Saturday, July 13, 2013
My Isl@m: How Fundamentalism Stole My Mind - and Doubt Freed My Soul by Amir Ahmad Nasr
I think this book should be a must read for high school and college students. Everyone else should read it too, but I think it should be required reading in schools. It may be too controversial to make it in high schools, which is sad, because I think that high school students would benefit from reading it - I recommend it for grades 11 and 12 and totally definitely for college.
The book in an intriguing and interesting story of how Amir, a Sudanese Arab living in Malaysia, entered the blog sphere when he was in college and became part of the social media events that have been transforming Muslim countries.
He tells about anti-Jewish indoctrination and hatred that was taught at one of the Muslim schools he attended as a child, which his parents disagreed with and they took him out of that school. Sadly, many Muslim schools do teach children to hate Jews and the US and to pray for their deaths.
Amir chronicles his struggles with the Muslim religion and religion in general which lead him to read many atheistic and philosophical books and articles.
In the end, he chose to participate in Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam which says that God is Love and sounds very much like it holds many of the same ideals as Christianity.
He did not explain how he reconciled himself with the wife-beater verse and others like it in the Koran.
Amir sees the internet and social media as a way to change the face of Islam and to make it a kinder, gentler, more open religion. I appreciate his youthful optimism and certainly we have seen that social media can indeed make a difference in politics.