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Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom

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In Allah, Liberty and Love, Irshad Manji paves a path for Muslims and non-Muslims to transcend the fears that stop so many of us from living with honest-to- God integrity: the fear of offending others in a multicultural world as well as the fear of questioning our own communities. Since publishing her international bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, Manji has moved In Allah, Liberty and Love, Irshad Manji paves a path for Muslims and non-Muslims to transcend the fears that stop so many of us from living with honest-to- God integrity: the fear of offending others in a multicultural world as well as the fear of questioning our own communities. Since publishing her international bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, Manji has moved from anger to aspiration. She shows how any of us can reconcile faith with freedom and thus discover the Allah of liberty and love—the universal God that loves us enough to give us choices and the capacity to make them. Among the most visible Muslim reformers of our era, Manji draws on her experience in the trenches to share stories that are deeply poignant, frequently funny and always revealing about these morally confused times. What prevents young Muslims, even in the West, from expressing their need for religious reinterpretation? What scares non-Muslims about openly supporting liberal voices within Islam? How did we get into the mess of tolerating intolerable customs, such as honor killings, and how do we change that noxious status quo? How can people ditch dogma while keeping faith? Above all, how can each of us embark on a personal journey toward moral courage—the willingness to speak up when everybody else wants to shut you up? Allah, Liberty and Love is the ultimate guide to becoming a gutsy global citizen. Irshad Manji believes profoundly not just in Allah, but also in her fellow human beings.


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In Allah, Liberty and Love, Irshad Manji paves a path for Muslims and non-Muslims to transcend the fears that stop so many of us from living with honest-to- God integrity: the fear of offending others in a multicultural world as well as the fear of questioning our own communities. Since publishing her international bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, Manji has moved In Allah, Liberty and Love, Irshad Manji paves a path for Muslims and non-Muslims to transcend the fears that stop so many of us from living with honest-to- God integrity: the fear of offending others in a multicultural world as well as the fear of questioning our own communities. Since publishing her international bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, Manji has moved from anger to aspiration. She shows how any of us can reconcile faith with freedom and thus discover the Allah of liberty and love—the universal God that loves us enough to give us choices and the capacity to make them. Among the most visible Muslim reformers of our era, Manji draws on her experience in the trenches to share stories that are deeply poignant, frequently funny and always revealing about these morally confused times. What prevents young Muslims, even in the West, from expressing their need for religious reinterpretation? What scares non-Muslims about openly supporting liberal voices within Islam? How did we get into the mess of tolerating intolerable customs, such as honor killings, and how do we change that noxious status quo? How can people ditch dogma while keeping faith? Above all, how can each of us embark on a personal journey toward moral courage—the willingness to speak up when everybody else wants to shut you up? Allah, Liberty and Love is the ultimate guide to becoming a gutsy global citizen. Irshad Manji believes profoundly not just in Allah, but also in her fellow human beings.

30 review for Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom

  1. 5 out of 5

    A Man Called Ove

    Mind-blowing - This is perhaps the best book on d topic that I can recommend without any fear of offence to every1. The author deals with the troublesome relationship of Muslims and their religion to the West, and how the two can be reconciled. However unlike bitter critics like Ayaan Hirsi Ali or apologists like Ramadan, Aslan, she does this both with a lot of empathy and finds answers within her religion without any apologism or half-truths. In her words, many moderates are limping towards libe Mind-blowing - This is perhaps the best book on d topic that I can recommend without any fear of offence to every1. The author deals with the troublesome relationship of Muslims and their religion to the West, and how the two can be reconciled. However unlike bitter critics like Ayaan Hirsi Ali or apologists like Ramadan, Aslan, she does this both with a lot of empathy and finds answers within her religion without any apologism or half-truths. In her words, many moderates are limping towards liberalism, and it is her (and our) duty to ensure they can walk (and run) proudly. It was good to know that 2 million copies of her book in Arabic have been downloaded. It was good to see those numerous letters she has printed that ask her questions. It was good to see those no-nonsense, witty answers filled with a tone of understanding. Power to u lady, u give us hope. Rooooobaroooo Roushaneeeee - I kept playing this song from Rang De Basanti while reading this book yest. It was such a joy. Thank u for that too.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Betül

