Taking Back Islam American Muslims Reclaim Their Faith


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Rodale Books


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1579549888

9781579549886

256 Pages

$13.95

CAD19.95

Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy
Winner of the Wilbur Award for Best Religion Book

In the months after September 11th, American Muslims heard the familiar sounds of Islam being defined by others. On television, from the Capitol, from the pulpit, in the classroom, and worst of all, on videotapes from Osama bin Laden's cave, commentators, politicians, scholars, and wealthy terrorists were telling Muslims the "real meaning" of Islam.

Western Muslims knew something had to be done or Islam might be tarnished, even corrupted. In the past year, they have often gathered informally to discuss the past, the present, and how things ought to be. In that spirit, Taking Back Islam is a bold collection of voices in the vanguard of the faith. The essays in this book are the work of men and women who remain devout and utterly convinced of Islam's power to help create a just, ordered, and beautiful world—and who are also unafraid to be critical of those who would distort Islam for violent or political ends. Many of these writers are American Muslims who benefit from a commitment to democratic pluralism as well as a commitment to Islam.

"I believe in Allah and America," writes Arsalan Tariq Iftikar. "The Qur'an has a radical message of tolerance," says Kabir Helminski. "American Muslims have a special obligation," according to Ingrid Mattson. "Many Muslims suspect that Islam's 'traditional lands' have less to teach us than they claim," writes Michael Wolfe.

The unique nature and strength of these voices, fueled by a strong desire to tap the best traditions within Islam, offer hope for rescuing a faith that has been injured from within by extremists and demonized from without by Western culture and media.

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Excerpted from Taking Back Islam: American Muslims Reclaim Their Faith by Michael Wolfe, Beliefnet. Copyright © 2002. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction

by Michael Wolfe

Taking Back Islam records the latest chapter in a centuries-long conversation that non-Muslims may never have heard. For Islam is surprisingly undoctrinaire and open to discussion. And as doctrines go, Islam's is simple—broad enough that 1.5 billion people around the world can agree on it. Only three things are really required to be a Muslim: belief in God, knowledge of

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BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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  • Michael Wolfe is a columnist for Beliefnet and the author of books of poetry, fiction, history, and travel, including The Hadj: An American's Pilgrimage to Mecca and One Thousand Roads to Mecca. A Muslim, Wolfe lives in California.

    Beliefnet (www.beliefnet.com) is the leading multifaith internet site and media company for religion, spirituality, and inspiration. In 2002, Beliefnet won the Webby Award for Best Spirituality Site and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online. Taking Back Islam is Beliefnet's third book in partnership with Rodale.
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