- Paperback: 170 pages
- Publisher: Amana Pubns; 1 edition (July 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590080122
- ISBN-13: 978-1590080122
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,101,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom Paperback – July, 2002
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About the Author
M. A. Muqtedar Khan, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies at Adrian College. He is Vice President of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists and is also on the boards of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy and the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences.
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The author describes many aspects of American Muslim political thinking with a connection to the history, political science and geopolitics. However, his focus is on the first generation of immigrants. It is useful to perceive the depth of the impact of these factors on the daily life, the thought process and decision making of the first generation of the immigrant Muslims and to some extent the second generation. The American Muslims as a minority are much more influenced by their cultural and country of origin background. The focus on international issues like the status of Jerusalem, Hindus in India, Kashmir and Muslims in different countries around the world (e.g., Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia) may not necessarily impact the thoughts of any lay American, however, American Muslims, regardless of their background, are highly influenced by the World geopolitics.
Some of the described political issues are local, for instance the divide between the immigrant Muslims and the African American indigenous population, and the stand against the Bush's faith-based initiative. The author comes across as an honest scholar in his criticism of the Bush's Administration bigotry against American Muslims and present controversial figures in the eyes of the US administration (e.g., Hassan EL Banna and El Moudodi) as moderate mujadid (renovator) Muslim scholars. The author describes the political organizations for Muslims in the US and classifies those that are interested in studying Muslims. The author neither addressed the demographics of Muslims in the US (e.g., geographic distribution, age, occupations) nor the social problems, habits, economic or diverse cultural backgrounds.
Some of the bright spots in the book are the focus on the great stand of the US in support of the Muslims in Kosovo and the description of the Muslim model as an ethnic and population minority in Malaysia.
Three chapters stand out and deserve special mention:
The chapter on Islam and Democracy is an outstanding discussion of the compatibility of Islam and Democracy and provides a constitutional theory of the Islamic state.
The chapter on American Muslims is a passionate attmept to guide the American Muslim community in amore liberal direction.
The seventh chapter deals with the agonizing experience of September 11th. This chapter provides an understanding as well as critique of the radical tendency among some Muslims. It contrasts this tendency with the compassionate and peaceful dimensions of Islam and then advances a framework for a dialogue of civilizations between Islam and the West.
As John Esposito, the famous scholar of Islam says, this is a must read for Muslims and Non-Muslims alike.
I pray the Muqtedar Khan is rewarded in this life and the next for his bold and reflective, compassionate and passionate work.
In the first chapter, American Muslims, Khan admonishes American Muslims for living in America yet remaining focussed on "home" which is no more their home. His ideas about how American Muslims should live and interact in America are revolutionary and liberating. I hope Muslims in Britian would also read Khan's book.
I was also impressed with his willingness to challenge the current understanding of Islamic laws that undermine women's rights. His scathing commentary on America is a treat to read. Khan is a wonderful writer and writes with a puishing logic as well as biting sense of humor as well as irony.
A treat and must read.
He is on of the few Muslims who has public and repeatedly condemned terrorism committed under the guise of Jihad. In this book he has called Bin Laden an enemy of Islam and defended America's record with regards to Muslims in America.
There are two aspects of the book that I loved and strongly recommend to all of you. The chapter on Islam and Democracy. It is prfound and lucid. It is amazing how Dr. Khan makes such complex and profound political theory so accessible to non-experts. This is truly a gift. I also enjoyed the merciless use of incisive logic in the last chapter as he analyzed Muslim politics in a sweeping panaromic review of the Muslim World from what he calls as the American Muslim perspective.
I hope that readers will not only read this book but discuss and disseminate the ideas it carries. They are crucial for our times.