    "Ijtihad- Islam's own tradition of dissenting, reasoning, and reinterpreting. It is about struggling to understand our world by using our minds." I almost NEVER read any nonfiction books and if I do it is rarely about religion. But this book has been on my mind since the moment I saw the author on CNN talking about Islam. While I was watching her and hearing what she had to say, I found someone who was thinking the same way I do about religion. I was so excited to hear that she had written two bo "Ijtihad- Islam's own tradition of dissenting, reasoning, and reinterpreting. It is about struggling to understand our world by using our minds." I almost NEVER read any nonfiction books and if I do it is rarely about religion. But this book has been on my mind since the moment I saw the author on CNN talking about Islam. While I was watching her and hearing what she had to say, I found someone who was thinking the same way I do about religion. I was so excited to hear that she had written two books all about another side to Islam which we rarely hear about in our community or the news. This book was about muslims as inviduals instead of a group of people practising the same religion. "The Qur'an has three times as many verses urging Muslims to think than verses promoting blind worship." I almost highlighted everything in this book because it hit close to home. There are letters/emails Irshad received from people who are in a dilemma. They are stuck between what they believe and what they should believe in. There is huge pressure from the community to act and think a certain way while in the Qur'an it says to be your own person. I have been struggling with my religion for a long time now, I always have been a very curious person and want to learn as much as possible. I can't obey or follow certain rules, teachings and traditions if I don't agree with them. I am my own person. I believe in what feels right to me. I am a good human being and I won't let anyone else tell me otherwise. I have tattoos, I can tell you that a large group of Muslims will tell me I will burn in Hell. I'll tell them how do you know that? Never let anyone tell YOU how to live your life and pressure you into thinking or acting a certain way. People will come with quotes from the Qur'an and justify their horrible way of thinking and actions. I would say LOOK IT UP YOURSELF! Make up your own mind,and do some researching on the subjects. Also remember that we live in a whole another world as we did when the Qur'an was presented. We can't take things literally! I do want to say that I have never read the translation of the Qur'an, I can read it in Arabic but I don't know what I am reading. For example I can read a spanish/French/Italian book but I don't know what the hell I'm reading. I know the Arabic alphabet but not the meaning (I hope this makes sense). And I know for sure that many western Muslims haven't read a translation either. They blindy follow and believe everything that is being said by the religious leaders either on TV or Mosques. I am not saying that you shouldn't believe anything but I do say to do your own research, especially if you don't agree with certain ideas and way of thinking. A lot of things in this book was exactly how I was thinking about certain things. But it also opened my eyes to new ideas, explanations and thinking. I am happy with the person I am and that should be enough. Only God can judge me, so the rest of the people should concentrate on themselves instead of critizing other people. There are many people thinking like me but we can't openly come out and speak our minds because of the peer pressure from community and family. I know that a lot of people would say I am just talking out of my ass and that I don't know what the hell I am saying, and you know what: I don't care! It's a "free" world so criticize me all you want! I hope that I at least got you thinking about things just the way this book got me thinking! I recommend this book especially to Muslims that are struggling with religion, but also the ones who are not. Just be openminded! Also a great read for non-muslims that 90% of the time only see the bad things and negative side to Islam.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heather Gassman

    The book is expressly written for Muslim and non-Muslim readers, however I think that non-Muslims would prefer a condensed version of this book coupled with some chapters on the Muslim faith in general. Our bookclub of non-Muslims definitely enjoyed parts of the book and had a very good discussion, but most had a hard time getting through a number of the chapters. All of us gave the book a partial thumbs down vote. In the book, Manji spends too much time going through her hatemail and responding The book is expressly written for Muslim and non-Muslim readers, however I think that non-Muslims would prefer a condensed version of this book coupled with some chapters on the Muslim faith in general. Our bookclub of non-Muslims definitely enjoyed parts of the book and had a very good discussion, but most had a hard time getting through a number of the chapters. All of us gave the book a partial thumbs down vote. In the book, Manji spends too much time going through her hatemail and responding to it for my taste. I thought that the chapters were all good, interesting topics that were worth reading about, but many of the issues and examples given are just not relevant to my particular situation. I absolutely respect Manji's intelligence and her drive to reform the Muslim mentality away from "tribal culture" and towards "modern independent-thought".

