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Book Review of "American Muslims, The New Generation"
About the author:
As he states in the foreword of his book he is a Muslim American of Pakistani parents who was born in Chicago. She has made a name for herself “I am self proclaimed Muslim feminist cowgirl….my spirit is a mixture of the American individual, the American west, the Islam that I grew up with, the culture of my family and the Feminism that I believe in.” He also published another book called “Why I am Muslim”.
He was a 25-year-old law student in New York when this book was published in 2000. He wrote articles for the Denver Post, fiction for the Susquehanna Review. It seems that she has combined Islamic law with the way she lives in America to create a rational Muslim woman. From the evidence he gives in his book, he probably prays five daily prayers and fasts during Ramezan and supports charity but he thinks that wearing the right clothes is enough to save the Hijab, or on the day of judgment he would not be guilty of not obeying enough Halal food. .
He thinks that American Islam as it grows and changes will set an example for Islam in the rest of the world: pure Islam. “I believe that American Islam is a purer Islam than it is in other Muslim countries.”
About this book
Hasan published his book before 9/11. After this incident in an interview with the National Radio, he said that some of the conservative Muslims told him, “You can’t be a Muslim and believe that!” and he answered, Yes, I can. In these questions, he did not mention his meaning of “it”, so a look at his book will give you an idea of what “this” means.
The book is written in 10 chapters, each of which has a different story. Most of the time, it is about Islamic groups, Hijab, Islamic authorities, soldiers in Islam, media and Islam, feminism, change, growing up in America, and politics.
This book is not a biography of him, although his experiences with Muslims are evident, and it does not describe the history of Islam, while it contains information from other sources so that the foreign people of America can better understand Islam. In this regard, his experiences reflect what it is like to be a young Muslim and live in America. For example, when he wants to say that a waiter in a restaurant has a problem with pork, instead of saying that he keeps a religious diet, he means that even today it is odd for an American to have such a strange problem, which he would think of as. unusual.
He tries to correct the misconceptions in the American mind. They try to make Americans believe that what one Muslim does cannot be done to all Muslims. If a Muslim commits a terrorist attack, it does not mean that all of them have a war mentality. She tries to say that the image of oppressed Muslim women in the American mind is not correct, in order to prove her point she portrays herself as a female Muslim student with feminist ideas who is living freely.
In manipulating the minds of Americans, they sometimes try to manipulate their minds and change their old beliefs. He says that Jihad means struggle and especially “an internal struggle to strengthen one’s faith against destructive and anti-Islamic forces” (p.49). not a holy war against all Americans. It is clear that he himself is struggling to soften the principles of Islam so that he knows it very gently.
He also brings another lesson to understanding between Americans and Islamic principles and emphasizes the similarities between the two. He says “Islam was founded on the principles and ideals of the United States.” In his desire to merge with the common religion he says that as “European culture and the values of Judaism and Christianity are defined by faith in one God, as well as the great faith of Islam” it is better to consider “Judaism-Christianity-Islam”
He explains the difference between being Muslim and living in America in contrast to other countries as follows: “American Muslims do not have a way to support the culture of many Muslims in the world. Every Muslim country has its own interpretation of the Koran, even the group of scholars who established these interpretations, called Ulama. Here in the United States, most Muslims are blind, even though we have a National Fiqh Council, made up of some American Muslim leaders… to create a way for ourselves to adapt our new ways of the Quran.” (p. 132)
As for politics, he thinks that the most important part in American politics is to elect a Muslim congressional representative. And the reason why Muslims do not actively participate in politics in his opinion is “because they are distracted by the US policy against Muslims, especially the lack of support for the Palestinian people.” (P.152) He then continues with the activities of Islamic organizations such as AMA, MPAC and AMC so as not to leave a depressing image in this sector.
Criticism and criticism
According to Hasan “…this book is about other Muslims like me, who are living as Americans and Muslims and discovering their spirit and humanity as we go.” What he says in his book is about 6 million other Muslims who live in America and they are all like him. I think there are many meanings, ideas and life related to Islam in the United States, it is very difficult to think that they all think like him or live in situations like his, because the treatment of minorities is different. different parts of America.
The first thing I would say is that I think the title of this book, “American Muslim”, is completely inappropriate. Hasan is a young lady who expresses her views on Islam and therefore is not allowed, to me, to make assumptions about all Muslims living in America.
The second point I noticed is that since he is young and does not exercise, he cannot see the positive aspects of Islam. His record shows that he does not have the foresight to study Islam to judge whether the actions of American Muslims are compatible with Islam or not, although it is clear that he has focused on the Quran. For example, he believes that Hijab (head covering) according to the Holy Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is not necessary for women except during prayer. In his mind, it is enough for women to dress modestly.
Another weak point that I understood was that his words are clear, I mean without explaining the meaning of his words (such as “modestly” in a woman’s dress or “feminine” in his opinion) and on the other hand, he says something without giving. proof and evidence of it. When he explains a sentence from the Qur’an, he does not mention where he read it. For example, he says, “Indeed, Islam is to be practiced and interpreted by each individual and not dictated by someone like the Pope. It says so in the Quran.”
So I think that what he has written in his book is his opinion about Islam and he cannot be trusted. It’s a personal matter, a completely personal matter. Even from the cover photo of the author it can be imagined how personal it can be! So, although it is interesting to know how a young Muslim woman thinks in the days before 9/11, reading this book for a Muslim who already knows about Islam and at the same time may not agree with the author can be boring.
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