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Liberal Islam

From the March 2022 Print Edition

Islam,” Mustafa Akyol writes in his latest book, “is not the powerful, creative, sophisticated, beautiful civilization that it once was.” Instead, Akyol argues in Reopening Muslim Minds, Islam is in a crisis, a crisis that cannot simply be blamed on Western colonialism or ­imperialism. . . . . Continue Reading »

Allah's Mercy and Wrath

From the April 2019 Print Edition

God in the Qur’an by jack miles  knopf, 256 pages, $26.95 Jack Miles, a former Jesuit seminarian turned author and editor, is best known for God: A Biography. In his latest book, he compares the gods of the Qur’an and Bible, with sympathy for the former. Instead of addressing the . . . . Continue Reading »

Jesus for Muslims

From the January 2018 Print Edition

The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslimsby mustafa akyolst. martin’s, 288 pages, $26.99 On September 25, 2017, Mustafa Akyol was arrested by the Malaysian religious police. He had given two lectures in Kuala Lumpur, including a lecture in which he argued against . . . . Continue Reading »

Word Perfect

From the Aug/Sept 2016 Print Edition

God is Beautiful: The Aesthetic Experience of the Quranby navid kermaniwiley, 400 pages, $45According to the Islamic doctrine of iʿjāz, the Qur’an is an inimitable book, a miracle. Western scholars, pointing out grammatical errors and other infelicities in the text, have long criticized this . . . . Continue Reading »

Holy Warriors

From the October 2015 Print Edition

In God’s Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire by robert g. hoyland oxford, 320 pages, $29.95 Amedieval Islamic tradition recounts that the Prophet Muhammad once told his companions after they returned from a battle: “You have come from the Lesser Jihad to the Greater . . . . Continue Reading »

“I am a Christian, and I Will Remain a Christian”

From Web Exclusives

In August 2013 the Sudanese authorities arrested Meriam Ibrahim, daughter of a Sudanese Muslim man and an Ethiopian Christian woman, after a Muslim relative informed them of her marriage to Daniel Wani, a Catholic from South Sudan and an American citizen. The authorities considered Meriam to be a Muslim because of her Muslim father, even though she had lived her whole life as a Christian. And as Islamic law forbids a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim man (although it permits a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman), her marriage was not a marriage at all in Sudan, where matters of personal and family law are controlled by religious courts. She was therefore guilty of zina, or fornication. Continue Reading »

Jesus the Muslim Hippie

From the December 2013 Print Edition

Many Christians and other non-Muslims who want to understand the Christ of Islam turn to the Qur’an, yet the Qur’an won’t tell them much about Jesus. It mentions his miraculous birth. It refers to miracles such as raising the dead and bringing a clay bird to life. It speaks of his disciples, . . . . Continue Reading »

Evangelizing Islam

From the January 2011 Print Edition

In the book The Critique of Christian Origins , written in a.d. 995, Iranian theologian Abd al-Jabbar tells the story of a Muslim prisoner of war who converted to Christianity in Constantinople. The Byzantine emperor rewarded the convert by offering him a post in the army and marrying him to a . . . . Continue Reading »

Unbalancing Act

From the February 2010 Print Edition

The Future of Islam by John L. Esposito Oxford, 220 pages, $24.95 In the forward to John Esposito’s latest book, The Future of Islam , Karen Armstrong insists that Esposito”the founder and longtime director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (now the Prince Alwaleed bin . . . . Continue Reading »