  4. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Lee

    I agree with Manji's message and mission, but this book could have used some serious editing for conciseness, flow and the removal and Manji's gigantic ego. I agree with Manji's message and mission, but this book could have used some serious editing for conciseness, flow and the removal and Manji's gigantic ego.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Syahira

    I've been curious about reading this book for a while ever since all the hype about the book being banned and someone was arrested for selling it and another for publishing it and people of all sort being trying to demonize the book that I decided to pick this one up and see what was all the fuss about. Will I get in trouble for reading this? Well, they didn't exactly ban the English version so I probably will escape scot-free and since I am not a distributor, no one can legally stop me from rea I've been curious about reading this book for a while ever since all the hype about the book being banned and someone was arrested for selling it and another for publishing it and people of all sort being trying to demonize the book that I decided to pick this one up and see what was all the fuss about. Will I get in trouble for reading this? Well, they didn't exactly ban the English version so I probably will escape scot-free and since I am not a distributor, no one can legally stop me from reading and unreading it anyway. Will I get in trouble with people for reading this since its being banned in the first place? I'm not even sure why was that a problem anyway since people who don't read this book have a more louder opinion than those who did. Which explain the saddening state of the situation in the first place. Why would you care to be held in high regard by any Muslim who won’t have a rational discussion with you about your questions of Islam? If he or she won’t make the effort to hear your views in the spirit in which you intend them, then what renders that person’s judgment of you worth your while? Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom is a sort of autobiography and a supplement to Irshad Manji's Trouble with Islam Today. It is readable on its own and is largely divided by several chapters discussing : Some Things Are More Important Than Fear / Identity Can Trap You, But Integrity Will Set You Free / Culture Is Not Sacred / You Define Your Honor / Offense Is The Price Of Diversity / In Times Of Moral Crisis, Moderation Is A Cop-Out / Lack Of Meaning Is The Real Death Threat. If Muslims are more outraged by an unarmed dissident like me than by an extravagant murderer like bin Laden, doesn’t that tell you something already? However, the content of the book varied and often out of topic by chapters since it is accompanied with emails she received and her replies which is disorganized in some ways. But the language is easy enough to read and understand though I had a feeling that I did lose myself between some of the references with her previous books particularly on the death threat part. The content is simple enough and isn't that shocking for me since there are some contents that resonates with me and I did understand her confusion and frustration and most of the time I pitied that she was being targeted for just talking out loud about something she believe in. In a way, I did admire her courage or in her words "moral courage" and her fight for critical thinking and her push to the need to find a freedom to of expression and respect of other differing opinions. As in her words, "Offense is the price of diversity". Understanding is served by analyzing, not sanitizing. Bringing Islam into the analysis should be entirely legitimate to religious people because it’s not the Divine that’s being interrogated, it’s mortal interpretation and human judgment that’s being questioned. But as for content, most of the things I like most about the book came from her citing from someone else. This book is also a sort of compilation of the readings she did and she did base her opinions on the journals and articles and there were a lot of times she explain situations derive from her readings more than her experience (which seem to center around her conversation with her mother or from her tours with other people). If you want more from the book, she did provide a lot of recommended readings along with the book and in her website. Countercultural voices unmask the faces of moral courage within Islam: Muslims who own their community’s dysfunction rather than reflexively blaming the United States, Israel, Christianity, materialism, MTV, KFC and those perpetually kosher piñatas, “the Jews.” What puzzled me the most was these emails she received and most of it was worded very harsh and juvenile and often, laughably trollish while the ones that threaten bodily harm on her seem to lack any form of rationality by the sender's part. In a way, this book is a reaction piece and also proof that cyberbullying happen in more way than not and its hard being Irshad Manji's inbox. But it took a good amount of guts and opinions to incite this kind of response so whatever she did, even if she did poke into the hornet nests, at least she did get her words out and was received accordingly. What also scares me is when I hear Muslims (or any other religious people) tell me that I don’t have the authority to discuss religion. When a person tells that to another person, it creates an even bigger gap between cultures because the person who is trying to understand is suddenly not able to express questions. It is also giving the authority to a certain group of people who have the power to explain and interpret religious books the way they want. Slowly, Muslims become THEM and we are the group called US. History has shown that THEM is the cause of all troubles, and has to be eliminated by US. We need more people brave enough to ask real questions. We don’t need answers immediately, but questions are a necessity! But one thing I notice was Irshad's tendency to group herself and others with labels such as moderate, islamists, reformist, secularist, feminist etc. I don't really find myself conforming into much of her ideals nor did I agree with the people who view her negatively but some of her concerns are reasonable and I do empathise with that. Maybe because some parts of her are more alike with me than I let on but there are some parts which she did stretch herself thinly like the matter of hijab and her own ways of practicing which I won't egg about. But for all of this book's worth, it does make a good reading if you didn't antagonize yourself with everything the drama surrounding it. “You cannot get reform without discussion, and you cannot have discussion without freedom of speech.” The irony is, to ask for a ban on a book which detailed about how dangerous indifference can be in the name of protecting one's sensitivity, it does seem counterproductive in this nation of multiculturalism where intolerance and segregation are actively being sought about, preach about and censored upon. On the scale of "gugat keimanan", I find that the religious department does went a bit too far and overreacted with this book. There are more titles in local bookstore that stretch religious horror fantasy fiction as fact and there are even more ridiculous conspiracy theorist book that do more harm which wasn't being scrutinize and they just have to pick this one up. Every problem contains opportunities for understanding ourselves. By understanding ourselves, we understand why our Creator has faith in each of His creatures to lift up another. In light of the current event, the Borders store manager who are being targeted by JAWI (publically shame her too) but the charges was overruled recently but she's being targeted again by them. All because she's a muslim and a woman who work at the bookstore during the time of their unlawful raid against a book that wasn't even banned yet. I don't believe this book is significant enough (actually its quite mild) to incite such extreme persecution but the book technically did detail about how morally wrong the situation is. This is lead by a group of muslim men who judge first and ask question later and think they're above the law and probably didn't read the book at all. This is a form of power corruption in the name of the religion and they need to be stop. But question is, when will this ridiculous circus go on before it get even worst than this?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I loved this book immediately! Irshad Manji writes exactly how she speaks, which might frustrate some readers, but I found it made the book light hearted. Considering the tricky and sensitive subject matter, I think it is a good technique. I did get a bit bored by the end of chapter 5 (which may have something to do with nice weather). I felt is written for a Muslism audience, but since most Muslims that should read this won't, it was good in helping me figure out ways to converse. Like on pg 17 I loved this book immediately! Irshad Manji writes exactly how she speaks, which might frustrate some readers, but I found it made the book light hearted. Considering the tricky and sensitive subject matter, I think it is a good technique. I did get a bit bored by the end of chapter 5 (which may have something to do with nice weather). I felt is written for a Muslism audience, but since most Muslims that should read this won't, it was good in helping me figure out ways to converse. Like on pg 179, she talks out a way to respond to push back on issues like wearing a hijab. Overall, it was an educational and a very inspiring read!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Heard the author Irshad Manji, on CBC radio and she was fantastic - funny, informative and compelling. Her position is that people of the world need moral courage. That people in general and Muslims in particular are confusing faith with dogma and that is a horrible mistake. Westerners are too afraid of being labelled a bigot to denounce obvious atrocities practiced in the Muslim culture, for example female circumcision and stoning, beheading etc. It is a real refreshing view and it certainly, wh Heard the author Irshad Manji, on CBC radio and she was fantastic - funny, informative and compelling. Her position is that people of the world need moral courage. That people in general and Muslims in particular are confusing faith with dogma and that is a horrible mistake. Westerners are too afraid of being labelled a bigot to denounce obvious atrocities practiced in the Muslim culture, for example female circumcision and stoning, beheading etc. It is a real refreshing view and it certainly, while not being hard to read, got my brain cells working in a different way.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Priyam Roy

