“Islam and the Problem of Israel” by Isma’il R. al-Faruqi

This new edition of Islam and the Problem of Israel is a succinct and thoughtfully organised to the reader. The author, though Palestinian himself, offers a reasonably fair appraisal of the issue at hand from a Muslim’s perspective. Some readers might find the strong vocabulary makes the read challenging, and this may sometimes be burdensome. The problem of Israel confronting the Muslim world today has neither precedent nor parallel in Islamic history. The Muslim world has tended to regard it as another instance of modern colonialism, or at best, a repetition of the Crusades. The author shows how Israel is neither one of these — but that it is both and much more.

The book goes into the nature of Zionism, its history, what has kept it alive for the past 60 years and Islam’s verdict concerning Israel today. Dr. Faruqi also answers the question on whether a secular Palestinian state is an answer to the problem of Israel as well as touches on many other related topics which should be of interested to the reader. Although it is true to say that parts of this work shows its age, as the idealistic political proposals Faruqi puts forward have been totally overtaken by events in Palestine since it was written in the early 1980s, Islam and the Problem of Israel has nonetheless remain as a major and important work on the subject which has been sorely lacking in current times.

“Understanding Muhammad: A Psychobiography” by Ali Sina

For those who are familiar with the extremist Islamophobic website called “Faithfreedom International”, the name of its founder “Ali Sina” (a pseudonym) is synonymous with the bigotry and vile rhetoric often displayed against Muslims and Islam. This was a person who openly advocated for the atomic bomb to be used on Muslim populations and have many times declared that he will “wipe out” Islam within 30 years. Now this relatively unknown figure within academic circles — apart from becoming the self-appointed hero for the cause of Islamophobia, bigotry and the new emerging school of lay-people and pseudo-scholars — has moved beyond the world that he is more accustomed with on the internet. Like his predecessors, such as the infamous Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, Ali Sina is now attempting to make his name within the world of published authors with the publication of his book Understanding Muhammad: A Psychobiography. Whilst it is true that over the course of years he has gathered a large following of largely misled haters, Ali Sina still has had to resort to self-publishing with a relatively small publishing press where anyone with anything to rant about can publish their own.

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