Friday, January 04, 2013

Which book would you recommend to your friend's Islamophobic friend?

A friend requested my recommendation for a book she could recommend to her Islamophobic friend.

My friend discovered her friend was Islamophobic through a conversation that went something like this:
Between a Mormon and a Muslim, I wish the Mormon had won. I know some Muslims. The ones I know are pretty good. You don't know that Muslims believe such-and-such and are commanded to do such-and-such? If I gave you a book, would you read it? Yea, maybe.
Frankly, I'm a little stumped. It should not be scholarly. Nor should it be proselytizing or apologetic. The first book which came to mind is The Autobiography of Malcolm X, but for many older white people the name Malcolm X is an anathema. And Malcolm is a story of America more than it is about Islam. Yet I think that is what makes it suitable. The Islamophobe's error in thinking is in his/her understanding of his/her native country. Note that this particular Islamophobe is also a Mormonophobe. My friend did tell me she was OK with Catholics.

I also like Martin Lings's Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources. But I'm concerned that the Islamophobe would get bogged down in the genealogy chapters at the beginning of the book.

Three other books crossed my mind:
So, please write in the comments for your suggested book to pass on to my friend's Islamaphobic friend!