➪ Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue Read ➲ Author Sam Harris – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk

Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue In This Deeply Informed And Absorbing Exchange, Sam Harris And Maajid Nawaz Present An Antidote To The Polarizing Rhetoric And Obscurantism That Have Become Defining Features Of Our Time Honest Dialogue A Renowned Critic Of Religion, Harris Finds The Doctrines Of Islam Dangerous And Irredeemable No, The Muslim Anti Extremist Nawaz Argues, Islam Is Amenable To Reform And Can Find Its Place In A Secular World Rather Than Devolve Into Bigotry Or Caricature, Their Exchange Presents An Inspiring Example Of Courteous Attention, Sharp Edged Wisdom, And Finally HopeA Former Member Of The Islamist Revolutionary Group Hizb Ut Tahrir, Author Of Radical, And Cofounder Of The Anti Extremist Think Tank Quilliam, Nawaz Speaks With Unique Authority About The Possibility Of Islamic Reform Since The Publication Of The End Of Faith, Harris Has Critiqued Religion And Asserted That Reason And Science Are The True Guardians Of Our Deepest Human Values Islam And The Future Of Tolerance Is An Exemplar Of How The Fog Can Lift When Hyperbole And Posturing Are Put Aside In Pursuit Of UnderstandingGuided By A Mutual Commitment To The Belief That No Idea Is Above Scrutiny And No People Beneath Dignity, Harris And Nawaz Challenge Each Other, And Consequently Their Readers, To Defend Incompatible Positions, Define And Explore Their Facts, And Discover Common Ground Published With The Explicit Hope To Inspire Many Such Conversations, This Dialogue Extends An Invitation To A World Riven By Violence To Take Up The Task Of Engagement


10 thoughts on “Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue

  1. says:

    A fantastic conversation between a secular humanist and a liberal Muslim Totally apart from the subject matter, it is an incredible example of what is possible when dialogue is entered in good faith with the desire to hear and understand the intentions of your dialogue partner On the subject of Islamism and jihadism, it is a fantastic, brief, and nuanced conversation Mr Harris raises issues very thoughtful and Mr Nawaz responds deftly and with depth The two don t always agree on every poin A fantastic conversation between a secular humanist and a liberal Muslim Totally apart from the subject matter, it is an incredible example of what is possible when dialogue is entered in good faith with the desire to hear and understand the intentions of your dialogue partner On the subject of Islamism and jihadism, it is a fantastic, brief, and nuanced conversation Mr Harris raises issues very thoughtful and Mr Nawaz responds deftly and with depth The two don t always agree on every point but you can see that they are both changing for the better Highly recommended


  2. says:

    Islam,than ever today, needs dialogue and open discussion as to its role in the social and political lives of its followers This debate between Maajid Nawaz, a muslim who is trying to de radicalize Muslims, and Sam Harris, an anti theist, who openly criticizes Islam for being Intolerant and Not a religion of peace.The book is in the form of a constructive debate, as to the origins and future of Tolerance Intolerance in Islam The problem is not a simple one Islam has many narratives, Islam,than ever today, needs dialogue and open discussion as to its role in the social and political lives of its followers This debate between Maajid Nawaz, a muslim who is trying to de radicalize Muslims, and Sam Harris, an anti theist, who openly criticizes Islam for being Intolerant and Not a religion of peace.The book is in the form of a constructive debate, as to the origins and future of Tolerance Intolerance in Islam The problem is not a simple one Islam has many narratives, Maajid s narrative is one of tolerance, peace, interfaith harmony etc and he quotes many scholars who interpreted Islam rather liberally But unfortunately, the narrative that goes on in the mosques or Madrassah s is, in most cases, far from tolerant or inclusive Maajid s is an uphill struggle, as when Harris points out, that why the book of GOD open to such extreme and barbaric interpretations Could God not have sent down something that was suitable for all times and not just for the tribal Arab culture To this Maajid again tries to find anomalies in certain texts, and doesn t come up with a coherent answer Still, the point that he raises, which is that Islamism as an idea needs to be countered is very critical His stand that No idea is above scrutiny, and religionso is something that I strongly believe in Although the book doesn t add anything new to the discussion, it was still a good effort by the two authors What Muslims need to do, is to form a strong, coherent counter narrative that upholds tolerance, religious harmony and peace Islam is in danger, not because of being weak or for not being upheld righteously enough, but because an extreme interpretation of the text has become rather mainstream, and is played upon by everyone, from Jihadis to CIA The young and educated are either being disenchanted by it, or radicalized There is a strong need to give it some stability through a narrative that is relevant, peaceful andinclusive I personally believe that, Muslims will have to forego the desire to rule the world and turn the hell bound infidels into Muslims They will have to content themselves with the fact that faith is a private matter, and that political Islam is not a solution but a hurdle that is stagnating progress and peace


