This book was meant to consider the bad impressions about Islam after 9/11. Instead of explaining the real principles of Islam and showing how current muslems have drifted away from them, the book goes round in circles; giving many snap shot information, that is often vague, unsubstantiated and at times incorrect. It covers a long historical span, making judgements without showing why and requiring actions without specifying how.
It could have made a list of the perceptions to be discussed, such as treatment of women or tendency to violence, explained the grounds of these perceptions, such as 9/11 or physical punishment, outlined the rules of Islam, how it respects human and even animal life, making it sinful to slaughter an animal that is not to be eaten and protecting others, addressing the confounding problems, such as political trouble in the middle east and spread of crime in the absence of good penal system.
It never addressed the background within which actions can be seen, for example the fact that women get half men’s share of inheritance, yet have no financial obligations, which is more than fair. The fact that Islam ended female infanticide, stressed good education of girls, stopped women themselves being inherited ..etc are hardly mentioned.
Perhaps the biggest problem of all is the complete failure to explain the thinking in Islam, where a specified set of rules must be followed. This is done as a matter of obeying Allaah (God), and proving belief and faith. If one is a muslem, he/she should pray five times a day and fast during Rammaddan. This can not be based on perceived benefit of such actions, for example loosing weight, as the prime benefit is to obey the Lord. Praying four times or fasting another months will never count. Whilst the way in which these rules are applied can change according to circumstances, the rules themselves are permanent.
It also fails to explain that Islam is the final message from Allaah (God) that sealed and upgraded all guidance to mankind. Islam recognises Jesus and Moses as prophets preceding the final prophet, all coming from the same God (Allaah) and are looked at equally by Muslims. Christians and Jews are considered people of the book, who are treated well even though they are yet to complete their journey to God (Allaah) by recognising his final prophet (Muhammad) and following his final message (the Koran).
The book is meant to be short, to fit a pocket, yet it is confusing, difficult to follow and does not achieve its aim.