Synopsis A memoir and meditation on faith, A Muslim on the Bridge: On Being an Iraqi-Arab Muslim in the Twenty-first Century tells a story of transformation and reflection as the author thoughtfully but pointedly deconstructs the widespread misconceptions about Islam, arguably the world’s most-misunderstood major religion. The son of a Shia father and a Sunni mother, Ali was born in Baghdad in 1969. At this time in Iraq’s history, the country had a Muslim heritage but was a secular, diverse society. Neither of Ali’s parents prayed, fasted, or visited the mosque. He and his friends grew up listening to Western pop music and watching Western films. They studied at a school established by American Jesuit priests in the early twentieth century… and Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay were among the students in that school at the time of Ali’s enrollment. The years that followed saw drastic changes in Iraq as Saddam strong-armed the country into a strict, fundamentalist application of Islam, an interpretation Ali rejects. A Muslim on the Bridge is an essential read for our times, a book that takes a close, informed, and rational look at problematic issues in Islam like polygamy, violence, divorce, homosexuality, veiled women, interfaith marriages, apostasy, and the perception of other cultures and religions. Metadata Publication date: Nov. 19, 2013 Print edition: 5″ x 8″ perfect bound trade paperback Page count: 296 ISBN: 978-988-15542-9-1 Price (paper): US$16.95 E-book formats: ePub, Kindle, PDF Word count: 70,000 eISBN: 978-988-15542-2-2 Price (e-book): US$7.99 Blurbage With almost a quarter of the world’s population embracing Islam, Ali Shakir’s work provides a timely insight into the dilemmas facing contemporary Muslims caught between the desire for modernity and respect for tradition. Having set out to determine whether other religions might be “better, worse, or just like Islam”, his journey is also an articulate exploration of the rivalry between monotheistic faiths that has always existed and, along with politics, kept the flames of hatred in the Middle East burning for so long. He particularly examines the Koran whose teachings are wide open to interpretation, being written in a language that is different from the ordinary Arabic of today, and focuses on the “most quoted verse on Muslim bigotry word wide” which states that they should avoid dealings and friendships with non-believers in every possible way. The Prophet Mohammed acknowledged both Judaism and Christianity on several occasions, he says; the commandment said nothing about friendships, being merely an instruction not to take non-believers as protectors or leaders. It is hard to disagree with his conclusion that between Muslims, Jews and Christians it is extremely difficult to determine who are the promised descendants of Abraham....Read More
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