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Islam: A Short History (Modern Library…
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Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles) (utgåvan 2002)

av Karen Armstrong (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,395364,681 (3.6)59
No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam. It haunts the popular imagination as an extreme faith that promotes terrorism, authoritarian government, female oppression, and civil war. In a vital revision of this narrow view of Islam and a distillation of years of thinking and writing about the subject, Karen Armstrong's short history demonstrates that the world's fastest-growing faith is a much more complex phenomenon than its modern fundamentalist strain might suggest.… (mer)
Medlem:mitchtroutman
Titel:Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)
Författare:Karen Armstrong (Författare)
Info:Modern Library (2002), Edition: Revised, Updated, Subsequent, 272 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:to-read

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Islam av Karen Armstrong

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» Se även 59 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 36 (nästa | visa alla)
A little dry in some areas, but well written overall. It's kind of disappointing that the author has to spell out some things that should be common sense, like the fact that the Middle East contributed to Europe's Renaissance, that the Middle East was at one time THE world power, etc. etc. I suppose that's unsurprising though, considering the way the region and religion is portrayed in modern media. After reading this I have a better, though shallow, understanding of the history of the region and the religion as well as the different branches of Islam and what they practice. ( )
  SGTCat | Feb 25, 2021 |
islamic , non fiction
  Qurratulainabid456 | Jan 25, 2021 |
Very well written if you can read Armstrong's work. She's supposedly a better orator so perhaps she writes as if she is preparing a speech. Either way the book is full of maps and facts about the fastest growing religion in the world and one that is often misunderstood. ( )
  AnnaHernandez | Oct 17, 2019 |
This is a very surprising and extremely valuable work, worth owning, reading several times, and researching the lives of many people mentioned in its pages (both muslim and non-muslim). I was left stunned at the level of mis-information fed to people in the West about Islam and Muslims, and the vitriol of those who read the Koran and draw the very same conclusions that a non-Christian, for example, might draw if he read the Bible: a set of distortions based on reading out of context. (even worse for those reading parts of Torah and the kinds of unfounded conclusions one might draw about Judaism -or that Church fathers often did draw based on out of context readings of passages from Talmud!).

She starts off explaining that for a Muslim, the personal is political is religious, and that is because the life of the Prophet was based on the idea of social justice, and that, as in Judaism (Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof : https://theshalomcenter.org/node/211 !!), that justice must be pursued for ALL, to create an egalitarian world. This, I will admit, surprised me. I have many good Muslim friends, and have lived for over a year in a 99% Muslim country (Turkey, where I have to say I was fascinated to find the origins of the Turkish words Jahil and Zenci in Jahhilliya and Zanj for stupidity and an African tribe that in Turkish now means any Black African person, respectively). I know many ladies who pray in private, but never cover their hair in public, are modern, yet still seem to accept that the world is dominated by men. I was told that girls are more loved, more protected than men, but never that women should learn to fight as the equals of men, so to read that Ayshe, one of the wives of the Prophet, had led men in battle was fantastic for me, and that what we think of as the Islamic custom of veiling actually came from Byzantine Greeks, by way of ancient Greece (even Sparta??)! The Gynaikon became the Harem. In fact, on page 66 Armstrong points out that Judaism and Islam are so similar partly because both, unlike Christianity, focus on Orthopraxy rather than Orthodoxy (which may explain the Albigensian Crusade, the Spanish Inquisition, etc...).
And I've never heard of the ascetic Sufi poet Rabia (d. 801) referred to as "great" (page 74): certainly bears further research on her life! Not to mention (p. 83) that I have no idea who Albert the Great was (ok, Wikipedia says Church Father).

Crucially, trauma, then as now, leads to insecurity, which furthers polarizing conservativism (page 103) which leads to further conflict. Yet, Islam did encourage independent thinking, from the Prophet himself to the Rashidun (page 136) to the earliest Islamic thinkers and codifiers of Shariah. Just as with Halachah, codified by Jewish rabbinical thinkers, one is practically required, at least in early Islam, to think for oneself! Wow!

And it was colonialism that put an end to this evolutionary process: via the suppression and degradation of most muslim countries which led to the dehumanisation, in the west, and condescending attitudes of Westerners, mainly Europeans, but also elites even in the east, which of course led to muslim anger, just as it did here in the United States when the same process was applied to people of color and led to Black anger. Both justifiable. On page 172 Armstrong points to the use of the veil, a bit like wearing a Dyshiki back in the 1970's, as a critique of the status quo (and reminds me of my Greek friends asking why I cover my body, when simply, for me, wearing mini-skirts and tank tops is just uncomfortable). Once again by page 175 we come back to the fact that freedom of thought is protected in Islam, despite reactionary behavior, as on page 180 that reminded me of the history behind the film Des hommes et des dieux (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Des_hommes_et_des_dieux) -a film worth learning French to watch. Sadly, the attitudes that seek to blame Islam for reactionary extremism are certainly racially based, as on older French man told me recently that Algerians, in 1963, were not ready to receive the full rights of French citizenship, which attitude and refusal of course led to the Algerian war of independence. Based on Western double-standards. This hypocracy hurts all of us in this now tightly connected world. As both Armstrong and Cook (please see also [b:A Brief History of the Human Race|185513|A Brief History of the Human Race|Michael Alan Cook|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1388673590s/185513.jpg|179321] ) both point out, we cannot afford not to understand and work with each other for a fairer world for ALL.

( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
This is a very surprising and extremely valuable work, worth owning, reading several times, and researching the lives of many people mentioned in its pages (both muslim and non-muslim). I was left stunned at the level of mis-information fed to people in the West about Islam and Muslims, and the vitriol of those who read the Koran and draw the very same conclusions that a non-Christian, for example, might draw if he read the Bible: a set of distortions based on reading out of context. (even worse for those reading parts of Torah and the kinds of unfounded conclusions one might draw about Judaism -or that Church fathers often did draw based on out of context readings of passages from Talmud!).

She starts off explaining that for a Muslim, the personal is political is religious, and that is because the life of the Prophet was based on the idea of social justice, and that, as in Judaism (Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof : https://theshalomcenter.org/node/211 !!), that justice must be pursued for ALL, to create an egalitarian world. This, I will admit, surprised me. I have many good Muslim friends, and have lived for over a year in a 99% Muslim country (Turkey, where I have to say I was fascinated to find the origins of the Turkish words Jahil and Zenci in Jahhilliya and Zanj for stupidity and an African tribe that in Turkish now means any Black African person, respectively). I know many ladies who pray in private, but never cover their hair in public, are modern, yet still seem to accept that the world is dominated by men. I was told that girls are more loved, more protected than men, but never that women should learn to fight as the equals of men, so to read that Ayshe, one of the wives of the Prophet, had led men in battle was fantastic for me, and that what we think of as the Islamic custom of veiling actually came from Byzantine Greeks, by way of ancient Greece (even Sparta??)! The Gynaikon became the Harem. In fact, on page 66 Armstrong points out that Judaism and Islam are so similar partly because both, unlike Christianity, focus on Orthopraxy rather than Orthodoxy (which may explain the Albigensian Crusade, the Spanish Inquisition, etc...).
And I've never heard of the ascetic Sufi poet Rabia (d. 801) referred to as "great" (page 74): certainly bears further research on her life! Not to mention (p. 83) that I have no idea who Albert the Great was (ok, Wikipedia says Church Father).

Crucially, trauma, then as now, leads to insecurity, which furthers polarizing conservativism (page 103) which leads to further conflict. Yet, Islam did encourage independent thinking, from the Prophet himself to the Rashidun (page 136) to the earliest Islamic thinkers and codifiers of Shariah. Just as with Halachah, codified by Jewish rabbinical thinkers, one is practically required, at least in early Islam, to think for oneself! Wow!

And it was colonialism that put an end to this evolutionary process: via the suppression and degradation of most muslim countries which led to the dehumanisation, in the west, and condescending attitudes of Westerners, mainly Europeans, but also elites even in the east, which of course led to muslim anger, just as it did here in the United States when the same process was applied to people of color and led to Black anger. Both justifiable. On page 172 Armstrong points to the use of the veil, a bit like wearing a Dyshiki back in the 1970's, as a critique of the status quo (and reminds me of my Greek friends asking why I cover my body, when simply, for me, wearing mini-skirts and tank tops is just uncomfortable). Once again by page 175 we come back to the fact that freedom of thought is protected in Islam, despite reactionary behavior, as on page 180 that reminded me of the history behind the film Des hommes et des dieux (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Des_hommes_et_des_dieux) -a film worth learning French to watch. Sadly, the attitudes that seek to blame Islam for reactionary extremism are certainly racially based, as on older French man told me recently that Algerians, in 1963, were not ready to receive the full rights of French citizenship, which attitude and refusal of course led to the Algerian war of independence. Based on Western double-standards. This hypocracy hurts all of us in this now tightly connected world. As both Armstrong and Cook (please see also [b:A Brief History of the Human Race|185513|A Brief History of the Human Race|Michael Alan Cook|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1388673590s/185513.jpg|179321] ) both point out, we cannot afford not to understand and work with each other for a fairer world for ALL.

( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
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Bērziņš, UldisÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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During the holy month of Ramadan in 610 C.E., an Arab businessman had an experience that changed the history of the world.
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No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam. It haunts the popular imagination as an extreme faith that promotes terrorism, authoritarian government, female oppression, and civil war. In a vital revision of this narrow view of Islam and a distillation of years of thinking and writing about the subject, Karen Armstrong's short history demonstrates that the world's fastest-growing faith is a much more complex phenomenon than its modern fundamentalist strain might suggest.

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