by Karen Armstrong
Editor: Orion Publishing Co
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One of the greatest commentators of religious affairs on history (and the fate of the world’s most misunderstood religion)In the public’s mind, Islam is an extreme religion: it is the fastest growing world of faith; more than three-quarters of the world’s refugees are Islamic; it has produced authoritarian monarchy governments of Saudi Arabia and ultra-republicans in Iran.If we read about the civil war in Algeria or Afghanistan, the struggle for Turkey’s soul, or the political crisis in Pakistan or Malaysia, the Islamic context permeates all these situations.Karen Armstrong’s elegant and concise book recounts how Islam has the other religions of the book, Judaism and Christianity, introduces us to the figure of Muhammad; and shows that, for much of its history, religion has been a force for enlightenment and the promotion of freedoms for women, and has enabled the arts and sciences to flourish.The ISLAM shows how this progressive inheritance is today often set aside as faith struggles to come to terms with the economic and political weaknesses of most of its believers and with the forces of modernity itself.
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