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Allah, Liberty & Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom [Hardcover]

Irshad Manji
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 7 2011
"Irshad Manji is the new voice of reform, not only for Islam, but for all religions."
— Deepak Chopra

The New York Times bestselling author to whom Oprah gave her first ever Chutzpah Award, Irshad Manji has written a book that equips all of us to develop moral courage.

Among the most visible Muslim reformers of our time, Irshad Manji reflects on the journey she has taken since her previous book catapulted her into the public spotlight, drawing on her real-life encounters with a world full of seekers who are struggling, as she has, to reconcile faith and freedom. Having engaged with politicians, activists, families, students, scholars and ordinary people of various religions and cultures, Manji tells stories that are deeply poignant, frequently funny and always revealing about the morally confused era in which we live. In doing so, she paves a path for Muslims and non-Muslims to defend the values of liberal democracy--and thus discover the Allah of liberty and love. Above all, Manji shows that by participating in this signature cause of the 21st century, individuals can embark on a journey of their own towards moral courage. Allah, Liberty & Love is ultimately a book about how to become a gutsy global citizen working for both personal and world peace. Manji has faith not just in Allah, but also in her fellow human beings. Prepare to be informed as well as inspired.

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"Irshad Manji is the new voice of reform, not only for Islam, but for all religions. When we realize that liberty and love, meaning and purpose are more sacred than ideology and dogma, our spirituality will come of age."
—Deepak Chopra, author of The Soul of Leadership

"Everyone thinks about courage: we admire it in others; we fear the shallowness of our own. Irshad Manji has earned our admiration; now, in her new book, she calls on the rest of us to summon our 'moral courage.' She asks both her fellow Muslims and non-Muslims to overcome the disapproval of family and peers - and speak truth. Manji writes in her usual vibrant and accessible style, with rich, compelling anecdotes and revealing interviews. This is an important and timely book, written by the master of moral courage."
—Lesley Stahl, CBS News' 60 Minutes

"Irshad Manji once again shows herself to be a Muslim reformist of outstanding courage. Hers is the unwavering conviction that all religions, including Islam, fulfill their timeless moral precepts through universal love, freedom and reason. To understand how these virtues can be allied with Allah and the Quran - not in theory, but in our messy real world - you must read this book."
—N.J. Dawood, bestselling translator of The Koran

"Irshad Manji's Allah, Liberty & Love is a passionate argument for passionate argument - in all of life and especially within Islam. I leave these pages strengthened by her humor, intelligence, bravery, fairness and faith."
—Gloria Steinem

"The democratic movements that have now emerged have shown just how many young Muslims want to give voice to their aspirations and achieve their full potential. If you want to get a taste of what they sound like, read Irshad Manji."
—Thomas Friedman, The New York Times

“Like the uprisings against Middle East dictators, Allah, Liberty & Love is a jolt of adrenalin in the struggle against enemies of humanity—those who would coerce a people’s rights or an individual’s conscience. Manji is a brave woman whose moral courage brings threats against her life. Now, even as she equips her Muslim brothers and sisters to ‘stay with integrity’ in their effort to replace dogma with faith, Manji challenges us who are not Muslims to take on the closed minds of our own religion, party, community or clan. This is a passionate yet practical guide for the journey of moral courage that each of us must begin if we are to live with dignity on a crowded planet.”
—Bill Moyers
“Irshad Manji never gives up. In Allah, Liberty & Love, she chronicles her continuing struggle for an authentic Islamic reformation, one that she has rooted deeply in Islam’s own traditions. . . . She writes about her relations with a community that doesn’t quite know what to make of her—but also of the many Muslims who support her as she keeps her faith. Irshad Manji is at the forefront of some crucially important trends that are slowly changing the world of Islam.”
—Fareed Zakaria

"An audacious, thoughtful call for people of all religions to move beyond hate, fear, and intolerance."
O, The Oprah Magazine
"Irshad Manji has always been a voice of reason and hope....The brilliant aspect of this book? While it is written from a faith perspective, its lessons in moral courage, in doing the right thing, so to speak, are as valid for atheists, the humanists and the pagans."
Calgary Herald
"The book is for all who hope to make the world a better place.”
U.S. Catholic
"Its arguments may centre around Islam, but the self-reflection and human values it prescribes are universal."
Hindustan Times

