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Being Muslim [Hardcover]

Haron Siddiqui
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 17 2006 Groundwork Guides
Since 9/11, the world has been confronted with the most volatile facets of Islam with little explanation of how or why these controversial elements developed. Written by one of North America's most honored journalists, <i>Being Muslim</i> presents an up-front and clear explanation of this complex and emotion-laden subject.

Although the varying branches of Islam are analyzed and their history outlined, the real focus of the book is on the present. In speaking about and crossing political, cultural, and religious divisions, the author offers a unique perspective based on life in Canada, a country in which diverse groups of people have found a way to live in peace. Aimed at young adults, the book offers invaluable insight to readers of all ages, cultures, and religious traditions.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—This balanced, concise book is an excellent resource for social studies or debate class. Siddiqui explores the current political, religious, and secular aspects of being a member of the world's fastest-growing religion. He challenges Western assumptions about Islam and assigns blame to both the West and Islamic fundamentalists for fanning the flames of Islamophobia. Although he tackles stereotypes, the author is not a Muslim apologist-he describes the tenets of the religion in objective, non-proselytizing prose, acknowledging the need for reforms while explaining that most oppression of women results from traditional cultural practices rather than Islamic teachings. Siddiqui acknowledges the desperate living conditions many Muslims endure in the developing world, emphasizing the need to address these circumstances instead of offering them as a valid excuse for violence. He describes what post-9/11 life has been like for Muslims in the United States, in Europe, and in Muslim countries. Sidebars illustrate Islamic contributions to popular culture (e.g., Muslim stand-up comics and hip-hop artists), and the index, notes, bibliography, and illustrative charts are all useful. The author's tone is conversational and engaging, and frequent breaks in the text make this small book very readable.—Sondra VanderPloeg, Tracy Memorial Library, New London, NH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In the wake of 9/11, "Islam-bashing" bears all the symptoms of racism as it holds up the relatively few fanatics as representative of all 1.3 billion Muslims. That's the argument of award-winning Canadian journalist Siddiqui, past president of PEN Canada, a writers' group that is a leading advocate of free speech. His clear, passionate discussion confronts international issues that are in the news now, including recent controversies over cartoon representations of Prophet Muhammad, the debate surrounding the wearing of the hijab (traditional headscarf), and issues of faith and feminism, suicide bombing, and more. While clearly concerned about terrorism and other dangers, Siddiqui attacks the propaganda of collective guilt. Without preaching or political jargon and drawing on his travels and interviews in Muslim countries, he shows that the extremists are being challenged by a new generation of Muslims, and welcomes the current internal reformation. He also asks penetrating questions: for example, Why does the U.S. turn a blind eye to suffocating restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia? Including documented chapter notes and an "Essential Reading" list, this timely volume in the Groundwork Guide series is sure to spark debate. Like Jane Springer's Genocide (2006), also part of the series, this is excellent for classroom discussion. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I came across this small book on a makeshift bookstall on a sidewalk. Its inside cover caption captured my eyes on the words of terrorism, wars, Jihad, Hijab, polygamy, Muhammad's many wives, female circumcision, honor killings, Sharia and stoning. I am an ordinary Muslim by birth now living in North America but did not have time (or I never tried seriously!) to delve deep into my religious teachings. But Muslims being in the spotlight nowadays in the media everywhere, a lot of unanswered questions about the above catchphrases often haunt me as a Muslim. I thought, may be, this book can satisfy my quest. So I paid 20 bucks to buy it.

As I peeped into the book at weekend, it caught me captivated on its pages until I reached its last page 148 in about three hours passed like a snapshot. I found the book written in a plain language hitting the readers' mind with reason and historic reference free from any personal bias by the author. Without getting deep into any scholastic debates, the book provides a true perception about the relationship among terrorism (and other controversial topics like multiple wives, rights of women, extremism etc.) with Muslims, Islam and its teachings.

For the Muslims or non-Muslims equally, the book provides an understanding of so called `war on terrorism'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks May 8 2013
By Iman
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nice small books.........Excellent for someone who needs answers in a short time..........Fast shipment too......small concise information.....keep the good work.....Thank you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very simple, easy introduction Dec 13 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
If it's an easy overview of key issues, topics and social and political concerns you need to serve as an introduction to Muslim concerns, you can't go wrong with BEING MUSLIM, based on travels in Muslim lands and interviews with experts there and in the West. Here's an analysis of the impact of terrorism on Muslims, explaining how Islam affects daily living and surveying differences between East and West perspectives. A very simple, easy introduction, this lends equally well to middle to high school libraries strong in social and political history.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read Oct. 16 2007
By Deva Kautilya - Published on
This is indeed the best book on the subject. I heard the interview of the author on NPR while driving to the airport from a client site! I could not wait to get this book from the library. I just finished reading the book and I will soon be buying it to add to my library. The author takes a very balanced view on the sensitive topic but spares no punches when dealing with the facts. The book deals with post 9/11 issues very directly and at the same time provides a very nice intro to the Islamic culture and traditions. I recommend this book to anyone who really wants to know what it is to be a muslim in this world that is torn apart by religious conflicts.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! Aug. 20 2007
By NYK - Published on
Mr. Siddiqui represents Muslims whose voices often go unheard amidst the Islamophobic ravings of the likes of Irshad Manji and the violent rhetoric and actions of extremists, both of whom have come to define Muslims and Islam in the public mind. A must read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good argument, poorly argued Dec 2 2011
By Bradley Nelson - Published on
This book was a good idea. It helps to explain what it really means to be Muslim, especially in America. But its intentions of bringing support and tolerance to Muslim beliefs and behaviors is undermined by the arguments of the author. Too many remarks are hostile or laced with malice. Too often the author criticized Americans and American policy and how it has affected Muslims. I'm not saying the author is wrong, but this approach is not going to breed sympathy. There's surely a better alternative out there.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read!!! Sept. 13 2010
By Jason - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is perfect for those who know little about the Muslim world. It is very relevant to today considering the Mosque in New York and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I hope everyone that reads this book enjoys it as much as I have.
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