Uses a question and answer format to present information on topics including faith and practice, Islam and other religions, customs and culture, and Muslims in the West.
what everyone needs to know about islam
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In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, there has been an overwhelming demand for information about Islam. As a leading expert, John Esposito has found himself called upon to speak to a wide range of audiences, including members of Congress, the Bush administration, government agencies, the military, and the media. Out of this experience, he has identified the most pressing questions people consistently ask about Islam. In What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam, Esposito presents in question-and-answer format the information that most people want to know. Esposito provides succinct, accessible, sensitive, and even-handed answers to questions that range from the general--"What do Muslims believe?" and "Who was Muhammad?"--to more specific issues like Is Islam compatible with modernization, capitalism and democracy? How do Muslims view Judaism and Christianity? Are women second-class citizens in Islam? What is jihad? Does the Quran condone terrorism? What does Islam say about homosexuality, birth control, abortion, and slavery? The editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Modern Islam and The Oxford History of Islam, and author of Unholy War and many other acclaimed works, John Esposito is one of America's leading authorities on Islam. This brief and readable book is the first place to look for information on the faith, customs, and political beliefs of the more than one billion people who call themselves Muslims.
Most Americans and Europeans have by now heard of Shariah. In the West, politicians, media commentators, televangelists, and others have stoked fears that Muslims intend to impose a repressive rule based on Shariah in America and Europe. Shariah has been portrayed as a medieval system that oppresses women, stifles human rights, and imposes harsh punishments like stoning and amputation. In reality, however, Shariah is a complex concept that has been interpreted in many ways over time and around the world. It plays a vital role in the lives of Muslims around the world, offering guidance on everything from personal morality to ritual practices, family life, and finance. In this timely addition to Oxford's What Everyone Needs to Know® series, John Esposito and Natana DeLong-Bas offer an accessible and thorough guide to this little-understood, but often caricatured system. The book provides clear and even-handed answers to a wide range of questions, covering the history, development, content, and practice of Shariah. What are its origins? What is a Shariah court and how does it work? How does a person become a Muslim in the eyes of Islamic law? Does Islamic law allow Muslims to marry non-Muslims? What are blasphemy laws, and how are they enforced? How does Islamic law govern trade and contracts of sale? Do Muslims in the West want Shariah Law? Is there a need to protect American and European societies from the imposition of Shariah? By answering the questions that so many people have about Shariah and its role in Muslim life, this book makes an invaluable contribution to the crucial task of fostering mutual understanding in our globalizing, pluralistic societies.
These are the answers to the top ten most urgent questions about Islam that are on everyone's mind, this 36 page booklet is for those who need to start with the basics.
Over the past three decades, scholars, government analysts and terrorism experts have examined the relationship between Islam and politics. But specialists have tended to limit their analysis to a specific country or focus. Few works have provided a geographically comprehensive, in-depth analysis. Since 9/11, another wave of literature on political Islam and global terrorism has appeared, much of it superficial and sensationalist. This situation underscores the need for a comprehensive, analytical, and in-depth examination of Islam and politics in the post-9/11 era and in an increasingly globalizing world. The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics, with contributions from prominent scholars and specialists, provides a comprehensive analysis of what we know and where we are in the study of political Islam. It enables scholars, students, and policymakers to understand the interaction of Islam and politics and the multiple and diverse roles of Islamic movements, as well as issues of authoritarianism and democratization, religious extremism and terrorism regionally and globally.
