Cover image for Islam today : a short introduction to the muslim world
Islam today : a short introduction to the muslim world
Ahmed, Akbar S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : New York : I.B. Tauris Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
xv, 253 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BP161.2 .A36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BP161.2 .A36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Although there are over one billion Muslims in the world, and over ten million in the West, most discussions of Islam are based on clichés or outright prejudice. This lively and compelling book sets out to bridge the gulf of misunderstanding. Islam, argues Akbar Ahmed, does not mean the subordination of women, contempt for other religions, opposition to the modern world, or barbaric punishments for petty crimes. One cannot fully come to terms with modern Islam without understanding its sources and traditions.

Author Notes

Akbars Ahmed is fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge, UK, and has been a visiting professor at Princeton and Harvard Universities.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Islam is the fastest-growing world religion, with over ten million Muslims in the West. As their number increases, so do the misunderstandings and conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims. Anthropologist Ahmed accurately explains the conflicting cultural values and ignorance of East and West and does an excellent job explaining the differences between the Shi'ite and Sunni branches of Islam, women in Islam, and Muslim minorities. Unfortunately, owing to space constraints, Nigeria and Indonesia are not covered. Ahmed is a visiting professor at Princeton and Harvard; his Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society (Routledge, 1989. reprint) was highly praised. An essentially identical hardcover version of this book was published in the U.K. in 1993 under the title Living Islam: From Samarkand to Stornoway (BBC). Highly recommended for all libraries as a companion to John Bowker's What Muslims Believe (Element, 1999).ÄMichael W. Ellis, Ellenville P.L., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

This is a compelling book--it goes a long way toward bridging the gulfs of misunderstanding that hinder most discussions of Islam
Introduction: Raising Questions
What is Islam?
The Challenge of the Past: Empires and Dynasties
When Worlds Collide: Muslim Nations and Western Modernity
Muslims as Minorities
Islam in the Age of the Western Media
Concluding Thoughts