Islam Explained by Tahar Ben Jelloun

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A uniquely accessible introduction to Islam, by the celebrated author of Racism Explained to My Daughter.

In his landmark Racism Explained to My Daughter, which Elle magazine described as "a must read...clear, powerful, and right on target," celebrated North African novelist Tahar Ben Jelloun offered a powerful model for teaching difficult subjects to our children. Now, in Islam Explained, Ben Jelloun brings these same insights to bear on understanding Islam in the wake of September 11.

In an accessible question-and-answer format, Ben Jelloun clarifies the main tenets of Islam, the major landmarks in Islamic history, and the current politics of Islamic fundamentalism. He also sheds light on the key words that have come to dominate coverage of the current crisis—terrorist, crusade, Jihad, fundamentalist, fatwa—offering lucid and balanced explanations, not only for youngsters but also for the general reader.

Islam Explained is at once an essential introduction to one of the world's great religions and a cry for tolerance and understanding in deeply troubled times.


About Tahar Ben Jelloun

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Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in Fez, Morocco, and immigrated to France in 1961. A novelist, essayist, critic, and poet, he is a regular contributor to Le Monde, La Républica, El País, and Panorama.
Published October 1, 2002 by W. W. Norton & Company. 128 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, History, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Islam Explained

Kirkus Reviews

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“My Islam Explained” might be a more apt title for these gleanings from Islam that have inspired Ben Jelloun (The Blinding Absence of Light, 2002, etc.).

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Publishers Weekly

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From the author of Racism Explained to My Daughter comes this slender but ambitious treatise designed to make sense of Islam to young Western readers in the wake of September 11.

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