*Ten years on from 9/11, much of the Muslim faith remains largely unknown and misunderstood in the West.
*While there have been a number of successful books on the topic of Islamic history - from Karen Armstrong's Islam: A Brief History to Bernard Lewis's The Crises of Islam - there is surprisingly no book for a popular audience about Islam as a religion, let alone one by an author from an Islamic background.
*No God But God fills that gap, addressing issues of belief: the difference between the Quran and the Bible, the meaning of the Hajj, the Muslim relationship with Jesus, the Muslim attitude towards Jews, equality between the sexes and more.
* This revised and updated edition includes a wealth of new material and new chapters covering recent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya; the changing face of Islam in Europe and North Africa; and a number of topics of heated debate (the veil controversy; Islam & women; Iraq War as a Jihadi recruiting agent etc).
Aslan, a professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Iowa and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, argues in this informative but uneven study that a reformation of Islam is already underway. He astutely recognizes that the struggle between arch-conservative Wahhabi Islam and the innovative, reform-oriented Islam of the Prophet Muhammad are at war, dragging the United States and the West along. Aslan's brief but accurate analyses of polygyny (or polygamy), the veil, jihad and the devastating effect that European, particularly British, colonialism had on the Islamic world convey deep insight. Unfortunately, charging through more than 1,400 years of Islamic history in 300 pages means that some nuances are lost. Moreover, Aslan quietly challenges various "myths" dear to the average Muslim. He states that Muhammad could not have been illiterate, making the Qur'anic revelation less miraculous; that the egalitarian Medina Constitution the symbol of Muhammad's great statesmanship was actually revised in hindsight to hold such values; and the death of the Prophet's grandson Husayn at the Karbala massacre was, post-death, recast as a gesture of martyrdom by Shi'ite Muslims and not a conscious, self-sacrificial decision by Husayn himself. These lapses will bother even progressive Muslims, but non-Muslim readers will find this a sufficiently quick introduction to a complex topic. 5-city author tour.
Easy to read. Very good for those who wish to understand Islam and know its history better.
Well done Mr Aslan. I am converted!