The Search for Truth about Islam: A Christian Pastor Separates Fact From Fiction

Ben Daniel. Westminster John Knox, $20 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-0-6642-3705-9
Daniel, a Presbyterian pastor from San Jose, Calif., challenges common negative myths in this basic introduction to Islam aimed at American readers. No single book on the subject could be entirely comprehensive, but Daniel makes an admirable effort, covering a wide range of topics, from the five pillars of Islam to brief factual overviews of the history of Yemen or Moorish Cordoba; in addition, he seeks out prominent Muslim figures from Jerusalem to Berkeley, Calif., and interviews them about what Islam means to them. Daniel isn’t treading new ground here, but his status as a pastor adds credibility for his intended audience, as does his trip to Jerusalem to find common ground between Muslims and Christians. The book is particularly strong when Daniel draws on similarities, both positive or negative, to equate violent connotations of jihad with militant Christian hymns, or to compare the status of women in the Qur’an and the Bible. Readers with any background in Islam will find this overly basic, but those looking for a basic introduction and a refutation of common stereotypes will welcome Daniel’s straightforward prose and friendly, approachable tone. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/11/2013
Release date: 02/01/2013
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