in the West have largely embraced a sharply sinister image of Islam.
This may be due to their vague awareness of Muslim invasions of Europe
in past centuries and to their vivid awareness of Islamic extremists
and their suicide bombings and beheadings in recent years. It may also
be due to the poor public relations job that Muslims have pursued, and
to their ineffective communication of the positive points of Islam to
the general public.
Whatever the reason for the religion's image, however, the reality is
far different. The articles in Shedding Light on Islam reveal that
Islam rivals Christianity and Judaism in its affirmation of peace and
brotherly love. In fact, it is the only religion that declares in its
holy scripture the validity of other faiths. (Christianity and Judaism
are reverently embraced as Islam's forebears, and Christians and Jews
are adopted as fellow "people of the book.")
The articles herein also give a glimpse of the glory of Islamic
history, the fantastic colorfulness of contemporary multi-country
Muslim culture, and the rich artistic tradition of Islam. In addition,
we include personality profiles of a handful of the remarkable Muslims
who constitute (and have constituted) the fabric of the ummah, the
worldwide community of Islamic believers. And we present for you
in-depth articles on "harder" topics, such as terrorism, Muslim
politics, Islam and policy issues, and Islam and women.
A unique portion of this Special Collection contains pieces on "How
Muslims See the U.S.," designed to provide the reader with a view of
America and the world through contemporary Muslims' eyes. The
collection is rounded out with a section offering deep-delving reviews
of books on provocative issues relating to Islam. Shedding Light on
Islam is an eye-opener … and an invaluable tool for those seeking
to become a truly cosmopolitan and compassionate citizen of the world.