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Understanding Islam: An Introduction to the Muslim World, Third Edition

  • ISBN13: 9780452011601
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description
Lippman’s study of the Muslim world–from its earliest roots to today’s global power politics–includes crucial new material on the Islamic community today. There are also updated descriptions of internal politics in Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and other Islamic nations. Essential reading for both students and all who seek greater understanding of the world in which we live.

Understanding Islam: An Introduction to the Muslim World, Third Edition


  1. The Koran does NOT grant men and women the same rights. It provides men with double the inheritance rights and denigrates the testimony of women. The testimony of a women is worth half that of a man. Mohammed confirmed this in the Hadith by his statement that “women are deficient in intellect.”
    Still the same formulas are repeated over and over.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. Many are snapping up whatever they can read about Islam, driven by our desire to know more about our enemies who are trying to kill us. This book won’t help. It’s more of a sympathetic, scholarly treatment of Islamic culture and practice, not a primer that is in any way helpful in gaining perspective on militant, radical Islam. If you want to know more about mainstream Islamic practices and tenets, but aren’t looking for a satisfactory answer to why so many Muslims hate America, Jews, and Christians, then by all means, buy this book.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  3. Lippman proposes to introduce the western reader to the religion of Islam. However, in attempting to be objective, he goes so far as to appear credulous in relation to Islam and hostile in relation to Judaism and Christianity. Although he acknowledges that Mohammed was human, he glosses over or completely ignores the killings of opponents that Mohammad is known to have ordered as well as the fact that his marriage to Aisha was a marriage to a 6-year old child (which marriage he graciously waited three years to consummate). Similarly, the word for word divine inerrancy of the Qu’ran is taken as a given, while the same belief about the Hebrew and Christian scriptures is treated as a rather ridiculous myth. Finally, although the book was updated as recently as 1995, Lippman essentially ignores the rise of militant Muslim fundamentalism. All in all, an extremely disappointing book.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  4. “Understanding Islam: An Introduction to the Muslim World” is a short history of the Islamic faith. Islam is similar to most religions in that it provides a divine book with rules for how to interact with other people. It varies in one major aspect. Islam teaches that its followers have the duty to oppose governments if they think that the government is in opposition to the religious beliefs. And they are required if able to take physical action, verbal action, or at the very least moral action. This belief makes for a destabilizing influence since like most religious there are several factions in Islam with opposing views. This problem has more gas dumped on the destabilizing fire because Islam does not recognize a distinction between church and state.

    These beliefs helped me to understand some of the turmoil in the Middle East. But to blame Islam for all the problems there is like blaming Christianity for tight binding underwear. By which I mean that it is any easy scapegoat. Seems like a lot of Muslims are like most other religious people. They want life to run smoothly, follow their beliefs without reprisal for it, and to live in relative peace. But there is a loud minority that gets all the media attention much like people shooting abortion doctors or burning down Planned Parenthood centers.

    So, if you want a little history on Islam go for it. “Understanding Islam: An Introduction to the Muslim World” seemed fairly impartial and informative. But much like snow peas, I would have been just as happy with them on my plate as off my plate. Sweet peas are another story.

    Rating: 3 / 5

  5. I agree with other reviewers that this is a good book (or tape) for understanding the basics of Islam. But if the book was, in fact, updated in 1995, one has to question the objectivity of the author, who says, e.g., of Wahhabism: “It is probably the most profound, and may yet prove to be the most beneficial, change that has supervened in Arabia since the preaching of Islam…” (p.153).
    Rating: 3 / 5


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