Why Do They Hate Us?: Making Peace with the Muslim World

Steve Slocum. Top Reads, $18.99 trade paper (266p) ISBN 978-0-9986838-6-7
In his comprehensive, helpful debut, Slocum, an aircraft design engineer and former missionary, encourages Christians to establish friendly relationships with Muslims. He begins by exploring the origins of Islam, introducing readers to the life of Muhammad, before delving into Koranic passages. Concentrating mainly on passages often cited as inciting violence, Slocum argues that the vast majority of Muslims view their religion as nonviolent. He then moves briskly through a history of the Middle East, covering the Islamic Empire, colonialism, and the rise of pan-Arabism. Exploring how Islam emerged from the Middle East to become a global religion, Slocum shares personal experiences from living in the U.S. and, as a missionary, in Kazakhstan, to highlight facets of the everyday lives of Muslims (“I know of no force more powerful than that of face-to-face interaction” to dispel unfounded fears, he writes), including a particularly affecting story of visiting a San Diego imam. While his sections discussing aspects of Islam that most Christians are fearful of or may be misinformed about—notably, jihad and sharia—are instructive, they often read like study guides. Slocum’s most valuable contribution is his highly critical discussion of U.S. foreign policy, including a concise history of American involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, which he uses to answer President Bush’s question, “Why do they hate us?” Effectively countering pernicious, misinformed narratives, this is an essential contribution to interfaith studies. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/08/2019
Release date: 07/01/2019
Genre: Religion
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