  3. says:

    Maajid Nawaz, despite his numerous flaws, still manages at times to be a smart and interesting thinker Harris on the other hand truly appears to be the lucky undergraduate that David Bentley Hart said he was There does not appear to be any intellectual content to anything he says then some pearl clutching middle aged white conservative whining His repeated expressions of emboldened stupidity, alternatively contradicting himself or being baldly heinous he laments at one point the alleged ov Maajid Nawaz, despite his numerous flaws, still manages at times to be a smart and interesting thinker Harris on the other hand truly appears to be the lucky undergraduate that David Bentley Hart said he was There does not appear to be any intellectual content to anything he says then some pearl clutching middle aged white conservative whining His repeated expressions of emboldened stupidity, alternatively contradicting himself or being baldly heinous he laments at one point the alleged overfocus on the Chapel Hill murders of three Muslim students , is his most notable contribution to this ridiculous pamphlet.This book is literally two people chit chatting for 100 pages, without any real structure or definition How self absorbed or arrogant one would have to be to publish such a thing escapes me The readlist was also a laugh, judging from that and the sourcing Harris doesn t seem to grasp the fact his entire worldview was shaped by neoconservative fringe writers In one unintentionally comic moment he even starts expounding incorrectly, unsurprisingly about Taqiyya.Admittedly didn t have high expectations for this book and thus I was not really disappointed Even if you are a fan of these two, do not waste your money This is a glorified conversation transcript which any rational person should have been embarrassed to put their name on


  4. says:

    Could not put the short book down It is inspiring to see such calm and thoughtful dialogue on such an important topic of our time.


  5. says:

