In 111 Questions on Islam, Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, S.J., a Jesuit of Egyptian and Lebanese descent and one of the world’s leading authorities on Islam and early Christian Arab literature, has produced a superb volume that not only clarifies certain Western stereotypes and prejudices about Islam, but would benefit Muslims themselves regarding the true nature of their religion. He notes the basic ambiguities in Islam wherein both tolerance and jihad (the concept of holy war against non-Muslims) are legitimate expressions of the Qur’an (which was compiled two decades after Mohammed’s death). In Islamic thought, there is the fatal neglect of natural law, as the Islamic "doctors of the law" (ulema) often consider reason to be the enemy of faith. Interestingly, Islam holds that only the "believer," not every human person, is made in the image of God.
It is the continued conflated identity of religion, society, and the state that continues to fix many in the Muslim world in the cultural framework of the seventh century. Islam remains fragmented into sects, with the most intransigent orthodoxy (that of Saudi Arabian-funded Wahhabism) being promoted by fanatical fundamentalist and radical groups.
Readers will benefit from the author’s criticism of the "multiculturalism" cherished by Europeans and Americans, and of how the loss of Christian faith and identity has seriously weakened Western nations faced with an expanding and aggressive Islam.
-James Likoudis, CUF president emeritus (from Laywitness Magazine www.cuf.org)
You can purchase this book here.