    Enjoyed it for the most part. Irshad Manji builds a strong case for the necessity of reform in Islamic culture. Being fairly unfamiliar with the topic, I could see how some of her supporting arguments could cause controversy amongst conservatives, but I enjoyed her writing demeanour nonetheless. Her arguments did start to feel a little repetitive closer to the end, however.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Zehabe

    Ms. Manji and I do not share world views, but she's in my top ten favorite people. I don't know anyone who says it better: Whether you are Muslim, Christian, or Jewish, you have a duty to find and rectify the shortcomings in our religion. That's the other compliment I have for this wise woman. She separates religion from holy text. I agree that no religion lives up to its holy text. Holy text helps us to identify and repair our religious and personal problems. Westerners and Muslims are too afraid Ms. Manji and I do not share world views, but she's in my top ten favorite people. I don't know anyone who says it better: Whether you are Muslim, Christian, or Jewish, you have a duty to find and rectify the shortcomings in our religion. That's the other compliment I have for this wise woman. She separates religion from holy text. I agree that no religion lives up to its holy text. Holy text helps us to identify and repair our religious and personal problems. Westerners and Muslims are too afraid of upsetting their communities. So, they hide the evil that does horrible things, often in the name of God. How refreshing to see someone who loves justice more than religion working the other side of the street.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Irshad Manji wasted most of the book defending herself instead of providing insightful commentary into Islam and the plethora of perspectives within the religion. Although I view Manji as a courageous and admirable woman, her book missed the mark. Negativity and attacks should have been supplanted with thoughful dialogue, which Manji is more than capable of engaging in.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mohd Nordin Che Omar

