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Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic lllusion of an Islamic State
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"I think this book is a positive contribution to the discussion about contemporary Islam and certainly a valuable addition to the voices that are critically looking at Islam's right-wing. . . . I don't think there is any other public intellectual in the North American arena -- Muslim or other -- who could have written this book." (HuffingtonPost.com, April 15th, 2008)
"...a book worthy of attention...both for its contents and for the courage of its author." (Haaretz, October 2008)
"Tarek Fatah has written a provocative and challenging book, which is a must-read for anyone who cares about these issues."--Janice Gross Stein, Director, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto
"Chasing a Mirage is an extremely valuable contribution to the fight by progressive Muslims against Islamic fascism. This book should be required reading for the Left in the West who have mistakenly started believing that Islamists represent some sort of anti-imperialism."--Farooq Tariq, Secretary General, Pakistan Labour Party
"Fatah argues passionately for universalism instead of exclusivism, integration instead of ghettoism, and makes a powerful appeal for the silent majority of Muslims to speak out before it is too late. This work of courage and daring needs to be read widely."--Pervez Hoodboy, Professor, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan
"This fascinating work by brave and brilliant Tarek Fatah is simultaneously thought-provoking, instructive and enlightening for laymen and scholars, Muslim and non-Muslim ... an invaluable and rare addition to the corpus of Islamic literature in the post 9/11 world, a bold step towards Islamic Reformation and Enlightenment."--Taj Hasmi, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu
"Tarek Fatah's is a voice that needs to be heard. Canada needs a healthy, reasoned debate about the issues he is raising, and indeed, so does the world."--Bob Rae, Member of Parliament, Canada
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Tarek explodes the myth of a "Golden age" that has become the rallying cry of Islamists, who want to impose their political ideology of Caliphate on both muslims and non-muslims. He has thrown the gauntlet to fellow muslims to reflect and educate themselves. From Sudan to Saudi Arabia, the author painstakingly highlights the clash between muslims who aspire to the spiritual message of their faith and the Islamists who want to warp faith for gaining political power. He has also covered in significant detail, the struggles of moderate and secular muslim Canadians against radical and Saudi/Irani funded Islamist groups who want to drag the failed experiments of their patrons into Canada; experiments that are a leading cause of ghettoizing and separation of muslims from non-muslims.
In exposing the dishonesty and moral bankruptcy of the Islamist agenda, the author has done extensive research and highlights that the harsh, backward and intolerant injunctions that have been sanctified as law by extremists wither and collapse when placed under the microscope of objective scholarship. A significant section of his book examines the struggle for political power and the sectarian schism that immediately followed the Prophet's death. This is scholarship that few muslims can openly discuss and which has already resulted in the targetted killings of minority muslims in Pakistan. His analytical approach to this sensitive and seldom discussed chapter of muslim history is unlikely to solve the Sunni-Shia polemics. However, his analysis and research on this topic should be studied as they highlight the ultimate fallacy of the Islamist demand for an "Islamic" State.
In a frank assessment of history and culture of different muslim communities, Tarek untangles and delineates political compulsions from theology. From Abu Zar, the companion of the Holy Prophet and the first muslim social activist and a central Sufi personality to the courageous example of Sudan's Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, Tarek highlights the example of those who stood up against political opportunism and stood by their principles. He calls on fellow muslims to inculcate an introspective, dynamic and spiritual "State of Islam" within themselves instead of sinking further in the trap of extremists who want to drag them along in their theocratic nightmare.
Unfortunately this was written in 2008 and there has been zero successful reform at any local, national, international level. Saudi Arabia type Sharia Law and slandering the prophet accusations are used successfully everyday in non-Muslim countries. Germany just had to lower the allowable already married age for refugees coming in to as low as 12 to accommodate Islam.
So called successful moderate Muslim countries like Indonesia and Turkey are increasingly intolerant.
Not to mention this was written before ISIS (Islamic State) was created.
This is the first book I've seen that used critical reasoning to review Islam and now that I've looked around there are no colleges that do any of that.
Name a college Islamic Studies center that does critical reasoning? They all seem to be sponsored by Saudi Arabia.
It's a bleak assessment.
I don't even see any non-Muslim countries much less Muslim countries that have a identifiable group of Mosques that allow criticism of Mohammed, call for equal rights for all under the law, and believe in separation of Mosque and state. What would that group of Mosques be called?
As a side note the author is a progressive Canadian Muslim. So he groups all bad groups even non-Muslim under right wing/fundamentalist and America is not talked about much under a good light. Leftwing groups are good except he does call them out severely for supporting Islamist ideology. His explanation is the left has been hoodwinked into believing Islamist are fighting American imperialism just like they are.
Book is highly recommended.