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All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim (I SPEAK FOR MYSELF) Paperback – June 26, 2012
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About the Author
Zahra Suratwala is President/CEO of Zahra Ink, Incorporated, a writing and marketing firm that works with organizations across the globe. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Congressman Keith Ellison is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. He is the first Black Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress and the first African American elected to the House from Minnesota. He is also the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and one of the organizers behind the 1995 Million Man March.
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I highly recommend Kamran Pasha's "The War of Art in the Muslim Community", Baraka Blue's "Manhood", Mohamed Geraldez's "Coming Home", and Preacher Moss's "Think Greatness".
As a American man who is a Muslim, I was very interested in this book based on the Amazon reviews.
The book contains some sincere stories of people and their lives as Muslims. But on the whole, the book leads a non-Muslim or person new to Islam to assume Islam is something it is not. Mainstream American society as it currently stands is not in accord with the dictates of true Islam. The consumerism and self-obsession take away from the focus on God, and God's command to submit to the Will of the Creator. This type of effort at submission seems largely absent from many stories in the book, some of which make little or no mention of God.
Instead many pieces felt like self-promotional essays which either glorified themselves or the niche segment of society the author was part of, be it gay, transgender, politician, businessman, musician, artist, poet, etc. The way of life of Islam, based on the Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) has much to say in critique of the conduct and attitudes described in this book.
The book's attempt to present a "diverse" collection of Muslim men, like the size of the fonts on the cover page, was heavy on All-American and light on being Muslim.
Being one who submits to God's will has never been popular through the ages. God warns Muslims against following the "common run" or popular ways of people for it will lead believers away from the path of God. (Qur'an Sura Al-Anam 6:116). And God knows best.