Discussion, Not Destruction

Rev. Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida made national news last week by threatening to burn a copy of the Qur'an on September 11th. To emphasize the commitment of public libraries everywhere to "reading, learning, and tolerance over book-burning, fear, and ignorance" (American Libraries Direct, 2010), the American Library Association sponsored a Qur'an read-aloud. Milwaukee Public Library is proud to facilitate civil discussion and learning around the contentious, emotionally charged issue of Islam in the West by offering a multitude of perspectives across the religious, political, and social spectrum.

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Reconciliation : Islam, democracy, and the West by Benazir Bhutto

Pakistan's first elected female leader penned this eloquent defense of Islam's compatibility with the Western world.

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Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A Muslim-born outspoken critic of the treatment of women in Islamic countries, Ali has a powerful voice informed by intimate knowledge of the religion and politics of Islam.

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The Faith Club : A Muslim, a Christian, a Jew-- Three Women Search for Understanding by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner

Not all struggles are between political or religious groups; often, the most compelling ones are between individuals and within ourselves. When three women of different faiths try to write a children's book together, they realize they must first come to terms with their own divergent worldviews, prejudices, and beliefs.

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Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

And not all treatments of Islam must be serious. Sometimes, a good work of fiction is the best way to step into somebody else's shoes for a while. It's hard enough to fit in at high school, so when Amal decides to start wearing a hijab full time she must call on uncommon humor and strength to cope with the reaction of her teachers, parents, and peers.

Of course, these books alone can't represent the multitude of ideas and perspectives out there. If you're interested in more in-depth analysis, you may also want to try John L. Esposito's The Future of Islam, Arshad Khan's Islam, Muslims, and America : Understanding the Basis of their Conflict, or our many other volumes on Islam in the 21st century.

Have you read any books or seen any media that changed your mind about Islamic culture, politics, or religion?

Submitted by Audrey @ Central


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This page contains a single entry by published on September 17, 2010 9:50 AM.

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