”Effectively countering pernicious, misinformed narratives, this is an essential contribution to interfaith studies."
TOP 10 RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY BOOKS OF 2019
”Well-researched, cogently argued… avoids clichés and deeply examines the complex relationship between Islam and the West.”
—Booklist, starred review
BEST INDIE NON-FICTION BOOKS OF 2019
”A clear, concise, and thoughtful introduction to Islam.”
—Kirkus, starred review
With Americans still in shock after watching packed airliners slam into the twin towers, George W. Bush asked America, “Why do they hate us?”
After 9/11, the world became more fearful, and acts of terrorism were prominent in the news cycles. In Why Do They Hate Us?, author Steve Slocum takes the spotlight off the extremists and instead exposes the heart of the everyday Muslim through Christian outreach.
”In an era of rampant Islamophobia, Slocum's book is essential reading.” - Todd H. Green, author of The Fear of Islam: An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West
Why Do They Hate Us? brings the story of Mohammed to life and unveils the storied history of Islam with refreshing detail. Slocum clears up common misconceptions about jihad, Sharia law and the role of women in Islam. He then connects the dots for readers of all faiths between cause and effect for the rise in Islamophobia. Finally, Slocum suggests practical ways to overcome societal fears by face-to-face interaction with our Muslim neighbors.
Why Do They Hate Us? is sprinkled with stories from the lives of everyday Muslims and anecdotes from Slocum’s time in Kazakhstan, allowing the reader to catch a glimpse of a different side of Muslims than portrayed in the media.
“Before reading this book I knew very little about Islam despite a pastoral career. I now feel like I know much more. It left me with a hunger to befriend Muslims.” - Pastor Martha Freeman, M.Div.
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.