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Islam -- A Short History
Karen Armstrong
Book Review With Commentary

Ms Armstrong writes a different kind of book for our times--a book sensitive to and respectful of Islam. As a Christian might view Christianity, she views Islam. She provides a chronology of major events with short descriptions of each. Along with that Ms Armstrong brings insight needed for the non-Muslims to understand the faith. It is all about what the extremist mullahs are not about. It is a most refreshing summary of what most of us have forgotten about Islam, if we ever knew.

Her story begins with Muhammed's flight from Medina, continues through the split off of the Shii Muslims from the mainstream, how Sufi mysticism emerged, and the spread of Islam culminating in the Middle Ages with Imperial Islam. She develops the origins of Revolutionary Islam and concludes with the challenges to Islam today.

Ms Armstrong does not dwell on the extremists role in today's Islam. But her book is well worth the reading for it illustrates well what is so often lacking in today's literature--a sensitive view of Islam not much tainted by bias, rhetoric or propaganda.


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