    I read the Malay version of this book distributed by ZI Publications S/B. I disagree with what the author has written as its totally deviate from the truly teaching of Islam as per the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad SAW (PBU).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    The colloquial style is sometimes distracting, but you should not let that prevent you from hearing about multiple viewpoints on faithful Islam.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shakir Hassan

    If you're a fan of Irshad Manji and her act of valor when discussing religious concerns, then this book delivers. This book challenges the traditional thought of Islam and how mainstream Muslims around the globe are taught Islam with a biased mixture of culture and ritual. She emphasizes how the Islam taught in Jordan is different compared to the Islam taught in Iraq. The same goes for the Western world vs. the Eastern world. Pakistan vs. Bangladesh etc. The book discusses the problem with Arab If you're a fan of Irshad Manji and her act of valor when discussing religious concerns, then this book delivers. This book challenges the traditional thought of Islam and how mainstream Muslims around the globe are taught Islam with a biased mixture of culture and ritual. She emphasizes how the Islam taught in Jordan is different compared to the Islam taught in Iraq. The same goes for the Western world vs. the Eastern world. Pakistan vs. Bangladesh etc. The book discusses the problem with Arab culture shaping the spiritual aspect of Islam and how the historical disposition of Islam has caused the faith to become politicized rather than spiritual. We're living in a world where mainstream Muslims become defensive when massive genocides occur in the name of the religion, and we casually marginalize these groups because they don't represent the greater Islamic community. The problem is, this doesn't confront the issue. This doesn't stop the genocide. Before responding with militaristic action, there needs to be an ideological reinterpretation first. Irshad makes the case that we need to be the first to stand up when we witness something menacing in the illusion of religion. It's no longer responsible to simply state: "These radical Islamists don't represent our religion, therefore we have nothing to do with it." Irshad emphasizes the importance of reinterpreting the scripture and abandoning notions that have no place in society today. We need to be active in our communities to encourage a progressive future for Islam, one that doesn't suppress human rights, rather establishes a faith between you and God only, and a focus on the betterment of humanity.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brian Griffith

    Manji combines clarity of thought and passion for justice with a flippancy that slaps your face. Her style may strike you as a refreshing blast of honesty, or an outrageous violation of religious solemnity. Personally, I wished the book would never end -- till the last bit where she pauses from exposing religious hypocrisy and gets positive about living a more authentic kind of spiritual practice. As for the main body of the book, Manji's moral arguments strike hammer blows at the roots of inhum Manji combines clarity of thought and passion for justice with a flippancy that slaps your face. Her style may strike you as a refreshing blast of honesty, or an outrageous violation of religious solemnity. Personally, I wished the book would never end -- till the last bit where she pauses from exposing religious hypocrisy and gets positive about living a more authentic kind of spiritual practice. As for the main body of the book, Manji's moral arguments strike hammer blows at the roots of inhuman religion: Nobody speaks for God. It's idolatry to claim you speak for the Lord rather than for your own understanding. Our challenge is to live with the honesty and respect for others we would want for all, and this requires standing up to the dominators in our lives. In discussing the many issues all this raises, Manji shares her interactions with readers -- which are mainly creative, confrontational, and devilishly entertaining. But her spotlight goes out to many other brave people, and much of the book's value lies in highlighting a range of neglected heroes in the battle for freedom and compassion, some of them Christians, some Muslims, some men, and many women.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nick M

    Irshad Manji has interesting ideas about how to engage in pluralism without descending into relativism. I'd especially recommend this book to folks like me: non-Muslims who are wondering how to have critical conversations about Islam (or indeed whether it's our place to be having those conversations at all). I particularly appreciate that Manji generally focuses on specific things that communities do, say, and believe. She identifies what works and what doesn't, and suggests ways of moving forwa Irshad Manji has interesting ideas about how to engage in pluralism without descending into relativism. I'd especially recommend this book to folks like me: non-Muslims who are wondering how to have critical conversations about Islam (or indeed whether it's our place to be having those conversations at all). I particularly appreciate that Manji generally focuses on specific things that communities do, say, and believe. She identifies what works and what doesn't, and suggests ways of moving forward. I finished the book hoping for more concrete information about Manji's vision of pluralistic communities, and what folks can do in their own communities in terms of social and civic engagement. That may be a topic for another book -- at least, I hope it will be.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nik Abdul rahman

    Cant finish it. Had trouble reading it. Cant really understand the authors message and flow and repetitive in terms of giving the authors bad experiences with fellow muslims. Also too emotional Add that to my disagreement with the authors points. Needs better editing. Other reviewers seem to say the same thing

