"Light in the Shadow of Jihad: The Struggle for Truth," by Ravi Zacharias, is a short book, written from the evangelical Christian perspective, that attempts to place the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 in a greater theological and social perspective. The author discusses the origins of Islam, ethical relativism, biblical texts, the debate over "the hiddenness of God," intolerance in Islamic countries, and United States national values.
There are some interesting and effective parts of the book. I was moved by his account of returning home to the U.S. after the tragedy. He also partially reproduces an article written by Muslim scholar Muqtedar Khan, in which Khan challenges the Islamic world to do some soul-searching in the post 9-11 context. Zacharias himself challenges moderate Muslims to speak out against violence done in the name of Islam.
I found the most problematic part of the book to be the author's attitude towards Islam. There is a subtle vein of hostility towards Islam running throughout the book, such as when he claims that Islam can be "demanding [. . .] of the American culture to provide it unlimited freedom." An unqualified statement like that hurts Zacharias' credibility in my mind. At times it seems like he wants to criticize Islam more pointedly but is trying to be politically correct about it. He also presents a naively rosy view of Christendom as a whole.
Ultimately, I found few new insights in this book. But I think it is still worth reading for those seeking more perspectives on 9-11.