This volume offers the first book-length consideration of American religious freedom advocacy from a rhetorical perspective. In it, fifteen scholars consider twelve contemporary controversies with attention to arguments, evidence, and strategy.
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In much of the Muslim world, religion is the central foundation upon which family, community, morality, and identity are built. The inextricable embedment of religion in Muslim culture has forced a new generation of non-believing Muslims to face the heavy costs of abandoning their parents’ religion: disowned by their families, marginalized from their communities, imprisoned, or even sentenced to death by their governments. Struggling to reconcile the Muslim society he was living in as a scientist and physician and the religion he was being raised in, Ali A. Rizvi eventually loses his faith. Discovering that he is not alone, he moves to North America and promises to use his new freedom of speech to represent the voices that are usually quashed before reaching the mainstream media—the Atheist Muslim. In The Atheist Muslim, we follow Rizvi as he finds himself caught between two narrative voices he cannot relate to: extreme Islam and anti-Muslim bigotry in a post-9/11 world. The Atheist Muslim recounts the journey that allows Rizvi to criticize Islam—as one should be able to criticize any set of ideas—without demonizing his entire people. Emotionally and intellectually compelling, his personal story outlines the challenges of modern Islam and the factors that could help lead it toward a substantive, progressive reformation.
In this original and illuminating book, Denise A. Spellberg reveals a little-known but crucial dimension of the story of American religious freedom—a drama in which Islam played a surprising role. In 1765, eleven years before composing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson bought a Qur’an. This marked only the beginning of his lifelong interest in Islam, and he would go on to acquire numerous books on Middle Eastern languages, history, and travel, taking extensive notes on Islam as it relates to English common law. Jefferson sought to understand Islam notwithstanding his personal disdain for the faith, a sentiment prevalent among his Protestant contemporaries in England and America. But unlike most of them, by 1776 Jefferson could imagine Muslims as future citizens of his new country. Based on groundbreaking research, Spellberg compellingly recounts how a handful of the Founders, Jefferson foremost among them, drew upon Enlightenment ideas about the toleration of Muslims (then deemed the ultimate outsiders in Western society) to fashion out of what had been a purely speculative debate a practical foundation for governance in America. In this way, Muslims, who were not even known to exist in the colonies, became the imaginary outer limit for an unprecedented, uniquely American religious pluralism that would also encompass the actual despised minorities of Jews and Catholics. The rancorous public dispute concerning the inclusion of Muslims, for which principle Jefferson’s political foes would vilify him to the end of his life, thus became decisive in the Founders’ ultimate judgment not to establish a Protestant nation, as they might well have done. As popular suspicions about Islam persist and the numbers of American Muslim citizenry grow into the millions, Spellberg’s revelatory understanding of this radical notion of the Founders is more urgent than ever. Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an is a timely look at the ideals that existed at our country’s creation, and their fundamental implications for our present and future.
Perhaps no other nation is or has ever been as religiously diverse as the United States. For elected officials, school principals, corporate leaders, and many others, this diversity poses unique challenges. Leaders bring their own faiths to public life, and they daily encounter followers of similar and different faiths. Good leadership must draw together people from varied backgrounds in order to achieve something in common. This is no simple task. How should leaders deal with menorahs and crosses, veils and turbans, prayers and holidays? How do they and their followers turn the cacophony of beliefs and practices into a kind of citizenship worthy of the American tradition of religious freedom? How can they honor the religious convictions of all Americans? In With God on All Sides, Douglas A. Hicks provides a roadmap for leaders as they traverse the post-9/11 landscape. Although the devout possess moral and spiritual resources that can enrich civic life, leaders must also be prepared to cope with nearly inevitable conflicts between people of different faiths. Yet wise leaders can find ways to transform the problem of diversity into an opportunity. Drawing on their moral and spiritual resources, Americans of all creeds have the capacity to enhance the quality of our civic debate. Their faith-based practices create occasions for mutual learning. Hicks tells the stories of how diverse Americans have transformed public controversies into cases of cooperation. The key to good leadership, Hicks writes, is to engage one another across lines of difference with a spirit of humility, build communication and trust, and offer an inclusive vision that is true to America's principles. Based on years of research and practical experience, With God on All Sides provides an invaluable and thought-provoking guide to leadership--and citizenship--in our devout and diverse nation.
