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In this open letter, 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's will. But her message is ultimately positive. She 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 "ijtihad," Islam's lost tradition of independent thinking. In that spirit, Irshad has a refreshing challenge for both Muslims and non-Muslims: Don't silence yourselves. Ask questions---out loud. "The Trouble with Islam Today" 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 Muslims--America or Arabia? 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. "Feels like a revelation . . . a raw nerve ending for the West--shocking, raw, but mercifully, joyously, still alive."--Andrew Sullivan, "New York Times Book Review" "Frank, open, and intelligent . . . Manji's cause is, I believe, the most important new movement in several decades."--Jane Mansbridge, "Harvard University"
"I always knew we had partners in the Arab-Muslim states, but the democratic movements that have now emerged have shown me just how many young people there want to give voice to their aspirations and achieve their full potential--something their governments and spiritual leaders have been blocking. It you want to get a taste of what they sound like, read this] courageous book . . . Manji is a 36-year-old Canadian feminist who has dared to write a book calling for a reformation of Islam."--Thomas L. Friedman, "The New York Times"
" 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 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 "