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Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism Hardcover – August 26, 2013
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“This work redefines courage in a humbling dimension. Bennoune’s meticulous testament serves as a warning to the complacent and rebukes ‘politically correct’ posturing that makes excuses for the inexcusable and canvasses tolerance for the intolerable.” (Wole Soyinka, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature)
“Courageous and passionate, illuminating the confiscated lives of secularists, religious minorities, and Muslims alike. Yet what is striking is not their victimhood but their resilience and resistance―that is where hope lies.” (Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran)
“For too long, these types of voices, those Muslims who stand for individual freedom, debate, creativity, and compassion, have been ignored. But if we are ever to defeat the extremists, the counter narratives they provide to the distorted version of Islam need to be heard loud and clear.” (Ali Soufan, author of The Black Banners)
“Bennoune, and those she profiles, bravely meets the tide of extremism with a sense of shared community and nonviolent purpose.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Starred review. Her interviews sear with passion as her subjects deconstruct false views of Islam and inaccurate readings of the Qur’an. Again and again, Bennoune shines a spotlight on those who battle with intelligence and creativity against guns and bloodlust. She has created a significant and compelling record of modern life in which she spares no one, from the right wing to the left.” (Booklist)
“A fascinating and often heartbreaking read… Bennoune’s writing is crisp and conversational, and she possesses a deft sense of how to clearly deconstruct the most ingrained American arguments about violence in the name of Islam.” (Lorraine Ali - Los Angeles Times)
“A compelling, meticulously researched account of the legions of Muslims whose struggles against fundamentalist violence are almost never reported in our media…. Required reading.” (Rachel Newcomb - Washington Post)
Top Customer Reviews
I bought Ms. Bennoune's book and was not disappointed. The stories were deeply moving and shined a light on a struggle that brave, everyday people from all walks of life are fighting in order to defeat the terror of violence that is the calling card of radical fundamentalism. The book is poetic, historical and deeply moving. I recommend putting "Your Fatwa Does Not Apply here" on your must read reading list.
These stories make it clear that what's happening in the Muslim world is a clash within civilizations, not between civilizations. These stories are about brave people living in (exiled in some cases) Muslim-majority societies that westerners can related to as being reasonable people.
Unfortunately, this book is also filled with stories of horrible atrocities of Muslim extremist killing other Muslims. According to a 2009 study, 98 percent of al-Qaeda's victims were Muslim between 2006 and 2008. Many of these were innocent apolitical victims of violence, and of course those featured in this book who openly resist are often targeted in particular.
So on the one hand this book carries an optimistic tone of a rallying cry of resistance against Islamic terrorism. But my impression of international news is that the trend seems to be headed in the wrong direction (as if write this, ISIS is in the news). Thus I come away from this book feeling discouraged, pessimistic and sad. At the same time I admire those who are brave enough to resist against what appears to be insurmountable odds.
Human rights groups and academics will be surprised to learn that this book includes them for criticism of their relativist stances. The author believes they are overly sympathetic to the notion that "Islamists represent ordinary people, and their opponents are simply elite.Read more ›
Bennoune grew up in Algeria and the US. She identifies with Muslim culture, though she is an agnostic. She condemns Al Qaeda unequivocally: "I hate Al Qaeda" (267). She condemns Muslims for "whitewashing" their message by saying one thing in English and another in Arabic (17). She despises "left-wingers who have been drinking a certain kind of multicultural Kool-Aid" who "tell us how great … Sharia really is or can be if you just reinterpret it a little" (19-20). She critiques CAIR (221). She sneers at Pakistani conspiracy theories that attribute Taliban atrocities to Americans, Hindus, and Jews (243). She insists that US drone attacks do not justify Taliban killings (247). She sniffs at invocations of Edward Said's concept of "orientalism" to muffle criticism of terrorism (249). She rejects the idea that Islamic supremacists should be invited to participate in national life on the basis of tolerance and diversity, since they reject tolerance and diversity, and their inclusion would result in "One man, one vote, one time" (294-5). "'Compromise with Political Islam is Impossible,'" she quotes, approvingly (341). She records in heart-wrenching detail the hideous, massive, and inexcusable suffering Muslim terror has wreaked on the lives of Muslims from North Africa to South Asia.
"Fatwa" is published by WW Norton, a respected academic and popular publisher.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absorbing though brutal at times, I learned a lot about how anti fundamentalists are fighting "behind the scenes" unknown to most of us in America. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Marsha Shaw
a book every American should read and keep Karima in their prayersPublished 16 months ago by mary r. beal
This book is so helpful in understanding where the evil comes from in the Muslim religion. One of the best books I've read in a long time !!Published 17 months ago by CRC
an excellent and very timely expose of the dilemma we ( and more so the Muslims!) are facingPublished 17 months ago by Philip Steele
Too little of the work being done on the front lines of Muslim fundamentalism has gone unsung and unsupported, especially given the media focus around this important issue. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Elizabeth Anne Losleben
Islam is a fundamental extremist cult. it needs in depth reformation.Published 19 months ago by dark life
This is an important book, but one difficult to read, as the litany of stories becomes numbing. But, having started, a reader owes it to the tellers of these stories to read... Read morePublished 20 months ago by T. Campbell