Defying Fundamentalism
Book Review

Moghissi, Haideh

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/03/2014
Year Published:  2014  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20385

A review of "Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism" By Karima Bennoune.



The post-9/11 "war on terror," and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, have provoked more interest in Islam. To some people Islam has come to represent the ideology of liberation from the yoke of Western imperialism; to others it is a backward and inherently violent faith targeting innocent individuals indiscriminately.

Many questions are also raised as to what is distinctive about Islam that so powerfully define the life choices of so many people within and outside the Muslim-majority countries: Is Islam a religion or a political ideology? Does Islam promote violence? And what are the regional and global implications of the rise of Islamist militancy?

Karima Bennoune's Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here does not try to respond to these questions by discussing the philosophical, moralist or the legalist tenets of Islam, the debates and divisions within Islamic civilization, or the root causes of the growing fundamentalist power and influence.

The book has a different goal. Concerned with the rising Jihadist fundamentalism on one hand, and increasing discrimination against Muslims following 9/11 on the other, and having in mind the question repeated by many commentators -- "Why don’t Muslims speak out?" -- Bennoune documents the voices of Muslims in various ways victimized by Islamic fundamentalists, and who have indeed spoken out.

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