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Islam: The Religion and the People

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First, I want to explain my meanings of ‘society’ and ‘culture’ because some people think that these things are strictly different. I consider that both society and culture mean ‘community’ in the sense of totality of institutions and people all around us or around others. Therefore, society and culture are the sides of one thing – community. Moreover, in my opinion, this book concentrates on the Islamic community in general. In the next sections, I will write my point of view on different statements or part of this book.
The book offers a noble overview of Islam and the Muslims who practice this religion. It is written at a level that would be suitable for low-course students and most high school students. Lewis and Churchill, authors of this book, have done a good job writing it.

First, I have to applaud their understanding of the problematic and uncommon structure of the Arabic language, which is a key to know the Quran and Islam. They also went more than enough in fixing some of the most shared myths about Islam as religion.
The book does a good job trying to dismiss common legends. It also makes a strong variance between the educations of Islam and the social settings in which Muslims are found. It is willing to plug out national performs and political opinions that are (or may be) unreliable with Islam. In doing this, the writers do their best to be understanding to Islam and Muslims, and they pass up a few chances to be a bit more critical. Even so, I found their dependable difference between ‘the religion’ and ‘the people’, which begins on the front cover, very useful.

Nevertheless, I have also found few small errors that may be unimportant. However, the authors should have done a better job searching the subject. For illustration, they have mentioned that non-Muslims are prohibited from being in mosques. That is incorrect as with many of mosques now in the Western world, one should try staying in a nearby mosque and see what will happen. Another mistake is that Muslims break their fast when they can separate between a white and a black thread. Again, they break their fast at dusk. The white and the black threads are an unfortunate translation from Arabic, which should be translated as the lines on the horizon at the crack of dawn.

Another aspect that was very interesting to me is how authors describe clothes in the Islamic Middle-East. After reading, I have an impression that Muslims live and observe their religious traditions as hundreds years ago. Even women in Saudi Arabia wear miniskirts under their abayas. This is a very important cultural aspect, because readers of this book can understand Islam as religion of traditions that has not changed for many centuries and Muslims look like museum exponents according to this book.

Moreover, I want to focus on another cultural aspect, about which authors write on page 163 – ‘Islamofascism’. The notion is very logically disliked by Muslims overall, as in one word, it unites the name of their faith the name of the most execrated of political movements. For the same motivation, this word is seen by others as perfectly defining these actions and demonstrating their place in true Islam. Now, the first two verdicts are true, but the last sentence is uncertain. Some may think the term is correct, but it is most certainly not. Fascism is absent in Islam. Fascism is totalitarian corporatocracy, which is essentially a takeover of government by big trade, usually led by a tyrant. Fascism is the opposition of the common Muhammad's doctrines of Islam. The self-contradictory term ‘Islamofascism’ was created as a put-down of Islam and of Muslims. As such, it is quite correctly hated, not only by those of the Islamic faith, but also by non-Muslims who rate social civility and who are shocked by the attempts to motivate religious hatred. I think that this is the most dangerous and incorrect statement in the book. This point must be clear and unique.

This book also is unsuccessful to offer any type of depth in its exploration of Islamic history, the Quran, or the prophet Mohammad. The book does contain a few Quran quotes that help clarify Muslim principles toward war and conquest and suppose quite clearly that Islam is truly neither a ‘faith of peace’, nor a regressive and hazardous religion of the weapon.

A small book cannot cover all. Islam: The Religion and the People focuses on the Middle East, which is the midpoint but far from the total of the Islam land, and it does not research extremely into the faith's earliest history or religion. There is enough material for the beginner, but some important matters such as growing doubts about the reliability of traditions about Mohammed are discussed briefly.

Overall, however, I have found this to be a respectable preliminary-level text on the religion and people of Islam. It offers a good explanation of the Islamic faith and Muslims who are often viewed the American social mind as something radical or dangerous.

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