 'hanging on by my fingernails.' She questions the sexism, anti-intellectualism, moral superiority and n0 evasion, anti-Semitism, and Arab chauvinism she sees in Islam's public face. And, casting the book as a long open letter, she poses her questions, backed by hard facts and experience, directly to fellow Muslims. Of course, she doesn't shun non-Muslim readers (indeed, her vernacular style encourages them), who stand to be powerfully edified by her critique as well as relieved that, for once, they aren't being blamed for Islam's problems. She maintains that the Qur'an doesn't mandate the evils she sees in institutional Islam and that liberalization is as possible for Islam as it has been for Christianity and Judaism. Her sassy but earnest perspective seems a godsend."Booklist

Review:

"[Manji] maintains that the Qur'an doesn't mandate the evils she sees in institutional Islam and that liberalization is as possible for Islam as it has been for Christianity and Judaism. Her sassy but earnest perspective seems a godsend." Ray Olson, Booklist

Review:

"It isn't the most learned or scholarly treatise on the history or theology of Islam; its dabbling in geopolitics is haphazard and a little naive....But its spirit is undeniable, and long, long overdue. Reading it feels like a revelation." Andrew Sullivan, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"The writing, though energetic, is unfocused, with personal stories that are sometimes confusing. Although the book raises important points, Manji's angry tone and disjointed writing may obscure some of the valid questions she asks of Islam and Muslims." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[Manji's] voice is a welcome one during a time when so much attention is given to political and religious extremists....Readers need no advanced training in politics, Islam, or history. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Irshad Manji is a fresh, new and intriguing voice of Islamic reform. This wonderfully written book will surprise you, educate you, even entertain you." Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case for Israel

Book News Annotation:

Canadian journalist Manji (she's also a television personality and writer-in-residence at the U. of Toronto) describes her radical ideas regarding her faith. She is particularly interested in encouraging Muslims to voice concerns about elements of the religion they find objectionable—and to do so publicly. The writing is conversational, but she does back up her material with some suggested readings (there's more material at her website). An index would have been useful.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Irshad Manji calls herself a muslim refusenik. "That doesn't mean I refuse to be a Muslim," she writes. "It simply means I refuse to join an army of automatons in the name of Allah." These automatons, Manji argues, include many so-called moderate Muslims in the West. In blunt, provocative, and deeply personal terms, she unearths the troubling cornerstones of Islam as it's widely practiced: tribal insularity, deep-seated anti-Semitism, and an uncritical acceptance of the Koran as the final, and therefore superior, manifesto of God.

In this open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Manji asks pointed questions about mainstream Islam. "Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Who is the real colonizer of Muslims — America or Arabia? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation?" Manji offers a practical vision of how Islam can undergo a reformation that empowers women, promotes respect for religious minorities, and fosters a competition of ideas. Her vision revives Islam's lost tradition of independent thought.

This book will inspire struggling Muslims worldwide to revisit the foundations of their faith. It will also compel non-Muslims to start posing the questions we all have about Islam today. In that spirit, The Trouble with Islam is a clarion call for a fatwa-free future.

Synopsis:

A Muslim woman's passionate, eloquent challenge to the contradictions of mainstream Islam--and a provocative call for reform. In a conversational voice that will grip every reader, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, Manji educates, exposes, and honestly addresses the questions readers all have--yet rarely pose--about Islam today.

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [219]-225).

About the Author

Irshad Manji is a journalist, television personality, and writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto.

Table of Contents

The Letter 1
1 How I Became a Muslim Refusenik 5
2 Seventy Virgins? 28
3 When Did We Stop Thinking? 48
4 Gates and Girdles 71
5 Who's Betraying Whom? 94
6 The Hidden Underbelly of Islam 134
7 Operation Ijtihad 158
8 In Praise of Honesty 187
9 Thank God for the West 204
Recommended Readings 219
Acknowledgments 227

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312326999
Subtitle:
A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Author:
Manji, Irshad
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Islam
Subject:
Spirituality - Women's
Subject:
Essence, genius, nature
Subject:
Controversial literature
Subject:
Liberty of conscience
Subject:
Islam - General
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Islam and civil society
Subject:
Islam -- Essence, genius, nature.
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st U.S. ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
v. 1
Publication Date:
January 16, 2004
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Islam » General

The Trouble with Islam: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 240 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312326999 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[Manji] maintains that the Qur'an doesn't mandate the evils she sees in institutional Islam and that liberalization is as possible for Islam as it has been for Christianity and Judaism. Her sassy but earnest perspective seems a godsend."
"Review" by , "It isn't the most learned or scholarly treatise on the history or theology of Islam; its dabbling in geopolitics is haphazard and a little naive....But its spirit is undeniable, and long, long overdue. Reading it feels like a revelation."
"Review" by , "The writing, though energetic, is unfocused, with personal stories that are sometimes confusing. Although the book raises important points, Manji's angry tone and disjointed writing may obscure some of the valid questions she asks of Islam and Muslims."
"Review" by , "[Manji's] voice is a welcome one during a time when so much attention is given to political and religious extremists....Readers need no advanced training in politics, Islam, or history. Recommended."
"Review" by , "Irshad Manji is a fresh, new and intriguing voice of Islamic reform. This wonderfully written book will surprise you, educate you, even entertain you."
"Synopsis" by , Irshad Manji calls herself a muslim refusenik. "That doesn't mean I refuse to be a Muslim," she writes. "It simply means I refuse to join an army of automatons in the name of Allah." These automatons, Manji argues, include many so-called moderate Muslims in the West. In blunt, provocative, and deeply personal terms, she unearths the troubling cornerstones of Islam as it's widely practiced: tribal insularity, deep-seated anti-Semitism, and an uncritical acceptance of the Koran as the final, and therefore superior, manifesto of God.

In this open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Manji asks pointed questions about mainstream Islam. "Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Who is the real colonizer of Muslims — America or Arabia? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation?" Manji offers a practical vision of how Islam can undergo a reformation that empowers women, promotes respect for religious minorities, and fosters a competition of ideas. Her vision revives Islam's lost tradition of independent thought.

This book will inspire struggling Muslims worldwide to revisit the foundations of their faith. It will also compel non-Muslims to start posing the questions we all have about Islam today. In that spirit, The Trouble with Islam is a clarion call for a fatwa-free future.

"Synopsis" by , A Muslim woman's passionate, eloquent challenge to the contradictions of mainstream Islam--and a provocative call for reform. In a conversational voice that will grip every reader, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, Manji educates, exposes, and honestly addresses the questions readers all have--yet rarely pose--about Islam today.
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. [219]-225).
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