With a growing awareness of the presence of Islamic societies around the world today and the varying Islamic religious bodies that are playing such a key role, the center of religious focus is now on Islam. Written in a clear, straightforward format, "Islam, Third Edition" dispels many of the myths and mysteries surrounding this major world religion. It also provides readers with an up-to-date understanding of the interconnection between religion and politics today. All material has been revised and updated to reflect any changes that have occurred since the previous edition. The new coverage includes: an introduction; the founding of Islam; the spread of Islam; Koran, Hadith, and Islamic law; branches of Islam and their basic beliefs; Muslim customs and rituals; the pattern of Islamic life; and, Islam and the modern world.
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Matthew S. Gordon is Assistant Professor of History at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He is the co-editor of Islam and Franco-Arab Encounters.
Grade 7–10—Gordon's update of his 2001 edition includes developments in Afghanistan and Iraq, new census data on the increase of Muslims in the U.S., and half a dozen recent books as further reading. A paragraph in the introduction addressing the association of violence and extremism with Islam cites events in the past five years and adds to the history of Western stereotypes of Muslims. The author includes a slightly more detailed account of Islam's imperial past and subsequent reform movements (still omitting Sayyid Qutb). Oddly, the account of Iran ends with moderate Khatami, not Ahmadinejad. Only two illustrations are different (ordinary Muslims replace Khomeini and Tansu Ciller). All but a tiny part of the text remains unchanged. Changes in Hartz's 2002 volume are even harder to discern. Some white space has been used for more excerpts from Baha'i texts, and a couple of new titles appear in the bibliography. A few pages on "Spreading the Faith" have been rewritten (though the accompanying growth chart still ends in 2001). Membership figures are either very conservative or outdated. The section on persecution, especially in Iran, is expanded, though it does not mention Iran's 2004 destruction of sites revered by Baha'is, for instance, or the death of another Baha'i in an Iranian prison in 2005. Only one of the functional black-and-white photos is different. These minimally altered editions preserve the clarity, coverage, and concision of the originals. Both volumes are worth having, but upgrading to the new editions is largely optional.—Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI
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Book Description Facts on File, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0816066124
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