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The Trouble with Islam Today

A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith
Narrated by: Irshad Manji
Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, World Affairs
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of Oprah's first "Chutzpah Award" for boldness, Irshad Manji is among the world's most visible - and vocal - Muslim reformers. In this audiobook, narrated by her, Irshad explains the disturbing attitudes with which too many of her fellow Muslims practice Islam today: Arab cultural tribalism posing as pure faith. An uncritical approach to the Quran as the final and therefore superior word of God. And a rejection of universal human rights as if they are incompatible with the Divine.

As a faithful Muslim, Irshad shows that Islam has the raw material to rectify these injustices. Irshad offers a practical vision of how reform-minded Muslim can empower women, promote respect for religious minorities and foster a competition of ideas. This vision builds on "ijtihad" (ij-tee-had), Islam's lost tradition of independent thinking. Irshad Manji's message for Muslims and non-Muslims? Dare to ask questions - out loud. In this audiobook, her voice rings clearly, compassionately, and passionately. You will love the musical surprises, too!

©2011 Irshad Manjii (P)2011 Mosaic Media

Critic Reviews

“[Irshad Manji] is Osama Bin Laden’s worst nightmare.” ( The New York Times)
“One of the most hard-hitting analyses of Islam to appear since the September 11 attacks.” ( Philadelphia Inquirer)

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  • Elan Sun Star
  • 12-03-2019

A much needed dialogue

I am in love with this book and Irshad.
I grew up in the so called "Christian World" parents and family church and hypocrisy on a level that truly failed to employ reason or altruism nor the principles of the very teacher that Christianity was supposed to represent and embody...
As a global photographer for decades I was invited by the king of Malaysia in 1985 and stayed for a month in a country that I fell in love with,...the people, the culture, and the flora and fruit trees and forests...We took 3 days and 10 royal jets from the Malaysian Air force and the top 6 military leaders (all gardeners and horticulturists with NO war experience or interest in it) and we visited the Sultan of Brunei , who at the time was the wealthiest man in the world. I photographed a windsurfing event. (the King was a windsurfer that had all of his boards shaped in Hawaii and delivered in person from someone in Hawaii .. When I arrived in Singapore on a special flight the King of Malaysia (The Sultan of Johore) had a limo pick me up and escort me to Kuala Lumpur and the royal castle... where I was a guest for many royal dinners and some revealing conversations with the King and the Royal prince.
As a photographer I was in a heavenly realm of architecture and kind and open people, souls who understood the meaning of
universal brotherhood and kindness, much more so than the prejudiced society I grew up with ....And as a raw foods vegan I was in another level of joy, consisting of forests and orchards and gardens of some of the world's most diverse and rare fruits and flowers. I have read many many biographies of the world's horticulturists that brought us thousands of fruits and plants including Luther Burbank and David Fairchild....and a book entitled "The Fruit Hunters" about the people, mostly enthusiasts and fruit connoisseurs and fruit tree experts from the around the world that search for fruit species to bring back to their country as David Fairchild did in the late 1800's, about 20,000 plant/food varieties to be exact..and the history of what Luther Burbank did in the same period in southern California. So when I was face to face with the incredible plant diversity and the people of Malaysia that grew fruit trees and the market sellers of rare fruits like durians and cherimoyas and mangosteens and rare mangos and cherries I was in my version of heavenly happiness.
During the entire time I was in Malaysia, over a month I walked the streets and markets and visited galleries and museums and was hosted by citizens who were some of the nicest people I have ever met in the world and I have traveled the world globally many times as a photographer and writer.
I had a vision at the time that I would eventually come back one day and speak to the King and the Sultan about developing the incredible potential for eco tourism that the plants and fruits offered to the then emerging eco sensitive pioneers and also to the gustatory demands of the vegan raw foods enthusiasts known as fruitarians whose diet consisted of primarily fruit and raw foods...That movement has to date become the fastest growing in the world as heart specialists and Doctors promote and demand a vegan diet for heart health and disease reversal.. being in Malaysia and Borneo.Brunei was a dream come true and all paid for by the Royal family. Never once did I ever think "I am in a Muslim country" in fact when the king said it may not be wise to be walking around the streets to markets especially at night I told him I adored the people I had been meeting and sharing with...in my adventure and explorations.
So , from personal experience I found that no matter what muslim country I found myself in when traveling, the people were not only congenial, but went out of their way to be hospitable and nourishing... for years I had wanted to be one of those who brought a new synthesis of global fellowship between different cultures and varying beliefs....Because we all have more in common than we don't have in common, being on the same planet with the same issues . I had also experienced through my life that regardless of any one religion, there are those who think theirs is the only way and no one else mattered.

