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Understanding Islam and the Muslims: The Muslim Family and Islam and World Peace Paperback – Jan 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Fons Vitae (Jan. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887752471
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887752473
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.5 x 0.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 209 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #199,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A good read. Very informative. And very true. Feb. 23 2005
By Tom Gazzini - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Mr T. J. Winter is a highly accomplished scholar and internationally recognized translator of Islamic texts. In this book he has produced an open and informative description of real Islam as practised by the vast majority of its adherents.

This book should be welcomed by intelligent non-muslims (and uninformed muslims for that matter), who prefer *not* to be informed solely by the loud cries of the violent and misguided minority. (In the same way that an intelligent observer of Chritinianity would not want to form their opinion of it on the basis that Hitler and Mussolini were Catholics and that they were partially supported by the Vatican).

To the reviewer (Seth J. Frantzman) who said that people who really want to understand Islam should read the Quran instead of this book: one can only reply that a) any intelligent and unbiased reader who really manages to deeply read the Quran will at once be understand the beauty of Islam, and b) Mr Frantzman's statement the Quran enjoins people to "beat your wife" is a complete fabrication. It is, however, sadly typical of the detractors of Islam that they attempt to use the force of lies and fear to undermine it. Note that the reviewer did not say which chapter and verse this line can be found (the common practise when quoting from the Quran), simply because the line does not exist in the Quran.

But anyway, this is a very good book. To be read by open-minded individuals who want to understand.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Scholarly yet approachable Jan. 19 2005
By K. Yaqub - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Written by well-known Western scholars from Cambridge University and the College of William and Mary, this book presents the basic elements of the faith such as the Five Pillars and the Muslim view of Jesus and Mohammad. The book also goes into some detail about gender issues, marriage and family, and the laws of warfare in Islam and directly addresses controversial issues such as women's rights, polygyny, and the validity of terrorist acts according to Islamic law. Furthermore, it presents the orthodox view of Islamic law as it has been maintained for centuries by the vast majority of classical Islamic scholars, not a watered-down liberalized version that has no relation to the past nor that of the small extremist, non-law-abiding minority which usually makes the headlines.

The book also offers the reader a peek into the incredibly diverse cultures of Muslims -- from Taiwan and China, to Central Asia, to Africa, to Bosnia and Denmark, and to the US (among many others) -- through stunning National Geographic-calibre photographs which by themselves are worth the price of admission. The book also goes beyond the usually boring list of basic by relating colourful anecdotes about Muslim warrior-queens and other leaders, particular mosques, and gorgeous arts & crafts from around the Muslim world.

This book will not be useful to people like the previous reviewer, Mr. Seth Frantzman from Israel, who seek to confirm their stereotypes and demonize an entire faith for their own political purposes. Judging from his review, it is not even clear that he read the book, as it answers virtually all of points he raises even in its slim form. Yes, there are modesty laws for men, and in traditional Muslim societies men cover their heads as well. No, the burka (covering one's face) is not required by law -- it is a cultural phenomenon, and it is not worn by the overwhelmingly vast majority of Muslim women. Covering the face is actually prohibited in Mecca. The Dar al-Islam/Dar Al-Harb distinction is a medieval distinction, and it refers to the places where Muslims may freely practice their faith and where they may not-- meaning that virtually the whole world today is considered Dar al-Islam. I could go on, but you'd be much better off having Cambridge scholars explain it to you... buy this book!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Buying copies for friends, relatives and co-workers Dec 4 2007
By Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finally, a book uninfluenced by ideology. This book, like so many from Fons Vitae, gives an unbiased view of religious beliefs. The book is quick and concise. Winter and Williams are careful to point out that cultures within Islam vary from country to country, and give a few examples of differences within Islamic denominations. This book is not about Wahhabi Islam, nor about the perverted beliefs of Osama bin Laden. It is an attempt to dispel the widespread ideology that bin Laden's perverted beliefs are held by many Muslims by giving a general overview of the vast majority of Muslims.
7 of 49 people found the following review helpful
The True Islam is the Islam that is Practiced Today Aug. 31 2005
By J. Sheehan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is premised on a terrible fallacy. The author attempts to present Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance, relying on passages from the Quran and other ancient Islamic texts.

The first problem, of course, is that the Quran, like most religious texts and astrological forecasts, is replete with vague and contradictory passages that can be cited by anyone for just about anything, and is frequently cited by critics of Muslim to creach conclusions diametrically opposed to those of the author Winter.

More fundamentally, what the Quran says is utterly irrelevant. The Quran means whatever the majority of Muslims today think it means. What is relevant is the Islam that is in actual practice today--the beliefs and politics of Muslims worldwide in 2005.

Polls show that more than 90% of the populations of Palestine and Pakistan believe the 9/11 attacks were justified by the United States' policies toward the Muslim world in general and Palestine and Israel in particular. The percentages are almost as high in most other heavily Muslim countries. These are hardly the beliefs of a peaceful and tolerate religion.

However noble its roots (which is subject to question), Islam today bears little resemblance to the Islam of centuries ago, having been hijacked and perverted on a world-wide scale by the Saudi-backed Wahabbism and the brainwashing of children, and creation of psychotic assassins, in the madrassas--the so-called "religious schools"--started and funded in many Muslim countries by the Saudis.

What kind of religion can create hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cold-blooded psychotic killers? Not one of peace and tolerance.

People like this author Winter love to dismiss the Muslim terrorists and their millions of supporters and apologists as an alleged "extremist" or fringe group. They are indeed extremist, but they most assuredly are not a fringe group. To the contrary, they represent the vast majority of Muslims worldwide today. Sadly, the peaceful and tolerant Muslims--and there are many--are a small and decreasing minority.
4 of 43 people found the following review helpful
A great piece of propoganda work Jan. 18 2005
By Seth J. Frantzman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is one huge piece of propoganda, not objective in the least bit, misleading in most parts, and outright fabrications exist in others. Let us look at a few topics. The book claims Islam is a religion of world peace. This is only accurate in the sense that the Qu'ran orders its followers to kill the entire non-beleiving world, then there is World peace, the world is divided into two parts by the Quran, the Dar Al-Harb(the world of war) and Dar al-Islam/Salaam(world of islam/peace). SO within the muslim world, between muslims, in theory there is peace. BUt in the rest of the non-muslim world there is only the command to kill. This can be deduced by anyone reading the Koran.

The second major lie is the position of women in the islamic world. This book pretends that women are 100% equal in all muslim countries and that the Koran gives equality to women. If the Quran gives equality then why does Surah 4:34 say "beat your wife". Once again this myth coneveyed in this book can be easily put aside by reading an accurate translation of the Quran or by learning Arabic. If women are equal in Islam then why do they by law have to wear burkas and Abbayas, whereas men have no such modesty laws applied to them? THis book doesnt begin to answer this obviosu question.

Anyone interested in being brainwashed, in getting a lovely rosy and fake picture of Islam should read this book, anyone wanting their children to convert to Islam should definetly pick this up. If you are interested in Islam it is more worthwhile to read the Quran.

Seth J. Frantzman


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