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A fascinating journey into Islam’s diverse history of ideas, making an argument for an Islamic Enlightenment today
In Reopening Muslim Minds, Mustafa Akyol, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and opinion writer for The New York Times, both diagnoses “the crisis of Islam” in the modern world, and offers a way forward. Diving deeply into Islamic theology, and also sharing lessons from his own life story, he reveals how Muslims lost the universalism that made them a great civilization in their earlier centuries. He especially demonstrates how values often associated with Western Enlightenment — freedom, reason, tolerance, and an appreciation of science — had Islamic counterparts, which sadly were cast aside in favor of more dogmatic views, often for political ends.
Elucidating complex ideas with engaging prose and storytelling, Reopening Muslim Minds borrows lost visions from medieval Muslim thinkers such as Ibn Rushd (aka Averroes), to offer a new Muslim worldview on a range of sensitive issues: human rights, equality for women, freedom of religion, or freedom from religion. While frankly acknowledging the problems in the world of Islam today, Akyol offers a clear and hopeful vision for its future.
Publisher: ST MARTIN’S
Subtitle: A RETURN TO REASON, FREEDOM, AND TOLERANCE
Author: MUSTAFA AKYOL
An accessible biography of Muhammad, Islam’s founding prophet, tracing his development from orphan to political leader and providing insights into his personal life and tastes. –New York Times Book Review
A joyous read, presenting the Prophet Muhammad both as human and humane. Insightful, thoughtful and thought provoking! –Azar Nafisi, New York Times bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
“A beautifully written, immaculately researched meditation on the impact of the Prophet Muhammad on the modern world. I loved this book!” –Reza Aslan, author of No God but God and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
A six-year-old cries in his mother’s arms as she draws her last breaths to urge him: “Muhammad, be a world-changer!” The boy, suddenly orphaned in a tribal society that fears any change, must overcome enormous obstacles to unleash his own potential and inspire others to do the same.
Fusing details long known to Muslim scholars but inaccessible to popular audiences, Mohamad Jebara brings to life the gripping personal story of Islam’s founding prophet. From his dramatic birth to nearly being abducted into slavery to escaping assassination, Muhammad emerges as an unrelenting man on a mission. Surrounding the protagonist are dynamic women who nurture Muhammad; Jewish and Christian mentors who inspire him; and the enslaved individuals he helps liberate who propel his movement.
Jebara places Muhammad’s life in a broader historical context, vividly evoking the Meccan society he was born into and arguing that his innovative vision helped shape our modern world.
Publisher: ST MARTIN’S
Subtitle: AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT
Author: MOHAMAD JEBARA