Posts Tagged ‘Speak’

Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out

Product Description
Given that I am rather skeptical of the very possibility of a scientific survey of apostates, it is rather difficult for me to make any psychological, sociological, or anthropological generalizations based on fewer than fifty personal testimonies that would be valid outside this particular group. No quick portrait of the typical apostate is likely to appear–some are young (students in their teens), some are middle-aged with children; some are scientists, while others are economists, businesspeople, or journalists; some are from Bangladesh, others are from Pakistan, India, Morocco, Egypt, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, or Iran. Our witnesses, nonetheless, do have certain moral and intellectual qualities in common: for instance, they are all comparatively well educated, computer literate with access to the Internet, and rational, with the ability to think for themselves. However, what is most striking is their fearlessness, their moral courage, and their moral commitment to telling the truth. They all face social ostracism, the loss of friends and family, a deep inner spiritual anguish and loneliness–and occasionally the death penalty if discovered. Their decisions are not frivolously taken, but the ineluctable result of rational thinking.

There are very useful analogies to be drawn between communism and Islam. . . .As Arthur Koestler said, “You hate our Cassandra cries and resent us as allies, but when all is said, we ex-Communists are the only people on your side who know what it’s all about.”

Communism has been defeated, at least for the moment; Islamism has not, and unless a reformed, tolerant, liberal kind of Islam emerges soon, perhaps the final battle will be between Islam and Western democracy. And these former Muslims, to echo Koestler’s words, on the side of Western democracy are the only ones who know what it’s all about, and we would do well to listen to their Cassandra cries. — Ibn Warraq, from the Introduction

Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out

5 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 19, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Categories: Dubai Books   Tags: , ,

Arab Voices Speak to American Hearts

  • ISBN13: 9780976910084
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description
In the aftermath of the tragedy of 9/11, journalist, teacher, and peace advocate Samar Jarrah found herself called upon by her small Florida community, as well as impelled from within, to dispel stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims. After three years of speaking to audiences of up to 800 Americans—in churches, at events of professional associations and other organizations, and at peace rallies, Ms. Jarrah had a vision. If governments would do nothing to combat misunderstanding between Americans and Arabs, then she would open a direct dialogue between these peoples.

Thus, Arab Voices Speak to American Hearts was conceived. But how? A second inspiration prompted Ms. Jarrah to email a great variety of friends, family, and professional contacts in the U.S. and assemble over 100 questions that Americans wanted to ask Arabs and Muslims. A naturalized American citizen herself since 1994, Jarrah then spent the month of October 2004 in Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait asking these questions.

The remarkable result is found in these pages. Important themes recur throughout the 12 interviews. First, most of those interviewed liked Americans—some even had relatives married to Americans. Many of those interviewed had studied in America and admired Americans as a friendly and enterprising people. Most of these also admired the American form of government.

Yet nearly all of the interviewees disliked current American polices toward the Middle East, especially those of the Bush administration, as well as long-standing American foreign policy toward the problem of Palestine. These two issues, along with the Iraqi war, mostly angered the Arab men and women interviewed. Yet, viewpoints varied. Some thought that American efforts to bring democracy to the Middle East were good, while others said that democracy in Arab countries could only come from within. Some thought that American troops should remain in Iraq and some did not. One theme flows throughout the book—all those interviewed were delighted to be asked to describe their lives and views to Americans—and to ask similar questions of Americans.

Thus, Arab Voices Speak to American Hearts provides a cross-section of Arab society in thought—as well as in gender, age, and even religion. Of the 4 women and 8 men who speak in the book, ages range from 19 to 66, and 9 are Muslim and 3 Christian. The interviews were conducted randomly. All but one are “average” people—ordinary citizens of their countries, although most are well-educated. One is a well-known woman film director Jarrah’s follow-up to Arab Voices Speak will be a book based on the questions that her Arabic interviewees and others in the Arab world wanted to ask the American people directly. Ms. Jarrah also has several other books planned.

Arab Voices Speak to American Hearts

5 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 15, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Categories: Dubai Books   Tags: , , , ,