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Understanding Islam
A Primer
Idris Tawfiq

published 2009 • 4¼" x 7" • 136 pages
ISBN 9781566567206 • paperback • $10.00

Islam is being studied and discussed today as never before. Yet to what extent is Islam truly understood in the West? And what is driving its rapid growth? Islam is the world's second-largest religion, with a faithful following of some 1.4 billion and a surprisingly high rate of conversion in Western countries.

In Understanding Islam, Idris Tawfiq explores the Islamic faith from a unique perspective: that of Roman Catholic priest turned Muslim scholar. In an engaging style, he lays out the core tenets of this widely misunderstood religion. Tawfiq argues that Islam-far from contributing to any "clash of civilizations"-encourages and embodies spiritual enlightenment and tolerance, enabling Muslims and non-believers to live in mutual understanding. Understanding Islam elucidates some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Idris Tawfiq holds a degree in English from the University of Manchester, and a degree in theology from the Pontificial University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He has taught religious studies in Britain and Egypt. Tawfiq, a Roman Catholic priest before his conversion to Islam, continues to write for many newspapers and journals around the world, including the Middle East Times. His popular lectures and broadcasts on Islam are justly celebrated. He lives in Cairo.

Media Reviews
“With approximately 1.4 billion worshipers making it the second largest religious group in the world today, Islam is a diverse, complex, often misunderstood faith. 'Understanding Islam: A Primer' is a basic introduction and exploration of the Islamic faith... Readers are presented with cogent and descriptive explanations of Islam’s core beliefs and tenets, the role of Islam as a religion in an increasingly secular world, and which offers spiritual enlightenment and tolerance rather than a source of conflict and oppression as is far too commonly construed from today’s geopolitics and newspaper headlines. A highly portable pocket-sized body of impeccable scholarship, 'Understanding Islam' is especially appropriate for the non-specialist general reader wanting a better understanding and grasp of Islamic principles, tenets and beliefs as they would apply to today’s issues, controversies, politics, international relations, and news stories.”
—Midwest Book Review

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