A fascinating and revelatory exploration of the intricacies of Islam and the inner psyche of the Muslim world from the bestselling author of The Islamist
'Islam began as a stranger,' said the Prophet Mohammed, 'and one day, it will again return to being a stranger.'
The gulf between Islam and the West is widening. A faith rich with strong values and traditions, observed by nearly two billion people across the world, is seen by the West as something to be feared rather than understood. Sensational headlines and hard-line policies spark enmity, while ignoring the feelings, narratives and perceptions that preoccupy Muslims today.
Wise and authoritative, The House of Islam seeks to provide entry to the minds and hearts of Muslims the world over. It introduces us to the fairness, kindness and mercy of Mohammed; the aims of sharia law, through commentary on scripture, to provide an ethical basis to life; the beauty of Islamic art and the permeation of the divine in public spaces; and the tension between mysticism and literalism that still threatens the House of Islam.
The decline of the Muslim world and the current crises of leadership mean that a glorious past, full of intellectual nobility and purpose, is now exploited by extremists and channelled into acts of terror. How can Muslims confront the issues that are destroying Islam from within, and what can the West do to help work towards that end?
Ed Husain expertly and compassionately guides us through the nuances of Islam and its people, contending that the Muslim world need not be a stranger to the West, nor its enemy, but a peaceable ally.
About the Author
Ed Husain is the author of The Islamist, a memoir of his time inside radical Islamism. Having rejected extremism, he now advises governments and political leaders on Islam. He is a senior fellow at Civitas, Institute for the Study of Civil Society in London and a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre in Washington DC. He was a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York for five years and co-founded Quilliam, the world's first counter-extremism think-tank in Britain. He has written for the New York Times, the Telegraph, the Financial Times and appeared on CNN, BBC, and others. He lives in London.
Not just timely but important too. In The House of Islam, Ed Husain does not just set out the fundamentals of Islam as a religion but explains how and why understanding it properly matter. This should be compulsory reading -- Peter Frankopan, author of 'The Silk Roads'
The House of Islam is a long awaited and desperately needed book from one of our foremost thinkers at the nexus of civil society and theology ... Incisive and thought-provoking -- Bruce Hoffman, author of 'Inside Terrorism'
A powerful and impassioned polemic ... This is strong stuff. And it is a compelling thesis from a British Muslim writer whose relationship with Islam has evolved dramatically over time -- Justin Marozzi * Sunday Times *
A nuanced study ... An account of the compassion, reason and wonderment that Islam has exhibited for much of its history, this book is a powerful corrective to the widespread perception, fostered by jihadis and Islamophobes alike, that it's a belief system for misanthropes ... Husain has written a valuable book * Guardian *
The House of Islam is a plea for the renewal of classical, traditional Islam against its extreme and politicised versions ... For anyone interested in the future of Islam, both in Britain and the Islamic world, this is an important book -- David Goodhart * The Times *
All who glibly generalise about the no-man's-land between terrorism and multiculturalism should read this articulate and impassioned book -- Simon Jenkins * Sunday Times *
Wonderful ... Husain has been on quite a journey. A British Muslim of Bengali heritage, he was radicalised as a student and spent five years with militants. He eventually grew away from extremism by rediscovering the Sufi ways of his fathers, and the book is a beautiful homage to that tradition -- Daniel Hannan * Sunday Telegraph *
Husain has a knack for explaining complicated matters in straightforward layman's language * Financial Times *
Husain's account is not sensationalist, tending more to understatement than to hyperbole ... A complete eye-opener -- Praise for 'The Islamist' * The Times *
Captivating, and terrifyingly honest ... a wake-up call to monocultural Britain, it takes you into the mind of young fundamentalists, exposing places in which the old notion of being British is defunct -- Praise for 'The Islamist' * Observer *
Persuasive and stimulating -- Praise for 'The Islamist', Martin Amis
Given that this is a battle that concerns us all, let us hope that it will be won by Husain and those who share his views * Standpoint *