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Moving the Mountain: Beyond Ground Zero to a New Vision of Islam in America [Hardcover]

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

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Book Description

May 8 2012
Muslims in America who reject extremist or fundamentalist expressions of Islam at home and abroad feel the urgent need for a voice that can represent them in the escalating irrationality of the current debate about Islam, America, and the West. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf—the so-called Ground Zero Imam—has become that voice.

Drawing from his personal experiences, Imam Feisal now speaks up on behalf of disenfranchised Muslims around the United States who are spiritual, moderate, and patriotic. Born to Egyptian parents in Kuwait, Imam Rauf was educated in England and Malaysia, became a U.S. citizen in 1979, and received a degree in physics from Columbia University. Here, he explores the beliefs, aspirations, and ambitions, both spiritual and political, of American Muslims in a post-9/11 world. For example, the Imam sees the 2011 Arab uprising and the death of Osama bin Laden as turning points for Muslims, strengthening moderate voices that are closer to the true nature of Islam. He argues that orthodox Islam supports equal rights for women and embraces religious tolerance and dialogue, and insists on the relevance of Shariah law for democracy in America and for the revolutions in the Middle East.

Touching on all the major issues that have been subject to misperceptions and misrepresentations—such as the role of women, fundamentalism in America and abroad, the intersection of Islam and democracy, even the “Ground Zero Mosque”—Imam Feisal pre-sents a fresh perspective that American Muslims can identify with and a book that non-Muslims can use as a go-to guide, completely changing the discourse about Islam and America today.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (May 8 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451656009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451656008
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.9 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #411,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“Imam Feisal…is an inspirational and erudite exponent for the Muslim world. This tale of his journey is a clarion call for a progressive and pluralistic Islam as a bedrock of tolerance and understanding Believers and adherents of all faiths must stand in solidarity with this global spiritual leader whose cry for religious freedom and human dignity must be heard.” —Rabbi Marc Schneier (President) and Russell Simmons (Chairman), The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding

"In this thoughtful book, Imam Feisal explores the need to create an American Muslim community that fits in with the nation's traditions of pluralism and tolerance… an important contribution to understanding Islam and the struggle against extremism." —Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Steve Jobs and President, the Aspen Institute

“Inspiring, honest, and insightful, Moving the Mountain crosses the bridge from East to West and demonstrates the vital role that Muslims can play in strengthening the voice of religious moderation across the world. Imam Feisal eloquently reminds us that women’s rights, religious harmony, and equality are core values embedded in Islam, and he challenges us to embrace that mandate today.”—Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein of Jordan

“Imam Feisal is an ideal ambassador: an immigrant to America, a defender of its principles, and a believer that people of diverse backgrounds and faiths can thrive within its borders. Here, he has put his gift of storytelling in service of the empathy that all of us -- Muslims and non-Muslims alike -- so desperately need.”—Arianna Huffington

"Feisal Abdul Rauf is a name that one day should come as easily to the lips as do the names of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi. It is my hope that when my fellow Americans read this incredibly moving and enlightening book they will feel the scales of ignorance and fear falling off their eyes. With gentleness and love, [Imam Feisal] seeks to bring us all together in post-9/11 America."  ­—Michael Moore

“Everybody should read this book. It shows us the dangers of our past course and where we should be aiming.” –Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of Islam: A Short History and Muhammad, A Prophet for Our Time 

"An authentic voice, an essential vision, a heartfelt story. Moving the Mountain can - and should -  move America." —James Carroll, bestselling author of Constantine’s Sword and Jerusalem, Jerusalem

“An erudite and insightful look into the future of Islam and America, identifying those values that could bridge differences between Muslims, Christians and Jews. A book about how religion can bring people together, heal wounds, and show a future of hope and coexistence.” —Vali Nasr, bestselling author of The Shia Revival and The Rise of Islamic Capitalism

