In this short book, Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz invite you to join an urgently needed conversation: Is Islam a religion of peace or war? Is it amenable to reform? Why do so many Muslims seem drawn to extremism? What do words like Islamism, jihadism, and fundamentalism mean in today's world?
Remarkable for the breadth and depth of its analysis, this dialogue between a famous atheist and a former radical is all the more startling for its decorum. Harris and Nawaz have produced something genuinely new: they engage one of the most polarizing issues of our time - fearlessly and fully - and actually make progress.
Islam and the Future of Tolerance has been published with the explicit goal of inspiring a wider public discussion by way of example. In a world riven by misunderstanding and violence, Harris and Nawaz demonstrate how two people with very different views can find common ground.
©2015 Sam Harris & Maajid Nawaz (P)2015 Sam Harris & Maajid Nawaz
So pleased to have learnt about Maajid through Sam Harris. A true leading light with a humanitarian and reasoned voice we can all listen to - believers and non-believers alike.
It has helped me to understand a topic that I too once felt the need to obsfucate out of liberal tendency.
This is a very important book and I look forward to following the continuing dialogue.
This book shows the importance of dialogue and how vital it is to have a rich vocabulary around these ideas is. The conflict between pre-modern, modern, and post-modern perspectives is probably the biggest issue we currently face.
The book has done what it set out to do in my opinion. And having the extra part at the end only for the audio book listeners was very welcome.
this book cleared up a lot of things for me around Islam, terms used in the media and increased my overall general knowledge on people who are Muslim. This conversation is engaging due to the fact that these are the really dodgy questions no one wants to ask but the questions are put in an intellectual manner and responded to similarly. I agree with the goals of this book and think they have Greta Value.
This conversation is perfect antidote to the frustrating and usually baffling noise that constitutes the majority of public discourse about Islam, particularly online. The primary point of the book is the not even the material but the manner of conversation. It's a refreshing example of how to explore issues constructively without descending into defensiveness and ideological sleight of hand.
"Must read for an honest debate on the topics"
As the late Christopher Hitchens expertly said about arguments between two matched "opponents", it is very seldom that the position of both will remain exactly the same, changes and concessions will occur and the debate will advance. Even if only a little at a time.
In this book you can see Sam and Maajid views growing better and more refined about the topics of Islam, islamism, secularism, the muslim society, radicalization and tolerance.
I'd already read all of Sam's books, so Maajid was the greatest surprise for me and greatly enriched my views about radicalization (and the different levels it can happen) and islamic culture in general (specially the many possible interpretations of the Quran, the Hadith and other texts).
I'll be sure to read his book "Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism" as soon as possible.
This book is a must read for everyone who wants to honestly discuss the topics abovementioned and I highly recommend it.
(I'm sorry if there are any typos or mistakes, I'm brazilian and english is my second language)
"Ready for re-listening"
Both authors speak beautifully, leaving space for many thoughts about their probing ideas. Voice performance matters in an audiobook, and the even, calm of the authors' voices eased my way into challenging material. Since my background knowledge of Islam is limited, I had to really think about each concept presented. I am inspired to listen again to the book, and read the materials mentioned in the verbal bibliography.
"A conversation we need"
I recommend this book because it is an intellectually honest conversation that presents carefully considered issues in Islam from two very different perspectives which, in my opinion, is the reason this book succeeds. It is also important that this book paves the way for other people to engage in similar honest discussions because we cannot stick our heads in the sand and ignore issues.
The authors represent themselves. I think Maajid Nawaz had a more central role in this discussion and made a compelling case as to how one can maneuver carefully and try to reform Islam in a way that will lead to secularism and human rights. On the other hand, Sam Harris was skeptical and made excellent points as to why some core issues of the faith may never be subject to a solution.
Sam Harris was very effective in showcasing the problem in western societies like the USA where a large group of politically correct groups of people are trying to control criticism of various ideas including Islam because it may offend or they think religion has nothing to do with the problems in Muslim majority countries. This is also a vital message of the book in my opinion.
