In the public mind, Islam is a religion of extremes: it is the world's fastest growing faith; more than three-quarters of the world's refugees are Islamic; it has produced government by authoritarian monarchies in Saudi Arabia and ultra-republicans in Iran. Whether we are reading about civil war in Algeria or Afghanistan, the struggle for the soul ...Read MoreIn the public mind, Islam is a religion of extremes: it is the world's fastest growing faith; more than three-quarters of the world's refugees are Islamic; it has produced government by authoritarian monarchies in Saudi Arabia and ultra-republicans in Iran. Whether we are reading about civil war in Algeria or Afghanistan, the struggle for the soul of Turkey, or political turmoil in Pakistan or Malaysia, the Islamic context permeates all these situations. Yet who really understands the central tenets of this faith, or why so many people around the world have turned to 'fundamentalism'? Karen Armstrong's elegant and concise book traces how Islam grew from the other religions of the book, Judaism and Christianity; introduces us to the character of Muhammed; and demonstrates that for much of its history, the religion has been a force for enlightenment that promoted liberties for women and allowed the arts and sciences to flourish. "Islam" shows how this progressive legacy is today often set aside as the faith struggles to come to terms with the economic and political weakness of most of its believers and with the forces of modernity itself.Read Less
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Karen Armstrong perhaps the most scholarly author of our time concerning the great world religions, once again provides an indepth understanding regarding the founding history and religion that is Islam. Any student or reader who wants to gain a greater appreciation of Islam should avail themselves of this interesting historical review of one of the worlds fastest growing religions.
Jun 11, 2009
This slim volume contains more succint information on this fascinating religion, than a multi-volume set.. Armstrong's careful and objective hand steers the reader towards not simply what it means to be a Muslim, but priovides the historical and geographical context. Carefully, and with with wit and grace,, she deflates stereotypes, innuendos, and rumors about the world's most popular and populous religion. A must for any personal library.
May 21, 2009
Islam A Short History
This book gave me informaiton about the Islamic religion that was helpful and interesting. I think that anybody who does not have a good understanding of the Islamic religion should read this book.
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