About the Author

IRSHAD MANJI teaches moral courage at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. A Globe and Mail columnist, she is also a scholar with the European Foundation for Democracy. Her #1 Canadian bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, earned international recognition and inspired Manji's Emmy-nominated PBS film, Faith Without Fear. The New York Times has called her "bin Laden's worst nightmare" while the Jakarta Post in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, has identified Manji as one of 3 women creating positive change in contemporary Islam.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Allah, Liberty & Love by Irshad Manji July 19 2011
I wasn't sure what to expect when I began Irshad Manji's "Allah, LIberty & Love," although I knew that her career as a public speaker was controversial because of her unconventional views on current issues facing Muslims in North America. Initially, the book seemed to be a collection of tweets and email chats with critics and supporters. Not being a fan of this form of communication, I wasn't entirely impressed. However, considering the number of young Muslims in the west attracted to the fundamentalist version of Islam found on numerous websites, I can understand why she might want to use some of the conventions of social media to provide an alternative interpretation of Islamic beliefs and encourage a dialogue among believers on what it means to be a Muslim in the world today.
However, Manji's intended readership is not limited to her fellow Muslims -- she also takes aim at good, well-meaning people in the west who are afraid to criticize the extremist voices within Islam for fear of being taken as intolerant. She makes the point that it was only through the moral courage of people like Martin Luther King (and she might have mentioned Gandhi and Mandela)that real societal change can take place. But it is the statement of a Muslim colleague of Gandhi, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, that "true freedom comes from disciplining the self, not others" that contains the core of her message to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. That, and her assertion that Islam (and other religions) need to shed the cultural baggage that hides the true message of their holy scriptures. While some may be put off by her "in your face" approach, the issues she brings up are too important to be ignored. Unlike many books on Islam today, Manji's work doesn't dwell on the differences between various groups within the faith, but rather the importance for today's Muslims to become part of a true Islamic reformation, based on the Qur'an's vision of Allah as "the compassionate and merciful."
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An example to follow Oct. 7 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can't help but admire Irshad Manji. Despite regularly suffering all the slings, arrows and insults (often personal and obscene) that pass for dialogue in the internet age she never fails to respond with respect, thoughtfulness and in a manner that furthers her argument in a constructive way. Even the most vulgar missives are answered politely, without condescension and on topic. How many bloggers, twitterers and social commentators of all makes and styles are there that could benefit by following her example? More than I can count.

Isharad's book seems to continue her quest of reforming Islam with an emphasis on coaxing mainstream Muslims into wresting their faith from extremists, who she calls "Islamo-tribalists" but on a closer look it is broader than that. She draws liberally on the wisdom and examples of ideological leaders such as Robert Kennedy, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr. and even little known Muslims that fit the mould such as Abdul Ghaffer Khan. In so doing she builds universality. Anyone combating oppression, fighting intolerance or even simply seeking to live with reverence and integrity will find something to learn from her book. A book that is both absorbing and inspiring,
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Total waste of time!! Aug. 6 2012
By dove
With the advent of the printing press, we have to suffer with so called authors. This lady , forget the non content, has such a dry way to write. It makes me sick to read comments , as: "Manji's intended readership is not limited to her fellow Muslims -- she also takes aim at good, well-meaning people in the west who are afraid to criticize the extremist voices within Islam for fear of being taken as intolerant. She makes the point that it was only through the moral courage of people like Martin Luther King.." for Pete's sake, "Martin Luther King" along side manji? I feel my stomach turning. The book is a total waste of time. She has no erudition, she is clumsy in her thinking process and with chapter titles as, Identity can trap and integrity can free or something like that. What a waste of money and time. If you want to waste your money and time buying a mixed up "self-help contorted with twisted ideas" , be my quest. Horrible.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Hassaan
As an individual who aims to enhance his outlook on various cultures, groups, religions, and ways of thinking I have found this book not only untrue, but totally fallacious, bizarre, and nonsensical. The writer of this book is clearly a disturbed and ignorant individual that would much rather express her inner narcissism than present anything of relevance. I would definitely NOT recommend this piece of trash to anyone. It is totally disturbing and outright fallacious. If anyone wants to learn about Islam and Muslims, this is definitely NOT the book to read.
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