Not really, but that was not the point. The problem demands that we cast aside emotions and arm ourselves with a rational and critical approach.
"Courageous and fascinating"
There's a lot of food for thought in this interesting dialogue about one of the most pressing matters of our age. Arguments between the authors are laid out in clarity, directness, and civilized manner - a true delight. They're looking at reality with open eyes, sense of urgency, and concerns yet offering actions which could help the liberal civilization to remain on course.
"Sets red herrings aside"
This is an amazingly enlightened honest conversation, between two individuals that focus on real root issues instead of grandstanding
"The new standard for discussing Islamic issues."
This is the kind of book where I wish to listen to over and over again just to ingrain everything said in it into my mind. As a muslim struggling with other muslims, this book was the thing that set my mind free from a lot of weights that I felt on my shoulder. It tackled topics that have been eating my mind for so long in a way that pushed these thoughts towards progress for the first time in recent Islam history. I have to thank both sam and maajid for these results. Maajid for giving muslims the exact mentality that we should take for tolerance, and Sam for asking exactly the right questions that needed to be asked to push the conversation forward. This ability of Sam to know exactly what to ask and to take every topic to its logical end astonishes me every time I listen to him.
This should be the book that starts the new standard of discussing Islam. no beating around the bushes. Islam either can or cannot exist with modern society, and we need to push the conversation to find out.
other than that, the performance of both was amazing. It started with them sounding like they were reading from a book rather than talking, but slowly turned into a natural conversation. The additional conversation at the end after the book was published was also very humanizing.
"Food for thought"
some informative dialogue about the divisions in Islam, and the need to confront some of the more extreme elements. it is interesting to see though how the former "radical" seems to have grown greatly in his journey and is now ready to look at his religion while the poor "new atheist" is still stuck in his insisting that theists have to stick to their scriptures and not have a living evolving relationship with their God. Oh well, I guess the more important question is what God thinks of him. that has consequences. His opinion of God in the end does not matter much
"most important conversation"
In a post-modern, post-liberal world, where public discourse appears to be controlled by extremists, this articulate dialogue is invaluable, and hopeful.
"Idealistic almost to a Fault"
Both Mr. Harris and Mr. Nawab are tremendous spokespersons for their particular world views. Their ideas are rational and reveal a power and resourcefulness that are at times are both disturbing and provocative. When I listened to them what I heard was a deep familiarity with the Koran and the Hadith from Mr. Nawaz and an all business pragmatism from Mr. Harris. What this is is a conversation between an ex-jihadist and an unapologetic and proud atheist. That's interesting enough to listen to. But, the chances of what Mr. Nawaz proposes are slim to none. Look, I'm an idealist too! But, a billion and a third Muslims who would need to take it on themselves to literally change the way scripture is interpreted. They would have to reform. Intractable. Sorry.
"Listen in on an actually productive conversation"
The authors discuss provocative issues without derailing the conversation, as is often the case when discussing religion.
The book clarifies the issue of Islamism to "liberals" of all stripes - liberal in this context being proponents of free expression, freedom from religion, advancement of equal rights, etc. - frankly, the values that allow for pluralistic societies.
After all, we should be able to criticize ideas which limit our liberal values, right? They do it.
A liberal Muslim and liberal atheist discuss controversial topics and make headway. They base this discussion on their common ground as liberals. In the supplemental Q&A, they have clearly formed a friendship through the process. Listening in on their conversation is very helpful in having conversations of our own.
Maajid educated me regarding the nuances of Islamists vs. Muslims, and in interpreting the texts. Sam, as always, honestly asks pointed questions with the aim of understanding. This conversation is pragmatic about finding common ground forward, therefore they avoid discussing the validity of the religion or their personal views on the truth of it. This was an honest conversation, and I trusted it.
An actually productive conversation. Go figure.
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