I have been meaning to read this book for many years and finally got around to it.
So much can be said about it. The most outstandning thing is that the book has withstood the effects of time very well: it is more relevant than ever and even prophetic. Some of Professor Ahmed's concerns have turned out to be extremely topical.
The book obviously has no agenda of being an instance in islamic scholarship and it is not surprising that some of the reviews written by readers take him to task on the detail. That was never the point. I think the purpuse of the book was to take on the "makro" issues and that is where its strength is to be found. Professor Ahmed, though a loyal member of Islam and one that has never failed to live and write and think exhibitin solidarity as such, does have the courage to take on some sore points. He focuses on the very uneasy seam between modern "rational" thought and Muslim thought and is trying to hold on to the good while exposing the harmful. Harmful to Muslim society itself.
Self criticism was not just a Communist mantra. It is such a marvelous tool for renwal and growth of any mode of thought and those who forgo it, harm, not only those they interact with (a thing inevitable in our global age) but much more clearly themselves.
That is the main point that Professor Ahmed Akbar makes and his muslim brethern would be so well advised to listen to him instead of confronting him. He clearly is on their side. His is Constructive Criticism.
The book is very well written and worth reading. It should appeal to specialist and non-specialist alike. Yes there are some inaccuracies but that is not the point.