Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

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Review: The Hijab Boutique, by Michelle Khan

20/09/2011

Originally posted on Luxury Reading September 16, 2011.

“Some people feel that it is the duty of foreigners to fit in, or they may even feel a bit threatened by hijab…when people ask questions I use the opportunity to spread the word and message of Islam.”

Farah Khan is an only child who lives with her widowed mother, a hijabi, and attends an all-girls private school with her best friend Ashanti. When her teacher gives a class assignment to bring in something representing the girls’ mothers, Farah panics because her mother isn’t a singer or an actress or a dancer; in fact, the only unique thing she sees about her mother is the scarf she wears around her head.

Michelle Khan’s first children’s book, The Hijab Boutique, is a quick read with a deep and resounding message. In it she explores the origins of hijab as well as what it means for the modern Muslim woman to veil herself; how the veil is portrayed in Western culture; and even the sartorial qualities available to hijabi. What’s more, she shows great empathy for families rebuilding after the loss of a loved one so that children can truly understand the message.

I’m excited to have such a simple yet profound story to share with my nieces, and any other girl who cares to read and learn a meaningful lesson about inner strength, faith, and womanhood through another’s eyes.

Rating: 5/5

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by The Islamic Foundation. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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60-Second Review: Beyond Fundamentalism

29/01/2011

I like to read Reza Aslan’s columns on the Daily Beast’s Web site. So, I decided that my first purchase from my nookbook wish list would be the re-release of his book, Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization (originally published as How to Win a Cosmic War).

This is a must-read for anybody really seeking to understand the underlying dynamics of the Jihadist movement, how it differs from the Islamist movement, and in what ways it really is similar to some other social movements in the United States with which we are familiar — the “us v. them” argument is as firmly entrenched in Western society as it has been in every society since the beginning of time, and Aslan uses the history of Islam and of Islamic politics to illustrate the cosmic nature of Jihadism.

What is perhaps most important about Beyond Fundamentalism is that Aslan’s efforts to understand the beliefs, ideas, and adherents of Jihadism gives them back the humanity they lose when our own government makes them enemies in a “War on Terror” that seems more and more like a war on otherness — a war that nobody can ever win.

Last ten seconds: If you consider yourself a conservative or do not believe that Muslims (or any other group) are equally worthy of consideration, then you will most likely not appreciate this book. You should pick it up anyway, though, because you might (crossing fingers here) learn something.

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