Islam is a very mysterious and complex faith, one of intellectual depth in prayer and practice. It is unfortunate that the teachings of Islam have been marred by centuries of intellectual malaise, political misdirection, extremism, and disunity, leaving many spiritual wanderers—both Muslim and non-Muslim—to ponder a plethora of unaddressed questions about these sacred teachings. In his newest book, The Muslim Book of Why: What Everyone Should Know about Islam, author, scholar, and leading jihad theorist Warithudeen Umar highlights the concept of ijtihad in an attempt to help answer many of today’s most pressing questions about Islam. Ijtihad is described as a creative and disciplined intellectual effort to derive legal rulings from Islamic sources while taking into consideration the variables brought on by the fluctuating circumstances of the Muslim world. Though the world has changed and expanded, humanity’s need for these teachings viewed through the clarifying concept of ijtihad has not. To right these wrongs of gross misguidance within Muslim society, we must deconstruct history in order to discern what went wrong after the revelation of the Qur’an was shared with the world. The Muslim Book of Why seeks to do so, refocusing Muslim thought on a life of faith, family development, and worship.
Designed for general readers with little or no knowledge of Islam, this superb Oxford Dictionary provides more than 2,000 vividly written, up-to-date, and authoritative entries organized in an easy-to-use, A-to-Z format. The Dictionary focuses primarily on the 19th and 20th centuries, stressing topics of most interest to Westerners. What emerges is a highly informative look at the religious, political, and social spheres of the modern Islamic world. Naturally, readers will find many entries on topics of intense current interest, such as terrorism and the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, the PLO and HAMAS. But the coverage goes well beyond recent headlines. There are biographical profiles, ranging from Naguib Mahfouz (the Nobel Prize winner from Egypt) to Malcolm X, including political leaders, influential thinkers, poets, scientists, and writers. Other entries cover major political movements, militant groups, and religious sects as well as terms from Islamic law, culture, and religion, key historical events, and important landmarks (such as Mecca and Medina). A series of entries looks at Islam in individual nations, such as Afghanistan, the West Bank and Gaza, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the United States, and there are discussions of Islamic views on such issues as abortion, birth control, the Internet, the Rushdie Affair, and the theory of evolution. Whether we are listening to the evening news, browsing through the op-ed pages, or reading a book on current events, references to Muslims and the Islamic world appear at every turn. The Oxford Dictionary of Islam offers a wealth of information for anyone curious about this burgeoning and increasingly important world religion.
John L. Esposito is one of America's leading authorities on Islam. Now, in this brilliant portrait of Islam today-- and tomorrow-- he draws on a lifetime of thought and research to provide an accurate, richly nuanced, and revelatory account of the fastest growing religion in the world. Here Esposito explores the major questions and issues that face Islam in the 21st century and that will deeply affect global politics: Is Islam compatible with modern notions of democracy, rule of law, gender equality, and human rights? How representative and widespread is Islamic fundamentalism and the threat of global terrorism? Can Muslim minority communities be loyal citizens in America and Europe? In the midst of these questions Esposito places an important emphasis on the issue of Islamophobia, the threat it poses, and its vast impact on politics and society in the US and Europe. He also turns the mirror on the US and Europe and paints a revealing portrait of how we appear to Muslims. Recent decades have brought extraordinary changes in the Muslim world, and in addressing these issues, Esposito paints a complex picture of Islam in all its diversity--a picture of urgent importance as we face the challenges of the coming century.
In the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR, the American invasion of Iraq, and the Arab uprisings of 2010-11, a new Middle East has emerged. The Syrian civil war has displaced half the country's population, and ISIS and other jihadi groups thrive in the political vacuum there and in Iraq, setting a new standard for political violence. Meanwhile, regimes in Egypt and Bahrain have become even more repressive after the uprisings there, and Libya and Yemen have virtually ceased to exist as states. The hallmarks of this new Middle East are rebellion and repression, proxy wars, sectarian strife, the rise of the Islamic State, and intraregional polarization. International and regional actors stoke the flames, with the United States and Russia seeking to reposition themselves in the region and Saudi Arabia and Iran vying for supremacy. In the long term, perils including climate change, food and water insecurity, and population growth, along with bad governance and stagnant economies, will determine the destiny of the region. In The New Middle East: What Everyone Needs to Know®, renowned Middle East scholar James L. Gelvin explains all these developments and more in a concise question-and-answer format. Outlining the social, political, and economic contours of the New Middle East, he illuminates the current crisis in the region and explores how the region will continue to change in the decades to come.