Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot's Fight to Save His Faith

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot's Fight to Save His Faith

Article excerpt

A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot's Fight to Save His Faith. By Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser. New York: Threshold Editions (Simon and Schuster), 20 12. 294 pp. $26.

Truly moderate Muslims are those who claim Islam as a personal faith, but who reject Islamism, the totalitarian theo-political ideology responsible for the subjugation of women, Muslim minorities, and non-Muslims. In A Battle for the Soul of Islam, Jasser, an American-born Muslim physician and U.S. Navy veteran, promotes the importance of defeating even the most subtle forms of Islamism by empowering Muslims with the ideas of liberty and freedom. For non-Muslims, Jasser provides honest criticism of the problems within his faith community while laying out a plan to counter radicalism.

While many self-proclaimed moderates and reformists have penned condemnations of terrorism and violence, Jasser's book tackles the continuum of radicalization that produced the likes of the Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Hasan and Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad. Rather than focus simply on terrorism, which Jasser argues is merely one final step on a path to radicalism, he emphasizes combating radicalism where it begins: in the dangerous, supremacist political ideology that nearly every major Muslim organization in North America passes off as piety. …

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