    What s this A productive, cordial dialogue between two thinkers who might otherwise have been on opposite sides of the debate stage Don t these men know it s not cool to engage with ideas any Don t they know there are fixed teams insulated in their respective echo chambers and that everyone must choose, lest they fall on the wrong side of history for failing to sufficiently signalize their virtues This kind of dialogue is among the most important of our time Not because it will necessar What s this A productive, cordial dialogue between two thinkers who might otherwise have been on opposite sides of the debate stage Don t these men know it s not cool to engage with ideas any Don t they know there are fixed teams insulated in their respective echo chambers and that everyone must choose, lest they fall on the wrong side of history for failing to sufficiently signalize their virtues This kind of dialogue is among the most important of our time Not because it will necessarily solve the issues under discussion, but because having conversations of this kind in any capacity has become taboo among some circles in western discourse Some leftists tacitly endorse the conquering slaughter for the glory of Allah by making dubious excuses of political grievance, claims of bigotry on the part of victims as their bullet riddled corpses and limbs lay scattered about, and irrelevant historical comparisons implemented as an evasion to draw attention from what we are facing as a civilization at this time in history Nawaz and Harris are both knowledgeable, articulate, and share many concerns over the unique problem of what Nawaz calls a global Jihadist Insurgency Their differences, of course, given this unique problem, concern the appropriate ways in which it should be addressed, or confronted This is the kind of book which, regardless of one s position regarding its contents, will undoubtedly burn some bridges Like Harris, I am not deliberately provocative I am not someone who particularly relishes in confrontation, but some principles are worth defending Freedom of expression, artistic or otherwise, is chief among those that are Just because such a thing as fear mongering exists, doesn t mean rational, legitimate concerns deserve to be conflated with it A concern over the very real threat of global jihadism is not a phobia Criticism of border policies which allow for said threat toeasily extend its reach throughout the world is not a phobia A phobia is an irrational fear I apologize if it s patronizing to point this out, but the accusations of racism and Islamophobia have reached ad absurdum, with surreal situations in which actors scream it at public intellectuals on panelized talk shows, or in which Muslim reformers, or ex Muslim activists helping oppressed people to escape their truly patriarchal society are being denounced by Islamic apologists and white liberals as harboring, or internalizing Islamophobia The Islamists campaign is succeeding with the bizarre aid of western regressive thinkers The term regressive left, coined by Majiid Nawaz, has caught, stuck, and spread like, well, like regressive ideas themselves And those to whom the term applies are already sick to death of hearing it I understand why Any buzz word or phrase can become overused and tiresome, but in this case it is tremendously powerful because it accurately describes those who would sooner defend murderers of cartoonists than reformers putting their lives on the line to fight against Islamism and jihadism When you accuse someone of Islamophobia for criticizing ideas, you are throwing reformers, secularists, and freethinkers in the Islamic world under the bus Western liberalism has failed religious minorities in the Islamic world Islamism, jihadism, terrorism these are global problems with potential and if we choose to ignore them, inevitable global consequences, so I vehemently reject any notion that I, as a westerner, have no right to criticize these ideas I am by no means the best one to do it, but that is why people who have experience living under Islamism, or who are living under threat from terrorism and speak out anyway, should be promoted and supported, not denounced as rabble rousers who, if harm comes to them in their pursuits, may deserve to be implicated in their own murder The problem of Islam is not confined to Islamic societies, though Muslims of a wrong denomination are the most frequent victims I agree with Nawaz when he says Islamism should be crushed ideologically That is the war of ideas which should be waged intellectually Exhibiters of jihadi terrorism, however, must be annihilated before they get their chance to wreak havoc on innocent people.Bear in mind that Maajid Nawaz still an observant, if not particularly devout Muslim received the Islamophobe of the year award from The Islamic Human Rights Commission, as did Charlie Hebdo just weeks after its offices were attacked, its staff slaughtered, by jihadists The IHRC claimed that these awards are reciprocal satire, but there is no irony or wit involved in them They re about as substantial as The Razzies, if there were fundamentalist film lovers who would avenge cinema by killing those they considered to be poor actors But whatever, it s all still free speech I m merely criticizing their criticism of Maajid s and Charlie Hebdo s criticisms of Islam, which is a superior form of engagement note the absence of gunfire and explosions to what jihadists do I personally find it distasteful to tar and feather dead people who were killed for the precise reason you are tarring and feathering them Sure, they had the right to draw the prophet, but did they have to do it Sure, they died for expressing their freedom, but that doesn t make them any less culpable in the heinous act of drawing pictures some people don t like For people who would otherwise always be against blaming the victim, the regressive apologists sure like to do it in these kinds of situations Up with this mentality any longer, we can no longer afford to put We are sharing a planet with people who would kill themselves and other non combatant civilians for imagined religious grievances and the world is growing smaller and smaller, not only on account of the internet, but because of destructive technology that can be pilfered fromcivilized, enlightened people and annexed to, say, the Islamic State s imperialistic, death cult ideology Never let anyone undermine the freedom to criticize bad ideas, resist self censorship for the sake of appeasing others, or fear of backlash I m admonishing myself as much as offering advice to others As the late Christopher Hitchens said, Resist while you still can


  6. says:

