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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
Top customer reviews
Tarek argues against an Islamic state.It appears he advocates a secular state like western countries.Unless the secular state has an Islamic character, it will quickly cause major contradictions.
Taha, failed to inform us the exact nature of Islam: Islam is not a religion as we see other religions (even Christianity) though there are similarities. This dawned on me the more i studied the religion. When Muslims say Islam is a way of life, that exactly what it is. It encompasses everything.. from government to family matters. But Muhammad never stated exactly what kind of government should be established!! Indeed Muhammad's example of government was principled, based on law but FLUID. He took into considerations the prevailing times and circumstances.
For example, Mustafa's turkey forbids women to wear scarfs! How would Taha reconcile that with Islamic teachings? Suppose a secular Muslim state establishes a law that is clearly against a major Islamic principle, in the QUR'AN? Is there any self respecting Muslim who would swallow that? I doubt it.
Taha takes his frustrations caused by early Muslim scholars and mistakes made by them, and lumps them up... in other words he does not offer a solution from an Islamic point of view .....
BUT I DO AGREE WITH WHAT HE SAYS ... THE PAST (MUSLIM SCHOLARS, WRITERS ETC ..) DOES NOT OFFER US A PARA-DIME OF HOW AN ISLAMIC STATE SHOULD BE LIKE.
but the dream of an Islamic state will never die, whether we like it or not ... Muslim do even have to be consciously aware of it or not... the more they learn about their religion the more they want a state..the more the west manipulates and dominate Muslims, the more they desire it. whats dangerous is that secularism like in turkey has not solved Muslim problems nor has it given them light in how to do so.
Take note that its Hezbollah and the like who are being worshiped now not the secular Jordan (is it?) or any so-called Muslim states like Saudi Arabia... nor did Sha's Iran. It wasn't only mullah's who turned against them. Majority of Muslims opposed relegation of Islam to a personal matter.
The more Muslims are humiliated the more they will hanker towards a Muslim state.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that Muslims gave up on Ijtehad (or its proper use) and unacknowledgement of the supremacy of knowledge.Ullemas restrict themselves to 'Islamic' knowledge and thus cannot offer a way forward.
I still recommend the book... but try to dose it with this book: reviving the Ummah by Meinhaj Hussain. This is what he says "This book is written for Muslims who have woken up to the need for Islam, not as a passive force, but an active force that can transform society and deal with the present EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES OF OUR PEOPLES. It is written for those who seek to understand where we stand in history and how to make a workable and attainable plan to solve the problems that we face today. The book is not targeted at non-Muslims, "progressive"-style Muslims, or extremists and those who condone violence against innocents..."
These two authors offer two different sides .... its also free for download