The Trouble With Islam

The Trouble With Islam

A Wake-up Call for Honesty and Change

Book - 2004
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"I have to be honest with you. Islam is on very thin ice with me....Through our screaming self-pity and our conspicuous silences, we Muslims are conspiring against ourselves. We're in crisis and we're dragging the rest of the world with us. If ever there was a moment for an Islamic reformation, it's now. For the love of God, what are we doing about it?"

In blunt, provocative, and deeply personal terms, Irshad Manji unearths the troubling cornerstones of mainstream Islam today: 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 arresting questions. "Who is the real colonizer of Muslims - America or Arabia? Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation? What's our excuse for reading the Koran literally when it's so contradictory and ambiguous? Is that a heart attack you're having? Make it fast. Because if more of us don't speak out against the imperialists within Islam, these guys will walk away with the show."

Manji offers a practical vision of how the United States and its allies can help Muslims undertake 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 thinking. This book will inspire struggling Muslims worldwide to revisit the foundations of their faith. It will also compel non-Muslims to start posing the important questions without fear of being deemed "racists." In more ways than one, The Trouble with Islam is a clarion call for a fatwa-free future.
Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada ; New York : St. Martin's Press, 2004
ISBN: 9780312326999
Characteristics: 247 p. ; 22 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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