Homosexuality in Islam: Islamic Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims (Review)
reviews* / August 6, 2012

Title: Homosexuality in Islam: Islamic Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims Author: Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle Publication Year: 2010 Pages: 448 Genre: Non-Fiction Source: E-review copy from the publisher From the cover: The first book length treatment to offer a detailed analysis of how Islamic scripture, jurisprudence, and Hadith can accommodate a sexually sensitive Islam. Numerous scholars and commentators maintain that the Qur’an and Hadith rule unambiguously against same-sex relations. This pioneering study argues that there is far more nuance to the matter than most believe. # Rating: This book is a part of the Ramadan Reading event happening here this month. You can find other posts in the series by clicking on the image to the right, or by taking a look at the schedule of posts and reviews.

The Testament of Jessie Lamb (Review)
reviews* / May 16, 2012

Title: The Testament of Jessie Lamb Author: Jane Rogers Publication Year: 2012 Pages: 256 Genre: Fiction, Dystopian Source: Review copy from the publisher through NetGalley From the cover: A rogue virus that kills pregnant women has been let loose in the world, and nothing less than the survival of the human race is at stake. Some blame the scientists, others see the hand of God, and still others claim that human arrogance and destructiveness are reaping the punishment they deserve. Jessie Lamb is an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl living in extraordinary times. As her world collapses, her idealism and courage drive her toward the ultimate act of heroism. She wants her life to make a difference. But is Jessie heroic? Or is she, as her scientist father fears, impressionable, innocent, and incapable of understanding where her actions will lead? Set in a world irreparably altered by an act of biological terrorism, The Testament of Jessie Lamb explores a young woman’s struggle to become independent of her parents. As the certainties of her childhood are ripped apart, Jessie begins to question her parents’ attitudes, their behavior, and the very world they have bequeathed her. I first picked up this book because I…

Mother of the Believers: A Novel of the Birth of Islam (Review)
reviews* / March 12, 2012

Title: Mother of the Believers: A Novel of the Birth of Islam Author: Kamran Pasha Publication Year: 2009 Pages: 560 Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction Source: Review copy from the publisher From the cover: Deep in the heart of seventh-century Arabia, a new prophet named Muhammad has arisen. As his message of enlightenment sweeps through Arabia and unifies the warring tribes, his young wife Aisha recounts Muhammad’s astonishing transformation from prophet to warrior to statesman. But just after the moment of her husband’s greatest triumph — the conquest of the holy city of Mecca — Muhammad falls ill and dies in Aisha’s arms. A young widow, Aisha finds herself at the center of the new Muslim empire and becomes by turns a teacher, political leader, and warrior. Written in beautiful prose and meticulously researched, Mother of the Believer is the story of an extraordinary woman who was destined to help usher Islam into the world. Despite the fact that Muhammad is such an important historical person, there’s an awful lot of reluctance to write about him in less serious ways in order to make his life story more accessible to the masses. One of the most important reasons why I picked…

Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star’s Revolution (Review)
reviews* / October 4, 2011

Title: Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star’s Revolution Author: Salman Ahmad Publication Year: 2010 Pages: 240 Genre: Non-Fiction Source: Review copy from the publisher From the cover: With 30 million record sales under his belt, and with fans including Bono and Al Gore, Pakistan-born Salman Ahmad is renowned for being the first rock & roll star to destroy the wall that divides the West and the Muslim world. Rock & Roll Jihad is the story of his incredible journey. Facing down angry mullahs and oppressive dictators who wanted all music to be banned from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Salman Ahmad rocketed to the top of the music charts, bringing Western-style rock and pop to Pakistani teenagers for the first time. His band Junoon became the U2 of Asia, a sufi-rock group that broke boundaries and sold a record number of albums. But Salman’s story began in New York, where he spent his teen years learning to play guitar, listening to Led Zeppelin, hanging out at rock clubs and Beatles Fests, making American friends, and dreaming of rock-star fame. That dream seemed destined to die when his family returned to Pakistan and Salman was forced to follow the…

The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media, and That Veil Thing (Review)
reviews* / September 24, 2011

Title: The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media, and That Veil Thing Author: Sumbul Ali-Karamali Publication Year: 2008 Pages: 260 Genre: Non-Fiction Source: Review copy from the publisher From the cover: Since 9/11, stories about Muslims and the Islamic world have flooded headlines, politics, and water-cooler conversations all across the country. And, although Americans hear about Islam on a daily basis, there remains no clear explanation of Islam or its people. The Muslim Next Door offers easy-to-understand yet academically sound answers to these questions while also dispelling commonly held misconceptions. Written from the point of view of an American Muslim, the book addresses what readers in the Western world are most curious about, beginning with the basics of Islam and how Muslims practice their religion before easing into more complicated issues like jihad, Islamic fundamentalism, and the status of women in Islam. Author Sumbul Ali-Karamali’s vivid anecdotes about growing up Muslim and female in the West, along with her sensitive, scholarly overview of Islam, combine for a uniquely insightful look at the world’s fastest growing religion. This book was really good as a slightly-more-than-basic primer to Islam for non-Muslims. What I really enjoyed was the breadth of topics that…