Do you ever take the time to reflect on how your reading habits have changed over the years? In writing this blog I’ve come to realize that I am less of a literary snob than I used to be. I actually like stuff that I once would have considered “too light”. Instead of something truly challenging, I prefer a book that will take me away from the daily grid for a couple of hours.
And that brings us to The Muslims Are Coming by Arun Kundnani. There was a time in my life when I would have been all over this book. The topic – Islamophobia in the United States and Britain – is one that I think needs more critical attention and analysis and still appeals to me. BUT, maybe it’s because I am living the post-academic life, can you dumb it down a little?
The Muslims Are Coming is published by Verso, a highly acclaimed radical press publishing mostly academic tracts on current pressing issues. That’s another way of saying that it is going to be a tough but enlightening read. Kundnani draws on all the theorist you’d expect in such a book while exploring the supposed threat of radicalized Islam both at home and abroad. He looks at how both the US and UK governments cultivate and need Islamophobia in their policies and how they are increasingly turning to the enemy within – domestic Islam.
Who would like this book? This is a heavy and serious book. It takes concentration to read, and I will admit that I didn’t finish it. However, for those up to the challenge The Muslims Are Coming is an important and enlightening read. For those looking to acquaint themselves with different strains of modern Islam I might be more inclined to steer them towards The Trouble With Islam Today by Irshad Manji. Manji is much more accessible than Kundnani.