Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, there has been an overwhelming demand for information about Islam, and recent events - the war in Iraq, terrorist attacks both failed and successful, debates throughout Europe over Islamic dress, and many others - have raised new questions in the minds of policymakers and the general public. This newly updated edition of What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam is the best single source for clearly presented, objective information about these new developments, and for answers to questions about the origin and traditions of Islam. Editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Modern Islam and The Oxford History of Islam, and author of The Future of Islam and many other acclaimed works, John L. Esposito is one of America's leading authorities on Islam. This brief audiobook remains the first place to look for up-to-date information on the faith, customs, and political beliefs of the more than one billion people who call themselves Muslims.
©2011 Oxford University Press, Inc (P)2014 Audible Inc.
Neil Shah's reading voice is drone-like, the text itself is not at all what I expected. I wanted to gain an understanding of Islam to be able to draw comparisons, to understand why the world is the way it is (e.g. extremist views on one side vs. extremist views on another side). None of this is gleaned. I tried to get on with this book several times, but finally gave up. Its just so dull, dull, dull, dull, dull. Zzzzz.
"Fairly flat and superficial - expected more"
The book is set up as a long series of Frequently Asked Questions - sadly, the answers don't extend beyond the typical FAQ format either. It is a very basic bird's eye view of some of the history, religious tenets and practices in Islam.
Given Professor Esposito's resume, I was hoping for a deeper and more coherent religious and sociological perspective. Instead, he remains at the very surface of belief and history.
In addition, he weaves in a steady undercurrent of perhaps necessary, but just very tired-sounding affirmations of the peacefulness of Islam and of the overwhelming majority of those who practice it. That's all well and good, and probably can't be said often enough (even within a single book), but that can't be ALL everyone needs to know about Islam? I, for one, would like to know more.
(Perhaps this is just not meant to be an audiobook... the questions do not build on each other very much, so a lot of information is repeated in various spots. Maybe a good book to have on the shelf for the odd Islam question that might come up, not a very satisfying listen though.)
"Fantastic piece about a beautiful religion"
Absolutely. It is rare to find an unbiased look at Islam, but John Esposito nailed it. Was incredibly impressed.
No God But God
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