Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism by Karima Bennoune, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism

Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism

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by Karima Bennoune

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Impassioned, eye-opening accounts of heroic resistance to religious extremism.


Impassioned, eye-opening accounts of heroic resistance to religious extremism.

Editorial Reviews

Mary Robinson
“A powerful and captivating tribute to those brave women and men who have stood up to fundamentalist violence in their own countries from Afghanistan to Mali, this book will hopefully inspire a new and improved international human rights response.”
Wole Soyinka
“This work redefines courage in a humbling dimension. Bennoune’s meticulous testament serves as a warning to the complacent and rebukes ‘politically correct’ posturing that makes excuses for the inexcusable and canvasses tolerance for the intolerable.”
Azar Nafisi
“Courageous and passionate, illuminating the confiscated lives of secularists, religious minorities, and Muslims alike. Yet what is striking is not their victimhood but their resilience and resistance—that is where hope lies.”
Ali Soufan
“For too long, these types of voices, those Muslims who stand for individual freedom, debate, creativity, and compassion, have been ignored. But if we are ever to defeat the extremists, the counter narratives they provide to the distorted version of Islam need to be heard loud and clear.”
“Starred review. Her interviews sear with passion as her subjects deconstruct false views of Islam and inaccurate readings of the Qur’an. Again and again, Bennoune shines a spotlight on those who battle with intelligence and creativity against guns and bloodlust. She has created a significant and compelling record of modern life in which she spares no one, from the right wing to the left.”
Paul Berman
“Karima Bennoune's book is the clearest, shrewdest, and most vivid journalistic account of the struggle over Islamism that I have ever read. Are you a liberal? A conservative? A champion of human rights? This book will open your eyes. Do you already consider yourself an expert? This book will sharpen your thinking.”
Nancy Graham Holm - Huffington Post
“A must read for anyone who wants to really understand the role of Muslim fundamentalism and women's rights.”
Library Journal
Algerian American Bennoune (international law, Sch. of Law, Univ. of California, Davis), who has long researched global human rights issues, looks at the everyday resistance of ordinary Muslims to religious fundamentalism. The author spent three years investigating grass-roots opposition to religious fundamentalism in several Muslim-majority countries, largely in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. She recounts how a broad spectrum of Muslims, ranging from educators, journalists, lawyers, and women's rights activists to a comic book creator and street vendors, wage a persistent struggle against fundamentalists who seek to redefine Islamic cosmopolitanism into their own narrow and intolerant version of religious discourse. As Bennoune explains, many of these heroic individuals have to carry on a dual-front war, opposing fundamentalism among their own coreligionists while also facing the rising tide of anti-Muslim prejudice from the West. Those interviewed have a variety of religious perspectives, ranging from the secular to the devout and observant. VERDICT This accessible and remarkable book should be of interest to all human rights activists and those who wish to understand Muslim conflicts with fundamentalism.—Nader Entessar, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile
Kirkus Reviews
A human rights lawyer scours the global hotspots for stories of Muslim push back to fundamentalism. Fired with a sense of outrage, Bennoune (Law/Univ. of California, Davis) applies the lessons she learned from her professor and activist father, Mahfoud Bennoune--put on the "kill list" by fundamentalist extremists in Algeria in the early 1990s--in meeting the challenge of today's fundamentalists. Muslim fundamentalism--which the author defines carefully as an extreme-right movement that achieves political aims by manipulating religion, embracing absolutism, limiting women's rights and other human rights, denouncing secularism and advocating the imposition of narrowly defined Sharia--actually perpetuates much more violence against Muslims than against Westerners. The fallacy entertained by the Western left, such as her former employer she takes to task, Amnesty International, is that some forms of Islamic fundamentalism can be moderate or appear palatable (skillful as such groups are in "double discourse"), such as the freshly washed face of the Islamic Brotherhood. This is mostly due to the fact that the West desperately needs to believe "someone has to control those Muslims." However, Bennoune is uncompromising in presenting tales from the trenches of the terror imposed by these ideologically driven governments: arts groups for children in Lahore, Pakistan, targeted for bombing since music was declared haram (shameful); cinemas burned in Herat, Afghanistan; women stoned in Nigeria; polygamy encouraged by Hamas and on the rise in Gaza; journalists killed for speaking out from Algeria to Pakistan. Yet the author's account brings to light the courageous few who do stand up at the peril of losing their lives--e.g., many women who have had enlightened fathers who supported their education, like the author. Bennoune, and those she profiles, bravely meets the tide of extremism with a sense of shared community and nonviolent purpose.
Lorraine Ali - Los Angeles Times
“Fascinating and often heartbreaking.”
Rachel Newcomb - Washington Post
“A compelling, meticulously researched account. . . . Required reading.”
Times Higher Education
“Very necessary.”
Daily Beast
Boston Globe
“Stirring and urgent.”
“Diligent, passionate and convincing.”
New York Journal of Books
“A must read for anyone interested in current affairs.”
Guardian Weekly
“"Bennoune offers a compelling, meticulously researched account..."”
The Washington Post
“"Should be required reading."”

Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Karima Bennoune is a professor of international law at the University of California–Davis School of Law. She grew up in Algeria and the United States and now lives in northern California.

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