Sharia is by now a term that most Americans and Europeans recognize, though few really understand what it means. Often portrayed as a medieval system used by religious zealots to oppress women and deny human rights, conservative politicians, media commentators, and hardline televangelists stoke fear by promoting the idea that Muslims want to impose a repressive Sharia rule in America and Europe. Despite the breadth of this propaganda, a majority of Muslims-men and women-support Sharia as a source of law. In fact, for many centuries Sharia has functioned for Muslims as a positive source of guidance, providing a moral compass for individuals and society. This critical new book by John L. Esposito and Natana Delong-Bas aims to serve as a guide for what everybody needs to know in the conversation about Sharia, responding to misunderstandings and distortions, and offering answers to questions about the origin, nature, and content of Sharia.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 598 g
Dimensions: 216 x 145 x 27 mm
"This book could not be more timely. It provides a clear, lucid and scholarly guide to Shariah which should shatter the ignorant myths that surround it with an aura of evil. If we wish to win hearts and minds it is essential that we learn what is actually in them and not rely on what we imagine might be there. This eminently accessible introduction will help people to do just that." --Karen Armstrong, author of Islam: A Short History
"The authors balance a big-picture perspective of the origins and place of sharia in Muslim societies ... Some of the best sections discuss the similarities and differences among the five major Islamic legal schools of interpretation, a look into contemporary polling data on Muslim opinions, and a broad review of how injunctions from scripture and tradition have been applied or misapplied around the world." -- Publishers Weekly
"This volume offers a much needed discussion of hotly debated issues such as the status of women, gender issues, family life, freedom, human rights, war, jihad, peace, criminal law, and justice in light of shar 'ah ... Though it is purposefully written for the awareness of the general public, it is still recommended for students, political analysts, policy makers, and religious leaders in the West as well as elsewhere in the world." -- Reading Religion, American Academy of Religion
"An excellent introductory discussion of Shariah ... Like other books in Oxford's What Everyone Needs to Know series, the question-answer format makes this work easy to reference and focuses the user's reading." -- Booklist
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