Islam: A Very Short Introduction

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9780192853899: Islam: A Very Short Introduction

Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant versions. But few people in the non-Muslim world really understand the nature of Islam, both as Ideology and religion. Islam: A Very Short Introduction offers essential insight into the structure and beliefs of this major world religion.
Malise Ruthven answers fundamental questions about the nature and scope of Islam such as why the greatest Jihad (holy war) is now against the enemies of Islam, rather than the struggle against evil, why Islam has such major divisions between movements such as the Shiis, the Sunnis, and the Wahhabis, and how the Sharia (Islamic law) has become such an important aspect of Islamic life. In addition, he prompts further questioning into the ideas of Islamic resurgence as both an old and new concept, whether or not women can find fulfillment and equality within an Islamic framework, and the sort of problems facing Islam and its confrontations with the modern world.
Offering fresh insights and new information, Islam: A Very Short Introduction provides a much needed discussion of Islam's past, present, and future, and its place in modern world religions.

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About the Author:


Malise Ruthven is renowned as a commentator on Islam and the Arab world. A former scriptwriter with the BBC Arabic and World Services, his previous publications include Islam in the World and The Divine Supermarket: Shopping for God in America.

From AudioFile:

Given the importance of Islam in international politics and the widespread ignorance about the religion in North America, this audio promises to be a welcome primer. It starts promisingly as well, with the British author's own mellifluous narration. But the recording assumes too much background for an introduction and focuses too narrowly on abstruse intellectual and political issues. Most tellingly, the Five Pillars of Islam, which all Muslims are obliged to perform, are relegated to an appendix in the print version and don't appear at all in the audiobook. As a result, it simply doesn't give an outsider any meaningful understanding of what it means to be a Muslim. D.B. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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