The Muslim Next Door: The Qur'an, the Media, and that Veil Thing
Written from the point of view of an American Muslim, the book addresses what readers in the Western world are most curious about, beginning with the basics of Islam and how Muslims practice their religion before easing into more complicated issues like jihad, Islamic fundamentalism, and the status of women in Islam. The author's vivid anecdotes about growing up Muslim and female in the West, along with her sensitive, scholarly overview of Islam, combine for a uniquely insightful look at the world's fastest growing religion.
Featuring discussions on topics that frequently arise in the media, The Muslim Next Door covers women (marriage, divorce, polygamy, and the veil, or hijab), jihad and what it means, theft and adultery in Islam (because the mention of Islamic law inevitably invokes images of stoning to death for adultery or amputating hands for theft). It also explains the foundations for those topics, such as: what all that terminology means (shari’a, fatwa, jihad, etc.); how Islam fits into the Judeo-Christian tradition; who’s who in Islam (Sunni, Shi’a, Sufi, Wahabi, Taliban, Nation of Islam); and who makes the rules (do we have a pope?).
The Muslim Next Door answers all your questions about Islam and Muslims, but does so in a conversational style, filled with personal anecdotes to illustrate how Islam is lived. That's my approach: here's what Islam is; here's where there are different interpretations of Islam; here is what isn't Islam at all; and here's how it plays out in my personal life. And it's one of the rare books that reads like a narrative memoir written by a practicing Muslim, but rests on a sound academic foundation.
Experts review The Muslim Next Door:
Bronze Medal Winner of the Independent Publishers Award 2009
The Huffington Post's "Eleven Must-Read Books on Islam"
Silicon Valley Reads, 2012.
"For many, the question is who do I read if I only have a limited amount of time and want to know what and why Muslims believe what they believe? The Muslim Next Door is an excellent place to start."
-- John L. Esposito, Ph.D., University Professor and Professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University
"The Muslim Next Door is solid intellectual gold! This book easily ranks as one of the best three books published on the Islamic faith in the English language since the tragedy of 9/11. It is a profoundly eloquent, consistently reliable, comprehensive, insightful, and often brilliant testament of what it means to be a Muslim and what the religion of Islam is all about. Refreshing in its honesty, accessibility, and humility, and truly impressive in scope and depth, this is an indispensable book. Indeed this book is a necessary read not just for those who are interested in learning about Islam, but even more so for those who believe that they have learned all there is to know about Islam."
— Khaled Abou El Fadl, J.D., Ph.D., Professor of Immigration, Middle Eastern, and Islamic Law at UCLA, Author of The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists
"A beautiful book. At a time when most Americans are bombarded with misinformation about Islam and, in particular, American Muslims, Ali-Karamali has written an elegant corrective – a paean to the faith, practice, values, and beliefs of the world's second largest religious community. For anyone who truly wants to know what Muslims believe, this is the perfect book.”
— Reza Aslan, Ph.D., author of "No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam"
Photo credits for portraits and Muslim Next Door cover: Evan Winslow Smith, www.evanwinslowsmith.com