Book by Clark, Charles
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Grade 5-9 While similar in basic chronological ordering and themes to Neil Morris's Islam (Peter Bedrick, 2001), Clark's book is less profusely illustrated and has more narrative and explication, giving it more heft and greater informational value. Six major chapters cover the origin, essence, spread, practice, politics, and challenges of Islam. They survey the central importance of the Qur'an as well as daily practice, important tenets, and the historical and cultural bases for the mistrust and hostility so evident in Muslim-Western relations. In addition, Clark discusses the varying treatments of and roles for women in various times and cultures and the activism of Muslims in the U.S. There are, to be sure, aspects of the book that will draw complaint or raise eyebrows. The author's brief introduction, for example, presents Muhammad's experience with the angel Jibril (Gabriel) as historical fact rather than religious truth. An excerpt in one of the many sidebars explains how Muslim judges, administering Islamic law, may temper justice with mercy in the issue of the pregnancy of a widowed or unmarried woman by the use of accepted "legal fictions," but leaves unexplained the question of why a woman should encounter "a pool of semen" in the public baths that men have just left. The events of September 11 are referred to in a sidebar and a photo caption, both presumably added at a late stage of production. While still a survey, Clark's book is much more complete and thoughtful than many of the comparable titles currently available to students. -Coop Renner, Moreno Elementary School, El Paso, TX
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6-9. Students wanting to know more about Islam, the religion so much in the news, will find a solid introduction in this entry in the Religions of the World series. The book begins with a brief overview, "Islam: Misconceptions and Realities," and continues with chapters on the origin and essence of Islam, how the religion spread, and how it is practiced. The politics and challenges of Islam are looked at in depth. Although most of the book seems to have been written before the events of September 11, one sidebar asks whether Islam can be said to support terror: "The answer, delivered by Muslim scholars and clerics . . . was a clear and emphatic no." There are also informative sidebars on such topics as Islamic dress for women, dietary laws, Muslims and music, and the Dome of the Rock. The typeface is clean, and the black-and-white photos are interesting. Notes, a glossary, a further reading list, and bibliography are appended. See the Series Roundup in this issue for Confucianism and Shinto. Ilene Cooper
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Book Description Lucent, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1560069864