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

Irshad Manji

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

240 Pages


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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.


Praise for The Trouble with Islam Today

"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

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

The Trouble with Islam Today
1HOW I BECAME A MUSLIM REFUSENIKLike millions of Muslims over the last forty years, my family immigrated to the West. We arrived in Richmond, a middle-class suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1972. I was four years old. Between 1971 and 1973, thousands of South Asian Muslims fled Uganda after the military dictator, General Idi Amin Dada, proclaimed Africa to be for the blacks. He gave those of us with brown skin mere weeks to leave or we would die. Muslims had spent lifetimes in East Africa thanks to the British, who brought us from South Asia to help lay
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  • Irshad Manji talks about her Muslim faith

    Watch this video to see clips of Irshad Manji speaking with MTV Canada/Free the Children and The Power Within for Women.



  • Irshad Manji

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


    Irshad Manji

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