Although there are over one billion Muslims in the world, and over 10 million in the West, most discussion of Islam is based on clichés or outright prejudice. This lively and compelling book sets out to bridge the gulfs of misunderstanding. Islam, argues Akbar Ahmed, does not mean the subordination of women, contempt for other religions, opposition to the modern world or 'barbaric punishments' for petty crime. But outsiders can understand the realities of Islamic tradition only by explaining its sources. _Islam Today_ starts with the life of the Prophet Muhammad and the Qur'an's five pillars which govern the beliefs and behaviour of Muslims everywhere. In both historical and political terms, the great Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires have deeply marked the successor states in Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India. Ahmed's highly accessible text is an ideal introduction for non-Muslims and Muslims alike interested in the issues facing and raised by the Muslim world.
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