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Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom Paperback – February 7, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Revolutionary..." - Boston Globe

“Feisty and sharply reasoned – you’d want this woman to be on your side in any debate – her book will make people of all faiths (or no faith) rethink both cultural and religious assumptions.”
Library Journal

"Perhaps the most fearless advocate for reformation in Islam is Irshad Manji... She is controversial precisely because she offers hope for change - faithful dissent against a suffocating orthodoxy at odds with the facts of life in an evolving world." --Daily Beast

About the Author

Irshad Manji is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, and the creator of the Emmy Award-nominated PBS documentary, Faith Without Fear. She is Director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. For more information: IrshadManji.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145164521X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451645217
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A tour de force - recommended reading for every thinking Muslim out there who wants to make change happen. Manji writes with passion, conviction, and unflinching tenacity about the need for individuals of conscience, be they Muslim or not, to shed the chains of tribal thinking and tribal practices ("identity") in order to live with the universal ethic of "integrity". She calls on us to rally moral courage in challenging the hypocrisy of our co-religionists and the injustices they commit in the name of religion, especially with regard to the treatment of women, gays and lesbians, non-Muslims, and those considered apostates. She also rightly calls out the liberal multiculturalists of the Western world for their cowardice in not speaking out against the violation of human rights in Muslim communities, preferring to hide behind the destructive construct of moral and cultural relativism.

While Manji's reasoning and moral clarity are sharp as a knife, her main strength is her bold activism. She cites many of her email exchanges with both supporters and detractors (many of whom are hilarious and frightening in their venom). Her casual conversational tone sometimes comes across flippant and condescending, but when you realize that she lives under the constant and real threat of physical harm from angry "Islamo-tribalists", it's easy to understand how she needs a healthy dose of humor and lightness to keep her mental health in tact. Her website, irshadmanji,com, is a good companion piece to the book for those interested in taking concrete steps to manifest their moral courage.

My only criticism of the book is that I was not convinced why Irshad wants to be a Muslim in the first place, as opposed to any other religion.
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Format: Hardcover
Irshad Manji is not a sheikh nor a mullah, but she is a brave muslim (a peacemaker, a peaceful surrenderer to God ALONE) who has not squandered her God-given mind and heart through the teachings of clergymen who arrogated themselves by claiming monopoly over the understanding of the Quran and by injecting themselves between individuals and their Creator.

Irshad surprises me by her insight and courage. "Our duty to know God overshadows any guilt brought on by the artificial gods of family and nation." This is not an easy task. The great majority of people follow the religion of loudest, crowdest, or the proximate bandwagon. It takes wisdom and bravery to search for truth, without condition. Throughout history, those who questioned dogmas and mythologies were shunned and declared heretics.

I do believe that a substantial reform is impossible without brave reformists who are ready to question everything. Throughout history, reformists have uttered ideas that initially repelled or scared the hypnotized majorities in their "holy bandwagons." There cannot be a slow transformation, but a shock, a radical jump, a paradigm change among Muslim masses.
Such a reform perhaps can be accomplished only by "children" who do not hesitate to scream the reality that "emperor is naked." Yes, Muslim clergymen and politicians are naked!

The title of the book is excellent. By using the word Allah instead of God, Irshad is daring the wormongers who wish to demonize muslims. By using the word Liberty and Love, she also challenges the Sunni and Shiite bigots who betray the many verses of the Quran promoting freedom of expression, tolerance to the choices of others.
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Format: Hardcover
Irshad Manji has been a disquieting elbow in the ribs of the moderate Muslim community (and non-Muslims by association) for more than a decade now, and in her latest book Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom, she amps up the volume of her message, reframing her mission as similar to that of Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Gandhi. It takes a good deal of hubris for Manji to associate herself and her mission with such august company, but it is evident that her well-honed sense of humor plays a role both in tempering her ego as well as augmenting the audacity of her message.

Manji's style is unapologetically provocative. Exploiting the Muslim communities' stereotypical anxiety over sexual protocol, Manji laces her arguments with deliberately offensive references to the "Viagra" of group victimhood, and in deploring the lack of Muslim "Andalusian cojones" in opposing one's own family and community's shackles of cultural honor. She also resorts to scatological humor, characterizing typical Muslim responses to criticism as "steaming piles of hooey". In the chapter "Offense is the Price of Diversity", she asserts the need for uncensored dissent from the status quo, and for Muslims to "harness offense for personal growth." (pg 187) Claiming that her books and speeches rankle more Muslims than the Taliban does, she insists that offending her audience out of their complacency and complicity in "respecting Muslim culture" is crucial to effecting the change that will reconcile the practice of Islam with free speech and respect for the human rights and dignity of all.

Manji's repeated mantra in this book is that no religion speaks for itself.
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