    In this book Harris and Nawaz provide a commendable example of respectful debate between opposing views of religion Harris, a renowned critic of religion in his book The End of Faith, has expounded the position that the doctrines of Islam are dangerous and irredeemable Hizb ut Tahrir, author of the book Radical, defends the possibility of Islamic reform.Harris has argued that growth in Islamic extremism is inevitable given that their texts leave little room for peaceful interpretation, whereas In this book Harris and Nawaz provide a commendable example of respectful debate between opposing views of religion Harris, a renowned critic of religion in his book The End of Faith, has expounded the position that the doctrines of Islam are dangerous and irredeemable Hizb ut Tahrir, author of the book Radical, defends the possibility of Islamic reform.Harris has argued that growth in Islamic extremism is inevitable given that their texts leave little room for peaceful interpretation, whereas Nawaz counters that the history of Islam is rich with alternate readings that provide a solid foundation from which moderate Muslims can reclaim their faith from their bloodier counterparts These two positions are stated clearly, and the reader is left with the freedom to decide with which side they agree.I have included below an extended excerpt from the book in which Harris explains the problem faced by all religious moderates whether they be Christian, Jewish or Moslem I have included it here in my review because it is a criticism that can be directed against me since I am willing to be identified with the label of moderate What Harris is saying here is consistent with what he said in his book The End of Faith. However, in the final paragraph of the excerpt Harris admits the impracticality of asking all religious moderates to renounce their faith and become atheists like him To that extent I believe that Harris participating in this conversation with Nawaz has caused him to moderate his stated position by accepting the idea that moderate religious faith provides a position toward which extremists or fundamentalist can be incrementally moved Harris The tensions you ve been describing are familiar to all religious moderates, but they seem especially onerous under Islam The problem is that moderates of all faiths are committed to reinterpreting, or ignoring outright, the most dangerous and absurd parts of their scripture and this commitment is precisely what makes them moderates But it also requires some degree of intellectual dishonesty, because moderates can t acknowledge that their moderation comes from outside the faith The doors leading out of the prison of scriptural literalism simply do not open from the inside In the twenty first century, the moderate s commitment to scientific rationality, human rights, gender equality, and every other modern value values that, as you say, are potentially universal for human being comes from the past thousand years of human progress, much of which was accomplished in spite of religion, not because of it so when moderates claim to find their modern, ethical commitments within scripture, it looks like an exercise in self deception The truth is that most of our modern values are antithetical to the specific teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam And where we do find these values expressed in our holy books, they are almost never best expressed there.Moderates seem unwilling to grapple with the fact that all scriptures contain an extraordinary amount of stupidity and barbarism that can always be rediscovered and made holy anew by fundamentalists and there s no principle of moderation internal to the faith that prevents this These fundamentalist readings are, almost by definition,complete and consistent and, therefore,honest The fundamentalist picks up the book and says, Okay, I m just going to read every word of this and do my best to understand what God wants from me I ll leave my personal biases completely out of it Conversely, every moderate seems to believe that his interpretation and selective reading of scripture isaccurate than God s literal words Presumably, god could have written these books any way He wanted And if He wanted them to be understood in the spirit of twenty first century secular rationality, He could have left out all those bits about stoning people to death for adultery or witchcraft It really isn t hard to write a book that prohibits sexual slavery you just put in a few lines like Don t take sex slaves and when you fight a war and take prisoners, as you inevitably will, don t rape any of the And yet God couldn t seem to manage it This is why the approach of a group like the Islamic state holds a certain intellectual appeal which, admittedly, sounds strange to say because the most straightforward reading of scripture suggests that Allah advises jihadists to take sex slaves from among the conquered, decapitate their enemies, and so forth I want to be clear that when I used terms such as pretense and intellectual dishonesty when we first met, I wasn t casting judgment on you personally Simply living with the moderate s dilemma may be the only way forward, because the alternative would be to radically edit these books I m not such an idealist as to imagine that will happen We can t say, Listen, you barbarians These holy books of yours are filled with murderous nonsense In the interests of getting you to behave like civilized human beings, we re going to redact them and give you back something that reads like Kahlil Gibran There you go Don t you feel better now that you no longer hate homosexuals However, that s really what one should be able to do in any intellectual tradition in the twenty first century Again, this problem confronts religious moderates everywhere, but it s an excruciating problem for Muslims p65 69 Potential readers of this book need to be alerted to the fact that the Audible.com edition of this book has a one hour twenty two minute 2hr 18min original book, 3hr 40min total length audio epilog that is not included the print edition I don t know if the Kindle version has it, or if there are any second edition versions that include it This epilog contains reactions of both Harris and Nawaz to the questions and comments that were received from readers of the print edition