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    As a progressive muslim myself I sometimes go out to find books about it. This isn't quite as scholarly as the compilation edited by Omid Safi, Progressive Muslims, but this book is also a better read. It's a nice personal approach to the topic. There are times in the book when it feels a bit preachy, but that's kind of to be expected just due to the kind of book that it is. As a progressive muslim myself I sometimes go out to find books about it. This isn't quite as scholarly as the compilation edited by Omid Safi, Progressive Muslims, but this book is also a better read. It's a nice personal approach to the topic. There are times in the book when it feels a bit preachy, but that's kind of to be expected just due to the kind of book that it is.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nailmouth

    Despite coming across as somewhat self-conscious at times, it reads as an honest and thoughtful critique of the issues within the Muslim community, and reactions to it. Would definitely recommend for anyone curious about the world's fastest growing religion. Despite coming across as somewhat self-conscious at times, it reads as an honest and thoughtful critique of the issues within the Muslim community, and reactions to it. Would definitely recommend for anyone curious about the world's fastest growing religion.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shirin

    Irshad doesn't have to sell to me. I am a 'heretic' too. But there are areas where my heresy differs from her. That said, it is not my place to say if i am right or she is wrong. The fact is we will never know till the day of judgement. To the Mullah that vilified her, good luck when it is your turn to face your Creator. You should pray hard to hope you are right. Irshad is right AND wrong when she said the the Quran insist on people should pray but does not recommend ways of doing it. The Quran Irshad doesn't have to sell to me. I am a 'heretic' too. But there are areas where my heresy differs from her. That said, it is not my place to say if i am right or she is wrong. The fact is we will never know till the day of judgement. To the Mullah that vilified her, good luck when it is your turn to face your Creator. You should pray hard to hope you are right. Irshad is right AND wrong when she said the the Quran insist on people should pray but does not recommend ways of doing it. The Quran mentions it much, God wants his subjects to turn to him for all things through prayers, zikr, etc. The Quran also mention to perform prayer by standing, prostrating, etc. But not so specific as in when you should stand , prostrate and nothing said what is to be recited at which juncture. These are grey areas and is Gods gift to people. However there is a traditionally prescribed method of prayer. "Tradition" you can chose to follow or not, as there is no compulsion. [I hear screams of protest at this statement. The Hadith prescribed the 5 daily prayers. Yes, out of 6000,000 or so Hadith 1% was chosen and declared as pure. Now in statistics 1% is not an acceptable sample, EVER. When do we EVER have confidence in 1% possibility? Why should the confidence level be different just because it is with regards to faith?] And NO, the Quran does not prescribe 5 times a day prayer, just the time, at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, at mid day. So essentially 'prayer' should be ALL the time not only limited to 5 times a day. It is true one can chose to communicate with their Creator in any language, not only arabic. Praying or 'talking' to God in your own language gives that extra edge because you understand what you are saying. and...you put faith in God that he understands you in whatever language you offer your prayers. I've always been aware of this but this point was driven home when I observed a man who was circumambulating the Kaabah in Mecca proclaiming, Allahu Akhbar in a not so precise pronunciation. Back home, someone who errs in their pronunciation as such would have been rapped for it. Which made me think, how can God not listen to him when this man has left kin and country, paid plenty just to be there at the Baitullah, to be close to his Creator, even if it is only for a short while here in this life. I rated this book 2 stars because 90% of the content is 'business as usual' for me. I did not quite enjoy her choice of quoting her emails as a way to put her points and issues across. However, I think it is a good read for people who are searching the alternative ways to the arab/saudi traditions; many muslims advocate as THE way. This book should provoke you to start searching, if not incite the desire to blow Irshad to smithereens with a hand grenade. Remember, the arabs of Saudi state are not from the lineage of the Prophet, the Royal family of Jordan is.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Qonita

