Exploring the beliefs, history, and politics of the ordinary people of Muslim countries, Grieve cuts through the complexities as he examines all aspects of Islam. He also addresses the big issues: Can Islam support true democracy? Is true democracy what the West really wants for Muslim countries or are we merely seeking a cover of legitimacy for a policy of 'might is right'?
Paul Grieve is an unbeliever - he is not a born-again Muslim, a proselytizer or a frustrated desert romantic. His aim is to inform. The result is an accessible but never simplistic guide that challenges stereotypical views, from women and banking to war and Malcolm X.
Complete with advice for visitors to Muslim countries, and with carefully chosen primary sources, maps, and illustrations, this is the ideal summary for the listener looking for an unbiased overview of the religious and political world issues that have become part of our everyday lives.
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Very good book, but biased
I read the book because I wanted to find out more about Islam, and this is an excellent book for that. There is a lot of information about belief, history, the schools, culture, architecture, food and politics.
However there are sections (in particular towards the beginning) whereby it is very biased towards Islam and against Christianity and Judaism. He is almost trying to show why Islam is better then Christianity and Judaism, presenting a very one-sided view of many historical events.
But if you can ignore the bias, having read the book I feel I have a much better understanding and I would recommend the book to anybody wanting to find out more about Islam.
Fair and square