A two volume encyclopedia set that examines the legacy, impact, and contributions of Muslim Americans to U.S. history.
Forty years ago, Muslims in America were a statistically insignificant minority, numbering fewer than one thousand individuals. By contrast, Islam is today the second-largest and fastest growing religion in America, with more than six million adherents. In Crescent Moon Rising, journalist Paul L. Williams examines the phenomenal rise of Islam in the United States and discusses its implications. In the first half of the book, the author traces the beginnings of Islam in this country, in particular the rise and influence of the Nation of Islam among African Americans. He emphasizes the impact of the 1965 Hart-Cellar Act, which abolished national-origin quotas and led to successive waves of Muslim immigrants, who entered this country from Palestine, Kuwait, Iraq, Southeast Asia, Africa, Turkey, and other parts of the world. In the second half, Williams considers statistical studies of American Muslims regarding age groups, family size, professional affiliations, annual income, and religious and political commitments. He also addresses a number of disturbing concerns about some aspects of the Muslim presence in America. These include: the connections between many American mosques with Saudi benefactors who promote an ultra-orthodox, anti-Western agenda; the existence of Muslim paramilitary training grounds recruiting ex-convicts; and the ties of even self-described moderate Muslim spokespersons with more politically radical elements. Informative and at times controversial, Crescent Moon Rising clearly shows that Islam will be a force to reckon with for some time in America. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Globalization, the war on terror, and Islamic fundamentalism—followed closely by a rise in Islamophobia—have escalated tensions between Western nations and the Muslim world. Yet internationally renowned Islamic scholar Akbar Ahmed believes that through dialogue and understanding, these cultures can coexist peacefully and respectfully. That hope and belief result in an extraordinary journey. To learn what Muslims think and how they really view America, Ahmed traveled to the three major regions of the Muslim world the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia. Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization is the riveting story of his search for common ground. His absorbing narrative and personal photos bring the reader on a tour of Islam and its peoples. Ahmed sought to understand the experiences and perceptions of ordinary Muslims. Visiting mosques, madrassahs, and universities, he met with people ranging from Pakastan President Pervez Musharraf to prime ministers, princes, sheikhs, professors, and students. He observed, listened, and asked them questions. For example, who inspires them? What are they reading? How do the Internet and international media impact their lives? How do they view America, the West, and changes in society? Ahmed's anthropological expedition enjoyed extensive access to women and youths, revealing unique information on large yet often misunderstood populations. Lamentably, he found high levels of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism and a widespread perception that Islam is under attack from the West. But he also brought back reason for hope. He returned from his groundbreaking travels both impressed with the concerned, kind nature of the individuals he encountered and invigorated with the vitality and passion they displayed. Journey into Islam makes a powerful plea for forming friendships across religion, race, and tradition to create lasting peace between Islam and the West.
#1 bestselling author and radio host Glenn Beck exposes the real truth behind the roots of Islamic extremism in Muslim teachings in this sharply insightful handbook that debunks commonly held assumptions about Islam and the dream of a renewed caliphate. From the barbarians of ISIS to the terror tactics of Al-Qaeda and its offshoots, to the impending threat of a nuclear Iran, those motivated by extreme fundamentalist Islamic faith have the power to endanger and kill millions. The conflict with them will not end until we face the truth about those who find their inspiration and justification in the religion itself. Drawing on quotes from the Koran and the hadith, as well as from leaders of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood, Glenn Beck seeks to expose the true origins of Islamic extremism as well as the deadly theological motivations behind these agencies of destruction. Using the same unique no-holds-barred style from his bestselling books Control and Conform, Glenn Beck offers straight facts and history about the fundamental beliefs that inspire so many to kill.