Top critical review
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A Bit Too Bland. Islam Is More Interesting Than This
on 20 November 2007
Not the most exciting read. Westerners certainly need to get to grips more with what Islam is all about but this book is not the way in for most.
The problem is it is just too balanced and ends up being bland.You get the feeling that the author is being too defensive and trying to iron out anything that might offend anyone.
The real problem for Muslims and all of us have is how you can reconcile a religion that rejects the secular society with the secular society most westerners want to have. This book deals with this fundamental problem by pretending it does not exist.
Most readers would probably wish to know a bit more about differences within Islam as between Sunni and Shi'ite and certainly you can't understand Islam without going into this. The Sufis get very little mention.
I read a previous book by Mr Nasr called Traditional Islam in the Modern World which I found to be an eye opener. It is particularly good in explaining why Muslims have a problem with aspects of the West. For instance, it explains why Muslims can't stand Baroque architecture.
That kind of revealing detail is absent from this book but nevertheless it is good in its limited way