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American Muslims Essay

1433 words - 6 pages

Asma Gull Hasan has provided a very thorough and coherence understanding of the Islamic beliefs in her book American Muslims: The New Generation. She has listed copious examples on the traditional beliefs of the Islams as well as her own experiences as an Islamic woman to allow readers to have a better understanding of this customary religion. The purpose of this book is to show the readers that American Muslims do not pose any threats to the United States or any country in the world and that they should be treated equally. Every chapter is consistent in stating this purpose. Because of this reason, Hasan does a wonderful job of keeping the reader's attention and does not jump from one point to another like Huston Smith does in The World's Religions. Both Hasan and Smith have done a marvelous and an exceptional job in providing descriptive information on Islam. However, Hasan is more opinionated in her book than Smith such as she give her opinion about premarital sex and the media should not stereotype Muslims. Smith concentrates more on the religions of the world whereas Hasan plays the representative role for her people (i.e., the Muslim women); by letting her voice be heard; she wants people to understand and respect her religion. Both authors include the basic beliefs of Islam, such as the Five Pillars and the teachings of Muhammad, God's mouthpiece. On the other hand, Smith is more descriptive on the Islamic beliefs than Hasan. For instance, Smith is more in depth with the Five Pillars and provides more information. Nevertheless, I believe the information that is included in this book helps many Muslims to not be afraid to say that they are Muslims.When I read this book, I have a better understanding of what Muslims people have to go through whenever they are in public. Hasan points out several times of her disappointment on how Westerners view Muslims. One example that she pointed out was how the medias in generaltend to give a negative picture on the Muslim people. Like many, I tend to have a habit of generalizing people based on their beliefs. To generalize certain people or groups does not make me a better person. Hasan is not afraid to point out that "some extremists Muslims, people whom I don't consider to be in the same community with me, have done very bad things-like taking hostages in Iran and bombing the World Trade Center in New York" (Hasan, 2000, p. 85). It is quite rare that I read a book in which the author admit the wrong acts of her own people; I admire Hasan for admitting. Furthermore, I agree with her in that the media needs to provide accurate information regarding on the issues of terrorist attacks or the oppression of Muslim women. Hasan mentions that reporters rarely mention when a Muslim is behind a positive act, they report only the negative actions that were done by a Muslim. Information that is provided on television can be misunderstood very easily if the reporter does not convey the message in a...

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