What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam

What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam

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by John L. Esposito
     
 

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Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, there has been an overwhelming demand for information about Islam, and recent events - the war in Iraq, terrorist attacks both failed and successful, debates throughout Europe over Islamic dress, and many others - have raised new questions in the minds of policymakers and the general public. This newly updated edition

Overview

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, there has been an overwhelming demand for information about Islam, and recent events - the war in Iraq, terrorist attacks both failed and successful, debates throughout Europe over Islamic dress, and many others - have raised new questions in the minds of policymakers and the general public. This newly updated edition of What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam is the best single source for clearly presented, objective information about these new developments, and for answers to questions about the origin and traditions of Islam. Editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Modern Islam and The Oxford History of Islam, and author of The Future of Islam and many other acclaimed works, John L. Esposito is one of America's leading authorities on Islam. This brief and readable book remains the first place to look for up-to-date information on the faith, customs, and political beliefs of the more than one billion people who call themselves Muslims.

Editorial Reviews

"What do Muslims believe?" "Who was Muhammad?" "What do Muslim women wear head scarves?" "Why do Muslim men wear beards?" "What is meant by Holy War?" "Why do Muslims hate us?" We all have questions about Islam and no one can answer them more precisely than Professor John L. Esposito, the editor of The Oxford Illustrated History of Islam. Since September 11th, he has been called to speak about the faith before a wide range of audiences, including members of Congress, the executive branch, and the military. From those experiences, Esposito has derived an engaging question-and-answer tutorial about Islamic beliefs and practices.
Publishers Weekly
Georgetown professor Esposito has written an excellent primer on all aspects of Islam. The question-and-answer format allows readers to skip ahead to areas that interest them, including hot-button issues such as "Why are Muslims so violent?" or "Why do Muslim women wear veils and long garments?" In his answers, which are anywhere from a paragraph to several pages long, Esposito elegantly educates the reader through what the Qur'an says, how Muslims are influenced by their local cultures, and how the unique politics of Islamic countries affects Muslims' views. All three elements contribute to a fuller understanding of Islam. For instance, in answering the question on veiling, Esposito accurately clarifies that though the Qur'an instructs believers to be modest, it does not require head coverings. He continues by describing how the custom of veiling gained popularity in and after Muhammad's time as a status symbol. He ends by pointing out how some women who veil today feel they are making a social protest against judgment based on appearance as much as they are fulfilling the modesty requirement. Occasionally Esposito excludes some key information. He says that jihad is sometimes called the "Sixth Pillar" of Islam without pointing out that Western critics propagate the centrality of jihad, not Muslims. In his discussion of Qur'an 4:34, which appears to permit domestic violence in a disciplinary capacity, he omits new translations by feminist scholars that change the meaning and mitigate the controversy. However, overall, this book honestly and clearly answers the questions most non-Muslims have about Islam. (Nov.) Forecast: Esposito has become quite the commentator, airing his opinions regularly on NPR, Nightline and Fox News, and being heralded in publications such as the Wall Street Journal. Such exposure should help this primer do very well, and enjoy a long life as a backlist title. Oxford plans an initial print run of 40,000 copies. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"An excellent primer on all aspects of Islam. The question-and-answer-format allows readers to skip ahead to areas that interest them, including hot-button issues such as 'Why are Muslims so violent?' or 'Why do Muslim women wear veils and long garments?' In his answers, which are anywhere from a paragraph to several pages long, Esposito elegantly educates the reader through what the Quran said, how Muslims are influenced by their local cultures, and how the unique politics of Islamic countries affect Muslims' views."—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199831210
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
07/13/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
220,371
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

University Professor, Professor of Religion and International Affairs, Professor of Islamic Studies and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

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