Though it is the fastest growing religion in the world, Islam remains shrouded in ignorance and fear. To many in the west, Islam means jihad, veiled women and suicide bombers. Yet these represent only fringe elements of the world's fastest growing religion. While there have been a number of successful books on the topic of Islamic history - from Karen Armstrong's Islam: A Brief History to Bernard Lewis's The Crisis of Islam, there is surprisingly no book for a popular audience about Islam as a religion, let alone one by an author from an Islamic background. No God But God fills that gap. What is the essence of this ancient faith? Is it a religion of peace or of war? How does Allah differ from the God of Jews and Christians? Can an Islamic state be founded on democratic values such as pluralism and human rights? In No god but God, challenging the 'clash of civilisations' mentality that has distorted out view of Islam, Aslan explains the faith in all its complexity, beauty and compassion.
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Reza Aslan has studied religions at Santa Clara University, Harvard University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. He holds an MFA in fiction from the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa, where he was also visiting professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. His work has appeared in the Nation, Slate and the New York Times. Born in Iran, he lives in Santa Barbara and New Orleans.Review:
"'Reza Aslan's No God But God is just the history of Islam I needed, judicious and truly illuminating.' A.S. Byatt" Guardian Books of the Year 2005 "'Aslan...is a superb narrator, bringing each century to life with vivid details and present tense narration that make popular history so enthralling... Illuminating... Aslan is superb on the origins and richness of Islam... A terrific read.' Glasgow Herald" "A revelation, an opening up of knowledge too long buried... [Aslan's]...careful scholarship and precise language dismantle...false claims and commands... Aslan is acutely perceptive.' Independent" "'Aslan is an engaging writer, his strength lies...as an observer of contemporary challenges facing Islam... Sensitive and generous' Financial Times" "'Enthralling. A book of tremendous clarity and generosity of spirit.' Jim Crace"
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