Book reviews

(Deutsch) Rezension: The Islamist: Why I joined radical Islam in Britain, what I saw inside and why I left

Mohamed M. Husain’s book is a protest against political Islam. It is based on his own experience as a British Muslim of Indian descent who grew up in London, rebelled against the traditional Islam of his parents and became an extremist. He eventually saw the error of his concepts and activities. The book is captivating and extremely timely. Why are young educated British Muslims becoming extremists?

Stefan Wild: God, Man and Prophet in the Koran

Wild’s essay provides a clearlywritten and useful summary of the Koranic view of God and human beings. His discussion of Islamic and non-Islamic concepts of revelation brings out clearly the immense gulf which continues to separate the two positions.

Christoph Burgmer (Ed.): The Koran in Dispute. The Luxenberg Thesis: The Debate so Far

The year 2000 saw the pseudonymous publication of “The Reading of the Koran” setting out Christoph Luxenberg’s thesis that certain passages of the Koran should be understood not according to the Arabic sense of the words but to an underlying Syriac-Aramaic sense, thereby giving the Koran a whole new meaning.

The noble Qur’an and the translation of its meaning into the German language

Always remembering that according to the tenets of Islam the text of the Koran can never legitimately be translated, only its “meaning” (p. xi), this is certainly the most significant Islamic Arabic-German version to date, even if the Introduction (p. xii) implies at the first glance it is the first ever by completely passing over the Ahmadiyya translation which has been available for decades.

Günter Kettermann: Atlas on the History of Islam

This is not only an atlas with numerous maps that illustrate the history of Islam from its origins through the modern age. At the same time it uses numerous articles, charts and pictures to convey much more information about Islam in the Near and Middle East, in Europe and North Africa than the title would allow one to assume.

Ursula Neumann (Ed.): Islamic Theology: International Contributions to the Hamburg Debate

This book presents a debate from March 2001 that dealt with the issue of establishing a professorship for Islamic Theology at the University of Hamburg. By way of this professorship Muslim teachers would receive academic training in Islam; thus, it was thought, leaders of mosques (Imams), teachers at Koran schools and religion teachers would be trained in Germany.

Hans Zehetmair (Ed): Islam in Tension between Conflict and Dialogue

The Berlin Wall no longer exists, and Hans Zehetmair hopes that there will not be any insurmountable hindrance between Islam and Europe in the future. The chairman of the “Hanns Seidel Foundation” has edited a collection of essays, which aims at offering background information as a necessary tool for those who want to build bridges between the Orient and the Occident.