  7. says:

    I haven t seen any good or merely functional argument to support the idea that any god may actually exist or have existed and i really doubt that the alleged existence of any god can be morally defensable I generally despise all religions not only because the ratio between religion and war is too high to be ignored but also because religion makes extraordinary claims about the nature of reality that were never proven, hence the need of faith As late Hitchens reminded what was asserted with I haven t seen any good or merely functional argument to support the idea that any god may actually exist or have existed and i really doubt that the alleged existence of any god can be morally defensable I generally despise all religions not only because the ratio between religion and war is too high to be ignored but also because religion makes extraordinary claims about the nature of reality that were never proven, hence the need of faith As late Hitchens reminded what was asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence Further it seems the best religion can provide is an easy answer about fear of death or maybeaccurately an easy answer to the difficulties of having a good life Therefore it was with high skepticism that i approached this book, both Harris and Nawaz make good points, however i wassurprised by those provided by Maajid Nawaz, a liberal democrat muslim and ex islamist, imprisioned in Egypt for his support to a caliphate between 2002 and 2006, that has since then made a 180 turn in his life from Islamism to Classic Liberal values as can be read in his autobiography Radical On a side note, i also reccomend Ed Husain s The Islamist Nawaz s arguments actually convinced me there is a solution to jihadist terrorism and managed to change some preassumptions i had about this problem, even though it also confirmed most of what i thought about Islamism and Jihadism and in a sense about religion as a whole.I won t detail here any of Harris arguments, a famous secularist anti theist, because most of them are pretty much similar to mine and can be found in his The End of Faith, the aim of this dialogue isn t discussing claims about metaphysics per se but actually challenge the the ideology supporting jihadist beliefs Nawaz has 3 important distinctions a Islam is a religion b Islamism is the attempt of imposing any given version of Islam to the rest of the world c Jihadism is the use of force to impose Islamism He argues in favour of secularism separation between state and religion and makes a compelling case for the reformation of the interpretation of his religion to be compatible with human rights google Muslim Reform Movements i also add that i am certain that the reformation of Sunna i.e the way Islam is teached through oral tradition has to be reformed as well and that all of us who don t want a global jihadist civil war trying to force us to live in a caliphate to start to get involved in this challenge.Nawaz stands that the main problem is Islamism and Jihadism that have to be defeated or, as he puts it, be physically and morally bankrupt He also argues that Islam needs reform because several parts of it are incompatible with the 21st century, in addition there isn t just one version of Islam but several versions and in many cases conflicting Usually verses in the Qu ran are interpreted individually by most muslims and many versicles of the Qu ran are contradicted by the hadith the compilation of alleged words of God through Mohammed s mouth via Gabriel , i won t discuss here the metaphysical aspects of it maily because it isn t the most relevant aspect of this book, although it should be clear that any religion claiming that one guy hearing the voice of God himself via an Angel sound pretty much like the late Seymour Hoffman s character in The Master i.e., a deluded person with a distorted and malicious sense of morality Another important distinction made in this book is The Voldemort Effect.Nawaz taking the term from J K Rowling argues that one of the difficulties about challeging this ideology is the inability to name the problem explicitly separating Islam as a whole and the political interpretion of Islam that jihadists and islamists do, the main problem, he argues, is islamism and islamism can and must be challenged and defeated Many regressive liberals and leftists keep calling it vaguely as extremism and denying that has something to do with Islam although not everything Most keep insisting that Islam is a religion of peace when this contradicts basic observable realities in our world as violence made in name of Allah As some ex muslims friends of mine joke, if Islam is a religion of peace, why isn t its extreme version extremely peaceful Jihadists kill in name of Allah, homicides have theological support in many quranic suras iand there s around 129 verses in the Qu ran explicitly appealing to violence as chopping hands However the main problem with the inability to name islamism, rather than Islam as a whole, as the ideological support for jihadism is that it helps to confuse and mix in the same bag muslims who are peaceful, and ignore or reject violent aspects of their religion, with those other muslims who are violent as islamists and jihadists, thus favouring islamists, jihadists and, ironically, right wing bigots by implicitly letting non muslims believe that all muslims identify themselves with terrorism, which is not the case, muslims are usually the first target of jihadism, which suggests that dissent within muslim majority countries do exist and must be supported The tendency for the Voldemort effect can be noted in several issues, for instance the attempt of changing, in