Cover image for To be a Muslim : Islam, peace, and democracy
To be a Muslim : Islam, peace, and democracy
Hassan bin Talal, Prince of Jordan.
Publication Information:
Brighton, UK ; Portland, Or. : Sussex Academic Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiii, 82 pages : portrait ; 20 cm
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BP161.3 .H373 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This book is an incisive, personal statement about the essence of Islam by one of the world's leading advocates of inter-faith dialogue and understanding - Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan. There is much ignorance about Islam in the West, and negative opinions of Islam feed on that ignorance. The views and attitudes about Islam in public dialogue since the Osama bin Laden-inspired terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, require a response that sets Islam in a light that shows its fundamental belief structures and humanity. The core of the book is a statement of belief in a question-and-answer format that allows Islam's basic tenets to be quickly grasped by a wide audience. In form and content, To Be a Muslim reaches both a Western audience and also Muslims (who themselves can be westerners) who are seeking to articulate their faith and to explain it to themselves and to others. The questions put by His Royal Highness's collaborator, Alain Elkann, are those frequently posed by people not knowledgeable about Islam. Prince El Hassan's answers are precise and informative. He presents a persuasive argument that the beliefs and culture of the majority of the Islamic world not only are compatible with but are contributive to a world at peace - a world of diversity in which Muslim and non-Muslim nations can and should collaborate to create a more humane and just global society. He cites the Qur'an, the Hadith (sayings), and the Sunna (tradition) of the Prophet Muhammad, and describes how most of Islam during most of its history has applied the teachings of the Prophet so as to treat other ethnic groups, cultures and faiths - especially the Jewish and Christian monotheists - with respect, tolerance and fairness. This unique book is complemented by chapters from David L. Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma and Ambassador Edward J. Perkins, who set the exposition of the Prince (who was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters by the University of Oklahoma) in a wide historical and political context.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This brief book reflects the continuing efforts of the Jordanian royal family to reconcile the practices and teachings of Islam with the approaches and policies of the Jewish-Christian West. In response to questions from Elkann, Prince El Hassan asserts Islam's long tradition of tolerance and nonviolence toward other faiths, but in the introduction he concedes that "Muslim society today has to strive to live up to the precepts of Islamic doctrine." Substantial supplementary chapters by David L. Boren and Edward J. Perkins supply a broad political and historical context. Throughout, the authors assert that while rapid modernization has proved a tremendous challenge for the Islamic world, the tradition of Islam plausibly supports the values of tolerance and democratization. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Appreciating Others' Traditions and Values
To Be A Muslim
The Implications of Islam for Civil Society and Democratisation
Postscript: Toward a Universal Ethic of Human Understanding
Afterwords : Islamic Societies and Prospects for Democratization
A Clash of Civilizations? or Normal Relations with Nations of the Islamic World?