In these collected essays from the Western and Muslim worlds, the various featured authors discuss how Muslims and Christians can reach a better understanding. Editors Ron Geaves and Theodore Gabriel present the world as it has come to be after 9/11 by way of an introduction and divide the volume into two parts: one on theoretical issues, the second on case studies.
In the first section, Gabriel posits the towering question, “Is Islam against the West?” Many Americans and Europeans wonder if Muslims are against everyone from the West, but Muslims also wonder if Westerners are against them, too. John J. Shepherd ruminates on “Self-critical Children of Abraham?: Roots of Violence and Extremism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” while Kenneth Cragg discusses the “Finality of the Qur’an and the Contemporary Politics of Nations” and Geaves examines “Who defines moderate Islam “post”-September 11?”
In the second section, Marcia Hernasen examines “The evolution of American Muslim response to 9/11” and Yvonne Haddad traces “The shaping of a moderate North American Islam.” While Dilwar Hussein’s essay deconstructs the impact of 9/11 on British Muslim identity, Christopher Allen delivers his own piece, “Endemically European or a European epidemic?: Islamophobia in a post 9/11 Europe.”
Lamin Sanneh presents “Shari’ah sanctions and state enforcement: a Nigerian Islamic debate and an intellectual critique,” followed by Muhammad Sirozi’s “Perspectives on radical Islamic education in contemporary Indonesia” and Colin Chapman’s examination of “Israel as a focus for the anger of Muslims against the West.” Jane Idleman Smith provides the conclusion.
With an index and endnotes for each chapter, this book covers a lot of material on Western/Muslim relations, topics that become more and more important to both sides as time progresses. The authors hail not only from Europe, North America and the Middle East, but also India and Africa, giving a more diverse coverage to the book and its topic in the hope of creating a better understanding between East and West. This book is executed in a clearly academic style since the authors are scholars, but it is still a great source for all for a better understanding of the Muslim world and the West.