western countries, the term ISIS to DA ESh, that makes no difference whatsoever to any person who speak arabic, because Da esh is the exact same arabic equivalent for ISIS ISIS is the english translation of Da esh This mantain persons in ignorance and fear, add to that the purpose seems to avoid any connections with Islam by installing a tabu preventing any criticism of a religion that must have no special status in secular democratic societies and must be criticized as every other religion One reason to this trend seems to be ignorance about the religion, another reason seems to be politically correctness, for example The term Islamophobia is not only disingenuous how can one have fear of Islam if is supposed to be peaceful but unhelpful and a political weapon thrown at those who criticize Islam Islamophobia is a word the late Charb from Charlie Hebdo already claimed that suited best the interests of Islamists and Jihadists by suggesting that anti muslim bigotry a term that would identify better the target of hate is the same as criticizing religion anti muslim bigotry or muslimophobia for those who are so keen to phobias are much better options to identify the problem, islamophobia is a bogus word used to silence any critique of Islam by equating legitimate criticism of Islam with racism and this is a very stupid and dangerous idea Islam is a religion not a race Muslims, as any other person, can be target of bigotry and violence, Islam can t Islam is a set of ideas that must be challenged as any other without special status As is stated in this book No idea is above scrutiny, no person is underneath dignity In the book it is argued, among several other issues, that the various sects that exist within Islam Sunni, Shias, Sufi, ahmadis, etc have different interpretations about several relevant issues there isn t just one right interpretation of the meaning of the verses of Qu ran, if those different divisions within muslim majority are pushed by criticism it may eventually lead to pluralism and secularism due the lack of a central religious authority has it happens in catholicism.To finish, let me say that few of those who have seen the increase of jihadist terrorism in the last decades believe the task laying ahead of us, ending islamism and turn Islam compatible with 21st century, will be easy or rapidly attainable, or that it doesn t have its dangers To be fair it is the opposite It will be slow and have tremendous difficulties However the task that lays ahead, for muslims and non muslims, is vital to preserve our lives, universal secular values and the plurality of ideas that modern democracies have reached in the last centuries at the cost of endless lives P S Maajid Nawaz supports lgbt rights, Israel right to exist, condemns anti semitism, and urges that instead of trying to deny the problem islamism a.k.a as Political Islam or denying Islamism has something to do with Islam we would be doing a much better work if we clearly stated that the problem is Islamism the political ideology that gives theological support to jihadism therefore we, regardless of having religious beliefs or not, who don t support any violence toward innocent people must combine forces and challenge the ideology Islamism In addition we also have to challenge regressive liberals and or regressive leftists those alleged liberal democrats or socialists supposedly trying to protect minority rights while suffering from accute Voldemort Effect, extreme political correctness, and double standards regarding human rights, by not naming the problem islamism and denying any link with Islam, regressive liberals and leftists put in danger the lives of liberal muslims that are trying to reform Islam from within, the minorities within the minortities, not to mention the rest of the world, by mantaining double standards a form of bigotry of low expectations in one hand they demand human rights defense in western countries, however they tend to disregard human rights by appealing to the much fetished multiculturalism when it comes to eastern countries as Pakistan, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Syria, Bangladesh and so on countries that, for instance, are favourable to death by apostasy leaving the religion , for being gay, that have implemented sharia law a medieval law incompatible with secular democracy condemning humans to death by stoning, countries that have laws stating that a woman is inferior to a man as it is stated in the Qu ran or that men can have sexual slaves, etc.P S 2 Maajid s counter extremist work can be found via Youtube if you search for Quilliam foundation, or in both Twitter and Facebook, he is also a regular collaborator in The Daily Beast I also recommend the work of several other individuals as Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, Ali A Rizvi, Melissa Chen, David Rubin, that adress regularly problems as regressive liberals leftists with moral double standards, legitimate criticism of Islam, right wing bigotry and secularism just to name a few.P S 3 Just in case because this happens to often in my experience with conspiracy theorists No, i wasn t paid to promote this book by any means, i decided to review an exception from my part in GR some of its contents because i believe that anyone who risks his life to defend universal democratic values must be supported It is also my firm belief that ending with ISIS will not be sufficient to destroy jihadism because the ideology feeding jihadism is islamism and we all, collectively and individually, must start challenging and prepare ourselves to defeat this ideology that has a name Islamism the desire to impose one version of Islam to everyone else


