The Trouble With Islam

The Trouble With Islam

A Wake-up Call for Honesty and Change

Book - 2003
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Irshad Manji calls herself a muslim refusenik. "That doesn't mean I refuse to be a Muslim," she writes. "It simply means I refuse to join an army of automatons in the name of Allah." These automatons, Manji argues, include many so-called moderate Muslims in the West. In blunt, provocative, and deeply personal terms, she unearths the troubling cornerstones of Islam as it's widely practiced: tribal insularity, deep-seated anti-Semitism, and an uncritical acceptance of the Koran as the final, and therefore superior, manifesto of God. In this open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Manji asks pointed questions about mainstream Islam. "Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Who is the real colonizer of Muslims -- America or Arabia? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation?" Manji offers a practical vision of how Islam can undergo a reformation that empowers women, promotes respect for religious minorities, and fosters a competition of ideas. Her vision revives Islam's lost tradition of independent thought. This book will inspire struggling Muslims worldwide to revisit the foundations of their faith. It will also compel non-Muslims to start posing the questions we all have about Islam today. In that spirit, The Trouble with Islam is a clarion call for a fatwa-free future.
Publisher: Toronto, ON : Random House, 2003.
ISBN: 9780679312505
Characteristics: 247 p. ;,20 cm.


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Feb 07, 2011

Irshad Manji does a good job of bringing up the significant issues facing Islam in contemporary times. Her argument does have some issues though.

Manji completely breaks down most of mainstream Islam's general structure and organization. She's critical of seemingly everything. It's a wonder that she considers herself a Muslim at all.

That is where her argument stumbles, Manji argues that it's possible to be the antithesis of contemporary Muslims. However, she demonstrates the absurdity and brutality that is prevalent in all mainstream religions. Ultimately, Manji's argument seems more like it can be read as a push for believing in God outside of any modern religious structure, including Islam.

Finally, even though Manji seems to think her book is providing a means of becoming a more progressive Muslim, I got the feeling that the book more demonstrates the need for societies around the world to move away from the inherently destructive force of organized religion in order to achieve positive change.

It's a good read, Manji peppers the book with humour and jokes making sure that it's at least never a boring narrative.

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