Cover image for Islam without illusions : its past, its present, and its challenge for the future
Islam without illusions : its past, its present, and its challenge for the future
Hotaling, Edward.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[Syracuse, N.Y.] : Syracuse University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
x, 205 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
What would Muhammad do? -- Paradise and Islam's four core beliefs -- The first Islamic state -- The first women of Islam -- "General" Muhammad and the first jihad -- Separating from Judaism and Christianity -- One worldwide religion? -- Conquering half the world -- The crusades : a Christian jihad -- A (personal) Persian interlude -- The terrorists handbook -- A "clash of civilizations"?
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BP161.3 .H67 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BP161.3 .H67 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
BP161.3 .H67 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BP161.3 .H67 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Unmasking the tie between Islam and modern terrorism, Ed Hotaling explores the radical challenge posed by terrorists to the religion they claim to follow and their threat to the world at large.

Hotaling describes how Muhammad created the first Islamic state. He was an innovative general and diplomat who respected women's rights. Hotaling draws the stunning conclusion that if the Prophet were alive today, he would be an American. Hotaling explains, "Just as he did in the heat of persecution, embattled leadership and war, he would have stood up today for his principles, debated and negotiated with his rivals, tolerated their ideas until he could win them over . . . and fought in the open."

Here is the amazing story of how Muhammad's followers conquered half the world, exceeded early Christian Europe in the arts, sciences, and government and won the bloody battles of the Crusades. Hotaling traces the path of Islam to modern times and the spread of Islamic Revivalism spurred by the Iranian Revolution. He reveals its connection to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. With compelling precision, he uncovers alternatives to an impending cataclysmic clash of civilizations.

Author Notes

Ed Hotaling is the winner of six Washington Emmy Awards. He was Middle East Bureau Chief for both CBS News, based in Beirut, and McGraw-Hill World News/Business Week, based in the Persian Gulf. He also reported from the Middle East for ABC News. His assignments have taken him to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Turkey, Bahrain, Cyprus, and beyond, covering war and terrorism, diplomacy and business. He is the author of four books. In Washington, he has reported for NBC Radio and for NBC-4 television

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Few books acknowledge the complexity of the contemporary Islamic world. Hotaling, who has spent decades covering the Islamic world as a journalist, manages to avoid academic infighting in this balanced introduction to the diverse responses to Muhammad's seventh-century revelations. Examining such controversial subjects as Islam's history of evangelism, jihad, and Islam's relations with Christianity and Judaism, Hotaling mixes history with glimpses into how contemporary Muslims have interpreted their scripture and history. This is best illustrated by his compelling analysis of two English translations of the Qur'an, a moderate version by the Washington Islamic Center and a more radical, Wahhabite translation by the Saudi government. The differences in translation expose the deep rift in contemporary Qur'anic interpretations among Muslims. Although it isn't quite a comprehensive introduction to Islam as a civilization and religion, Hotaling's balanced, unusually approachable examination of Islamic faith and history examines many questions that matter most to lay readers in America. --John Green Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hotaling, author and former Middle East bureau chief for CBS News, offers a fine book that lives up to its title: it covers a variety of topics, focusing on Islamic history and politics, in an honest and fair fashion. The book is admirably succinct, addressing core beliefs of Islam, the prophecy and life of Muhammad (probably the strongest portion of the book), Muhammad's wives and daughter Fatima, jihad, and more in fewer than 200 pages, drawing on credible sources and exemplifying a skilled understanding of Islam and Muslims. His juxtaposition of the widely accepted Yusuf Ali translation of the Qur'an with the more political and extremist Saudi Arabian translation is rarely done, and shows how interpretation diverges greatly in the Islamic world. Anecdotes from his days as a correspondent and bureau chief are enjoyable. He even compares President Nixon's directing Air Force One to avoid flying over the then-enemy airspace of Israel with Muhammad's miraculous night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem. Hotaling concludes with a chapter that addresses several common "illusions" Americans have about Islam. The book does lack a strong guiding theme, as some sections seem to serve no purpose, and Hotaling's discussion of jihad is weak. These shortcomings, however, can easily be overlooked. Hotaling's bold observations-for example, giving reasons why Muhammad would want to be an American if he were alive today-will engage the reader. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

A journalist who has spent much time in the Mideast, Hotaling brings a sensitive understanding to this work, which is based on his personal experiences in the Islamic world. His portrayal of Islam does not avoid the difficult questions related to contemporary terrorism and the Islamic revolutions, nor does it deny the positive contribution that Islam has made to world civilization. Hotaling presents a very readable summary of the origins, basic teachings, and beliefs of Islam. Regarding its origins, he emphasizes the position of the Prophet Muhammad, not only as a spiritual leader but likewise as a military general who had to combat the forces of "paganism." Another chapter gives a brief history of the Crusades carried on by medieval Christendom and the great lasting significance of these "holy wars." The author recounts the history and significance of the Islamic revolution that occurred and has continued in Iran, where "militant Islam [awoke] after a four hundred-year sleep." This work will be very valuable for anyone wishing a brief, comprehensive study that provides much understanding of the religion of Islam and of the challenges of the future--a time of "war or peace, of a reign of terror or an era of enlightenment." ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-level undergraduates. T. M. Pucelik Bradley University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1. What Would Muhammad Do?p. 1
2. Paradise and Islam's Four Core Beliefsp. 15
3. The First Islamic Statep. 27
4. The First Women of Islamp. 39
5. "General" Muhammad and the First Jihadp. 55
6. Separating from Judaism and Christianityp. 69
7. One Worldwide Religion?p. 81
8. Conquering Half the Worldp. 93
9. The Crusades: A Christian Jihadp. 111
10. A (Personal) Persian Interludep. 133
11. The Terrorists' Handbookp. 151
12. A "Clash of Civilizations"?p. 163
Notesp. 183
Bibliographyp. 189
Indexp. 195