"Imam Feisal is arguably the most influential Muslim leader in America. His bold vision of a moderate, pluralistic, and distinctly American Islam is something that all Americans should champion." —Reza Aslan, bestselling author of No god but God and Beyond Fundamentalism 

"Moving The Mountain is wise, authentic, and courageous. Every American needs to read this transforming and spiritually insightful book about the profound hope American Islam offers the world." —Rabbi Irwin Kula, President of The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

“Imam Feisal personifies the most noble and sublime teachings of Islam that seek to advance the wellbeing, happiness, and flourishing of all people. At a time when religion is tragically and violently hijacked by those who desecrate its name, the need to hearken to his articulate voice is greater than ever.” —Rabbi David Rosen, Interfaith Advisor to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel

“Imam Feisal's voice is one that Americans and Muslim's world-wide need to hear…He teaches an authentic and beautiful Islam, and demonstrates just how compatible his religion is with core American values.” –James Zogby, President, Arab American Institute and author of Arab Voices: What they Are Saying to Us and Why It Matters    

“Imam Feisal…is an inspirational and erudite exponent for the Muslim world. This tale of his journey is a clarion call for a progressive and pluralistic Islam as a bedrock of tolerance and understanding. Believers and adherents of all faiths must stand in solidarity with this global spiritual leader whose cry for religious freedom and human dignity must be heard.”
—Rabbi Marc Schneier (President) and Russell Simmons (Chairman), The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding

“A spirited, accessible defense for all believers.” —Kirkus Reviews

“While Rauf could have devoted this book entirely to defending his plans, he rises above such pettiness and writes a book that is enjoyable and accessible. Describing the controversial community center as a Muslim version of New York’s 92nd Street Y, which has Jewish roots and values, Rauf has impressive clarity in the face of the various hyperbolic reactions to his plan. . . . This is a great read for American Muslims and for those wanting to learn more about Islam or update themselves on the controversies American Muslims have faced.” 
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder and CEO of the Cordoba Initiative, has served as Imam of the al-Farah mosque since 1983 and is the visionary behind the Cordoba House project planned near the World Trade Center in New York City. The author of three previous books about Islam, an American goodwill ambassador abroad, and a sought-after speaker and media guest, he lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving the Mountain June 24 2012
By carol handy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Moving The Mountain is an excellent explanation of Moderate Islam wriitten by the man who is at the forefront of the attempt to build a Islamic Center (NOT a Mosque), near Ground Zero in N.Y. city. He has done a superb job of explaining Islam to the non-Muslim and appears to be exactly who he purports himself to be, a man who wants to erase the ugliness among religions. I wish it were "required" reading for every American Citizen'
5.0 out of 5 stars An important message Sept. 10 2013
By AnnBarbie - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Imam Rauf gives an important analysis of how Muslims, native and immigrant, can move towards a fully realized and authentically American Islam. This is an important book for non-Muslims and Muslims together to read, and a great starting point for interfaith dialog.
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-changing book June 10 2013
By Daria Pogan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf issues a persuasive call to all of us who desire an orderly, peaceful world to consider the vision of Moslems, Christians, Jews,and others,living in harmony. Impossible? He thinks it isn't. And after you've read his book, you may consider it possible, too.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enlightening book June 16 2012
By J. Callanan - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book - well written, easy to read and full of information that helps to give insights into the Islamic religion and Muslim people - particularly Americans.
Imam Feisal has a deep understanding of other religions, Christianity and Judaism in particular and frequently presents information in a comparative framework which makes it much easier to understand. Reading it there were a lot of "aha!" moments.
I would whole heartedly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand our world better.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Needed Perspective on Islam for America Oct. 3 2012
By elderstateswoman - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Imam Feisal Rauf has paintakingly explained the fundamental tenets of Islam and the tone and basic message of the Quran. He stresses that moderate Jews, Christians, and even atheists have much in common with moderate Muslims, and all of these groups have little in common with extremists of any faith. He suggests our joint efforts based on concern for our fellow human beings could yield a pathway to peace.

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