We are at a point in our growth now as planetary humans that we MUST absolutely and together face our mutual needs and desires and support each other rather than being antagonistic to each other because some silly dogma said we must.
it is precisely because we are now at a time when as global citizens we must face the fact that we have to cooperate and assist each other regardless of culture or faith and assist in making earth OUR home, meaning all of us,..not one religion.

So I have immensely enjoyed the books by Irshad Manji and the message they convey of an intelligent wold citizen who happened to be labeled as "Muslim" but was rather a free spirit and intelligent critical thinker….

This book and the other book book she wrote about islam and its need for new values are among my favorite of thousands of audiobooks I own... The principles they embody are essential in understanding our mutual need to cooperate and truly live the love and kindness the founders of certain faiths taught. listen to this book and enjoy the opening of the heart of a sustainable global shift from the roots up.

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  • average consumer
  • 19-11-2018

You can’t fix a broken dream

Religion is a great hobby but please don’t take it too seriously. The book read like a good undergraduate paper and the author’s performance felt like a 14-year-old. After about an hour I was cringing every time another gotcha fridge came out. She just couldn’t stop smiling at her own jokes. I imagine it plays well to the university crowd.

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  • Rev. David B. Smith
  • 10-07-2015

An excellent and inspiring work!

Irshad Manji is as insightful as she is refreshing!

While I think she overly downplays the role her country (North America) has played in the persecution of Muslims, her self-critical questioning from within the Muslim community is a sign of great hope for the future.

May she become a beacon for others to follow - not so that'll may share her conclusions but they they might have the courage to ask the same probing questions.

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  • steamer.ssf
  • 13-12-2016

Must Read for Muslims

I thought this to be a profound manifesto on the problems with Islam today and what must be done to reform for the sake of human rights and dignity (especially for Muslims). She makes very astute observations on how Desert Arabic tribalism of the 7th century "foundalism" had hijacked the political-religious-culture of Islam today which has caused it to be the most repressive, intolerant, bloodiest (especially how Muslims kill other Muslims) movements since Nazi Germany. The author's proposal has promise to release human potential for all Muslims and change to a culture of "building society & family" as opposed to tearing down...something to live for. Great book!

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  • Jamie Fairchild
  • 10-05-2016

Very enlightening despite the contrarian view

Overall well researched and thoughtful.
One negative is that the author is a contrarian on steroids. Sometimes her choice of words while on the correct side of argument, is too one sided. About halfway through the book I found myself being guarded about the views and this is a shame because I think the author is mostly correct (but can make mountain from molehill).

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  • J S
  • 14-10-2012

Non-stop rant from an angry l*sb**n

Would you try another book from Irshad Manji and/or Irshad Manji?

I bet you think I'm yet another fundie terrorist writing this review. Hardly! I qualify for the title refusenik too. I grew up muslim but semi-abandoned it after a much soul searching and research. Yes, most of Islam is man-made crap. Yes, lots of muslims are inflexible and narrow-minded. Yes, muslims accuse Israel but really should get their own house in order. Yes, yes, yes - I agree with much of what Irshad Manji says.

So, why do I hate this book?

Very simply, it reads like a long rant. Ms Manji offers nothing. She just comes across as angry and uninterested in finding the truth or some higher understanding. She just wants to rant and let you the reader know she's angry. On and on it goes. Well, I got it. Sometimes a rose is just a rose and a book is just a rant from an angry lesbian.

I'll say this though, Ms Manji is a good narrator.

Would you ever listen to anything by Irshad Manji again?

Never again.

What does Irshad Manji bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her energy and presence.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointed. I was expecting more from this popular author.

Any additional comments?

This book is an utter waste of time. It is not a scholarly or balanced critique of its subject, Islam.

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  • Stephanie
  • 06-02-2012

I met the author once and was curious...

I like the author but knew very little about the subject matter. I now really like the author and I know a little more about Muslims. I'm looking forward to future audiobooks from Irshad.

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  • FM
  • 07-01-2015

Great reflection in Islam and the world

This is the type of conversation we need to be having in our world today.

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  • Majnaj
  • 24-02-2016

Nothing Original

Would you try another book written by Irshad Manji or narrated by Irshad Manji?

No

Would you ever listen to anything by Irshad Manji again?

No

What three words best describe Irshad Manji’s performance?

Condescending and arrogant

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None

Any additional comments?

Only managed to get half way through this book before realising that life is too short to waste on such trite nonsense. There is nothing significantly original or worthwhile here. Basically, it is the expected vilification of Islam and the Arabs but with a twist. Where does blatant promotion of Israel enter into this debate? You work that one out. For a more intelligent, objective read try Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Brilliant.

1 person found this helpful