    this book could have gotten 5 points, but i took two away. why 5 points? the content is great. unlike other reviewers, i really like how the author included those emails. i love hearing from real people, and reading this book has given me access to the diverse voice of her readers, which are the voice of anyone around the world, muslim or not. the author also included many stories from all over the world regarding problems caused by religions (mostly islam), which made me shocked with awe. all re this book could have gotten 5 points, but i took two away. why 5 points? the content is great. unlike other reviewers, i really like how the author included those emails. i love hearing from real people, and reading this book has given me access to the diverse voice of her readers, which are the voice of anyone around the world, muslim or not. the author also included many stories from all over the world regarding problems caused by religions (mostly islam), which made me shocked with awe. all religious people (especially muslim) from all over the world need to know these stories to learn from! moreover, the author crafted out beautiful spiritual concepts from her understanding of her religion. that's how people are supposed to learn spirituality from religions. this is also must read for everyone, religious or not. and lastly, the author has shown how she grew from anger to aspirations. it's reflected by comparing this book with her previous book. i took 1 point, because it seems like the author is trying too hard to push muslim people to be religion-agnostic spiritual. the author also compared islam with other religions, saying that the other religions have passed the literalism age. in fact, all religions in the world are not "there" yet, because religions will never cease to be religions and become agnostic spiritualism. it's true that many religious people are spiritual, yet they do follow their religious rules closely. you cannot make them stop following the rules or otherwise they leave their religions altogether. another 1 point was taken because of the lack of enjoyment of reading this book. it's well structured with themes, but the writing style is too specific, making it a slow read. i bought this book shortly after it was published, but only recently i finished it. i would rather have something like brene brown's or susan cain's to illustrate such a courageous topic.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    I was a little disappointed. I liked Irshad Manji's first book. It was brash and perhaps a little naive, but so brave. Although we haven't chosen the same path, I valued what she had to say. This time, I still respect the sentiments -- that's what kept me reading until the end -- but the writing just isn't as good as it should be. Manji's persona is self-conscious and at times a little egoistical. The text is repetitive and spends too much time telling us what it is going to say -- and not enough I was a little disappointed. I liked Irshad Manji's first book. It was brash and perhaps a little naive, but so brave. Although we haven't chosen the same path, I valued what she had to say. This time, I still respect the sentiments -- that's what kept me reading until the end -- but the writing just isn't as good as it should be. Manji's persona is self-conscious and at times a little egoistical. The text is repetitive and spends too much time telling us what it is going to say -- and not enough time saying it. What's more -- and I hate to sound like a language teacher here -- there is evidence of serious thesaurus abuse. Irshad, you don't have to try so hard: just make your point simply and clearly; we're listening.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael Terpstra

    This books helped me understand the many problems facing Muslims who want to live their faith in the 21st Century. The author, writes a very courageous book spelling out ways of overcoming obstacles facing whose who are trapped in the culture of our multicultural world. The book is organized around seven chapters that elaborate in detail seven lessons the author has developed from her experience gained from her previous book, The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Fai This books helped me understand the many problems facing Muslims who want to live their faith in the 21st Century. The author, writes a very courageous book spelling out ways of overcoming obstacles facing whose who are trapped in the culture of our multicultural world. The book is organized around seven chapters that elaborate in detail seven lessons the author has developed from her experience gained from her previous book, The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith . Irshad Manji in 2008 co-founded the Moral Courage Project in New York City. She advocates for "ijtihad ( Ij-tee-had) which "..is about struggling to understand our world by using our minds which implies exercising the freedom to ask questions ...". p. xvi The most memorable quote I take from this book is from the Introduction. "Non-Muslims feared being dishonored as bigots if they voiced their questions about what's happening in the name of Islam. "The result was a collective, culturally sensitive muteness in the face of heinous crimes. The murders, for example of dishonorable women and girls in the Middle East, in Europe, in Asia and increasingly in North America are born of culture, not religion. But in a multicultural world, culture has become something of a god - even among secular people. Out of misplaced reverence for multiculturalism, too many of us perpetuate deadly silence.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ishmael Seaward

    I read her first book, "The Trouble with Islam Today". A key phrase from that book: "Islam is on thin ice with me." She then proceeded to explain why. It was interesting, but I didn't understand, given all the issues she had with the religion, why she didn't simply chuck it. So I figure this might throw more light on the subject. Unfortunately, it didn't, so I simply stopped reading it. It consisted mainly of anecdotes, and why people, if the system is going to be changed, must stand up and throw I read her first book, "The Trouble with Islam Today". A key phrase from that book: "Islam is on thin ice with me." She then proceeded to explain why. It was interesting, but I didn't understand, given all the issues she had with the religion, why she didn't simply chuck it. So I figure this might throw more light on the subject. Unfortunately, it didn't, so I simply stopped reading it. It consisted mainly of anecdotes, and why people, if the system is going to be changed, must stand up and throw off the shackles of their culture. I didn't feel there was any great insight into women and Islam, or anything new here. Just encouragement for women to rethink their Islamic culture and to break away.

