Muslim Cultures Today: A Reference Guide

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There is strong demand for current, accurate, and objective information about Islamic societies and Muslims around the world. This is the first survey for a general audience of key current topics in 16 countries with significant Muslim populations. Each chapter covering a country contains the following narrative elements: Overview (statistics, demographics of followers, brief history of their life there); Political Impact; Women's Status; Special Issues in the News; Notable People (biographical profiles); and Resource Guide, with Suggested Reading, Films/Videos, Websites, and Organizations. The content ties in to World History standards to help analyze connections between globalizing trends in culture in the late 20th century and dynamic assertions of traditional cultural identity and distinctiveness, as well as to the Global Connections part of Social Studies standards.

This will be essential reading for those desiring a one-volume resource about hot spots in the news today. Countries profiled include Afghanistan, Albania, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. Photos and maps help to put the narrative in perspective.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Written for general readers, this reference provides an overview of Islam in all its diversity: Arab and non-Arab; African, Asian, and European; majority and minority populations; conservative societies and progressive. Sixteen countries were selected on the basis of a lack of current, accessible information and for their representative diversity. Each profile reviews the history of Islam in a particular country or region and presents demographic information on the Muslim community there. Special sections cover Culture, Society, and Politics, Women and the Family, Special Issues in the News, and Notable People."


Reference & Research Book News

"Aimed at the general reader, this guide will suit audiences in high school, college and public libraries."


Lawrence Looks At Books

"[T]his is a useful compilation on a limited segment of contemporary Islam, reflecting wide variations in practice, power, and politics"


School Library Journal

"[E]xamines the varied culture and history of the Muslim world on a country-by-country basis with each chapter addressing a specific country….The book does not cover every country in the Muslim world, but focuses on 16, intending to provide the reader with an introduction to the Muslim communities in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. It contains an extensive reading and resource list for further research into particular regions or themes."


Middle East Journal

"Similar in substance to Islam in World Cultures, ed. by R. Michael Feener (CH, Apr'05, 42-4397), this work covers several different nations and has a useful standardized reference format. The essays feature a diverse collection of 16 contemporary Muslim majority and minority cultures, including those in Albania, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan. Following a basic overview, each essay discusses country-specific topics on Islam; culture, society, and politics; women and the family; special issues in the news; and notable people. Each also offers a guide for further research….[t]he included countries are well covered, and the guide presents a solid introduction to the respective Muslim cultures. A glossary and an extensive resource guide on Islam are included. Recommended. Lower-/upper-division undergraduates; general readers."



"[A] topical reference resource that will be accessible to a wide readership. The book will be a useful addition to an existing collection of general reference material … on Islam…"


Reference Reviews

School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Despite its title, this volume covers mainly historical and sociopolitical aspects of culture in only 16 Muslim countries, in one chapter each: Bosnia, Albania, Russia, Nigeria, Indonesia, and a broad swath between Egypt and India. Many sub-Saharan and PMiddle Eastern countries are omitted, as are Muslim minorities elsewhere. Readers are sometimes told what percentage of a country's population is Muslim, but not what percentage of the world's Muslims live in that country. Styles vary, but overall the writing is undistinguished and sometimes confusing ("In Bosnia, women have total access to the mosques-.Women are not allowed to attend the important Friday evening prayers"). Each signed chapter has a historical overview of Muslims in that country, "Culture, Society, and Politics," "Women and the Family," "Special Issues in the News," brief biographies of notable people, and country-specific resource lists. Redundancy, lack of clarity, awkward expression, and minor factual errors and omissions are found throughout. The index has limitations. The few poor-quality, black-and-white photos provide little leaven. The absence of any work by Bernard Lewis in the resource list is striking. Despite its flaws, this is a useful compilation on a limited segment of contemporary Islam, reflecting wide variations in practice, power, and politics. Although it lacks the geopolitical focus of this volume, Tanya Gulevich's Understanding Islam and Muslim Traditions (Omnigraphics, 2004) is a richer introduction to Islamic culture; neither volume, however, offers much help in understanding violent Islamism.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313323867
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,503,107
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

KATHRYN M. COUGHLIN is president of Global Research and Analysis, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and analysis on the broader Islamic world and to projects that promote social justice in the developing world's transition to market economies and global integration. She has taught, lectured, and given papers on a wide range of subjects including religion and gender, Islamic law, religion and modernity, and U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East.

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Table of Contents



Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by Amin Tarzi

Republic of Albania by Isa Blumi

Bosnia and Hercegovina by Angelo Georgakis

Arab Republic of Egypt by Kathryn M. Coughlin

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia by Dana Leigh Hearn

Republic of India by Phyllis K. Herman

Republic of Indonesia by Nelly Van Doorn-Harder and R. Michael Feener

Islamic Republic of Iran by Mana Kia

Republic of Iraq by Kathryn M. Coughlin

Federal Republic of Nigeria by Kathryn M. Coughlin

Islamic Republic of Pakistan Kathryn M. Coughlin

Russian Federation by Galina M. Yemelianova

Kindom of Saudi Arabia by Kathryn M. Coughlin

Republic of Sudan by Heather J. Sharkey

Republic of Turkey by Kathryn M. Coughlin

Republic of Uzbekistan by Kathryn M. Coughlin



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