  8. says:

    In this extended conversation, prominent atheist Sam Harris and Islamic reformer Maajid Nawaz discuss the factors that contribute to Islamic extremism As a former extremist himself, Nawaz is in a unique position to highlight that it is not simply religious dogma, as often asserted by some, nor is it only a response to a political grievance, as alleged by others, that is drawing recruits from across the globe Like many cults, modern day terrorist organizations also cultivate charismatic recruit In this extended conversation, prominent atheist Sam Harris and Islamic reformer Maajid Nawaz discuss the factors that contribute to Islamic extremism As a former extremist himself, Nawaz is in a unique position to highlight that it is not simply religious dogma, as often asserted by some, nor is it only a response to a political grievance, as alleged by others, that is drawing recruits from across the globe Like many cults, modern day terrorist organizations also cultivate charismatic recruiters who prey on those having an identity crisis to boost their ranks, and it is critical to understand how all four of these factors are working together to create the crisis we see today Harris has argued that such growth in extremism is inevitable given that the texts of Islam leave little room for peaceful interpretation, whereas Nawaz counters that the history of Islam is rich with alternate readings that provide a solid foundation from which moderate Muslims can reclaim their faith from their bloodier counterparts While I will leave it to the reader to determine who has thecompelling position, I found the fact of the book itself encouraging In addition to providing a valuable foundation for understanding recent events, Harris and Nawaz demonstrate firsthand the skills required for those with seemingly opposed positions to find shared ground from which to work together on one of the world s most pressing problems


  9. says:

    How wonderfully rare, an exchange between a skeptic and a Muslim that doesn t dissolve into seeing who can call the other an Islamophobe or a terrorist sympathizer the quickest Great stuff


  10. says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book even though it is on the short side around 130 pages and the area of the book itself is very small as well I found it to be a very easy and enlightening read It handled difficult topics very well, and it cited information on almost every page It s wonderful to see this dialogue exist between two fundamentally different people that came from very different world views I m a fan of Sam Harris, but I did not know much about Hawaz Hawaz holds fantastic v I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book even though it is on the short side around 130 pages and the area of the book itself is very small as well I found it to be a very easy and enlightening read It handled difficult topics very well, and it cited information on almost every page It s wonderful to see this dialogue exist between two fundamentally different people that came from very different world views I m a fan of Sam Harris, but I did not know much about Hawaz Hawaz holds fantastic views and opinions that take you deep into the mind of someone who understands what the religion is going through, and Harris pushes this conversation and challenges him quite often It s a wonderful dynamic.You will love this book if you re interested in philosophical or religious discussion