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Islam Without Illusions
Its Past, Its Present, and Its Challenge for the Future

Ed Hotaling

Cloth $19.95    |    0-8156-0766-0    |   2003

This is an entirely new introduction to Islam by a major American news correspondent versed in Islamic religion, culture, and politics, one who has seen the course of war and upheaval, peace and prosperity.

"Hotaling, author and former Middle East bureau chief for CBS News, offers a fine book that lives up to its title: it covers a variety of topics, focusing on Islamic history and politics, in an honest and fair fashion. The book is admirably succinct, addressing core beliefs of Islam, the prophecy and life of Muhammad (probably the strongest portion of the book), Muhammad's wives and daughter Fatima, jihad, and more in fewer than 200 pages, drawing on credible sources and exemplifying a skilled understanding of Islam and Muslims. His juxtaposition of the widely accepted Yusuf Ali translation of the Qur'an with the more political and extremist Saudi Arabia translation is rarely done, and shows how interpretation diverges greatly in the Islamic world. Anecdotes from his days as a correspondent and bureau chief are enjoyable. He even compares President Nixon's directing Air Force One to avoid flying over then-enemy airspace of Israel with Muhammad's miraculous night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem. Hotaling concludes with a chapter that addresses several common "illusions" Americans have about Islam.... Hotaling's bold observationsdashfor example, giving reasons why Muhammad would want to be an American if he were alive todaydashwill engage the reader."
dashPublishers Weekly

"A breakthrough exploration of Islam past, present, and future, in the light of modern terrorism. "Stunning. . . . [Hotaling has] a rare passion for detail and for 'getting it right."
dashBruce B. Lawrence, author of Shattering the Myth: Islam Beyond Violence

"Hotaling debunks in both directions, correcting the hostile stereotypes of many Christians and Westerners. . . . [His] outlook is fair-minded and humane and refuses to 'dehumanize' millions of people in the service of either an idealized or a demonized image of Muslims."
dashFred M. Donner, author of Narratives of Islamic Origins

Unmasking the tie between Islam and modern terrorism, Ed Hotaling explores the radical challenge posed by terrorists to the religion they claim to follow and their threat to the world at large.

Hotaling describes how Muhammad created the first Islamic state. He was an innovative general and diplomat who respected women's rights. Hotaling draws the stunning conclusion that if the Prophet were alive today, he would be an American. Hotaling explains, "Just as he did in the heat of persecution, embattled leadership and war, he would have stood up today for his principles, debated and negotiated with his rivals, tolerated their ideas until he could win them over . . . and fought in the open."

Here is the amazing story of how Muhammad's followers conquered half the world, exceeded early Christian Europe in the arts, sciences, and government and won the bloody battles of the Crusades. Hotaling traces the path of Islam to modern times and the spread of Islamic Revivalism spurred by the Iranian Revolution. He reveals its connection to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. With compelling precision, he uncovers alternatives to an impending cataclysmic clash of civilizations.

Ed Hotaling is the author of four books and was the Middle East bureau chief for both CBS News and Business Week, and has also reported from the Middle East for ABC News. He has won six Emmy awards for NBC-4 television.

6 x 9, 216 pages, 14 black and white photographs, bibliography, notes, index

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