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Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant versions, but few
people in the non-Muslim world really understand the nature of Islam.Malise
Ruthven's Very Short Introduction contains essential insights into issues such as
why Islam has such major divisions between movements such as the Shi'ites, the
Sunnis, and the Wahhabis, and the central importance of the Shar'ia (Islamic law) in
Islamic life. It also offers fresh perspectives on contemporary questions: Why is
the greatest 'Jihad' (holy war) now against the enemies of Islam, rather than the
struggle against evil? Can women find fulfilment in Islamic societies? How mustIslam
adapt as it confronts the modern world?
About the Author
Malise Ruthven is renowned as a commentator on Islam and the Arab world. A former scriptwriter with the BBC Arabic and World Services, his previous publications include Islam in the World and The Divine Supermarket: Shopping for God in America.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Islam and Islamism