  24. 4 out of 5

    John Ison

    This a wonderful script: clear, articulate, forceful, humorous but very serious at the same time. A devout Muslim, she very effectively segregates its values from its practice, its principles from the archaic Arab cultural dogma that has hijacked it. She is one of small cadre of champions tackling Muslim moderates and non-Muslim apologists head on, challenging them to take on the radical extremists who have come to dominate Islam over the past 700 years. Irshad is an amazingly courageous and ins This a wonderful script: clear, articulate, forceful, humorous but very serious at the same time. A devout Muslim, she very effectively segregates its values from its practice, its principles from the archaic Arab cultural dogma that has hijacked it. She is one of small cadre of champions tackling Muslim moderates and non-Muslim apologists head on, challenging them to take on the radical extremists who have come to dominate Islam over the past 700 years. Irshad is an amazingly courageous and inspiring communicator. One day she will be recognized in that rare group of leaders who, through their moral courage, have inspired the best in humankind and thus changed the world for the better. If only we had 1000 Irshad Manji's.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Boomerang

    I think it's high time Muslims were more critical of those who interpret the Koran - acting as moral guardians for the masses. There are passages in the Koran that ask people to show equal respect for men and women, yet those who have created Sharia law, seek to repress women's rights to maintain male power in backward societies. It's got to be challenged by Muslims themselves.For a book with a female prophet challenging the orthodox view of Islam, read Goochs Mosaic Deceptions. This woman Irsha I think it's high time Muslims were more critical of those who interpret the Koran - acting as moral guardians for the masses. There are passages in the Koran that ask people to show equal respect for men and women, yet those who have created Sharia law, seek to repress women's rights to maintain male power in backward societies. It's got to be challenged by Muslims themselves.For a book with a female prophet challenging the orthodox view of Islam, read Goochs Mosaic Deceptions. This woman Irshad reminds me of that prophet - lets hope she knows how to protect herself from the vitriol that will come her way.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Natya Nauri

    For the first time, I was excited to read this book as it is banned in Indonesia (yes! forbidden books are more tempting to read!) But after I went through chapter 1, I decided not to finish reading it. Why? I completely agree with what the author thinks, that every religions teach about compassion, and extremism caused by the people, not by the religion. Very make sense! However, the way she wrote this book makes me completely off. The introduction part is still ok, but after that, I just found For the first time, I was excited to read this book as it is banned in Indonesia (yes! forbidden books are more tempting to read!) But after I went through chapter 1, I decided not to finish reading it. Why? I completely agree with what the author thinks, that every religions teach about compassion, and extremism caused by the people, not by the religion. Very make sense! However, the way she wrote this book makes me completely off. The introduction part is still ok, but after that, I just found cyberwars between the author and the people who correspond with her. Also, the way the author accentuates "I" "I" and "I" and the naration flow makes this book very boring to read...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan Jaffe Pober

    Irshad Manji is the director of the Moral Courage Project at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. But don't let that title scare you into thinking that this is a heavy scholarly work. It's a collection of her thoughts as well as the thoughts of her supporters and detractors about what we all can do to foster understanding between Muslims and non-Muslim. This is an oversimplification but if you've ever heard Irshad speak, you can hear her speaking the words of her book. And if Irshad Manji is the director of the Moral Courage Project at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. But don't let that title scare you into thinking that this is a heavy scholarly work. It's a collection of her thoughts as well as the thoughts of her supporters and detractors about what we all can do to foster understanding between Muslims and non-Muslim. This is an oversimplification but if you've ever heard Irshad speak, you can hear her speaking the words of her book. And if you haven't ever heard her, check out her web site and listen to her. She's amazing!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    Very thought-provoking. Irshad's personality definitely comes through strongly in the book, which I think can be a very good thing if you're willing to have an open mind about what she is saying. I believe her book is an important contribution to a much-needed dialogue on accepting people for who they are and each of us living our faith in our own way without mistaking dogma for faith. Very thought-provoking. Irshad's personality definitely comes through strongly in the book, which I think can be a very good thing if you're willing to have an open mind about what she is saying. I believe her book is an important contribution to a much-needed dialogue on accepting people for who they are and each of us living our faith in our own way without mistaking dogma for faith.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jon Souza

    great message but after first hundred pages was really repetitive and was too boring to finish. i really enjoyed and agreed with the authors insights just didnt have a compelling narrative to hold my interest

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    The road to understanding means reading. This is a great read, perfect for gaining knowledge of the Muslim world. It helps incoming to grips with a community very few of us know. But remember it as a start of a longer journey.

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