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.
I’m with you. If I want learn about something, I would rather read about it in my fiction books, or else read an article, or listen to/watch it on a documentary. My reading/escape time is too precious.
I think I’m going to give this book a try. I’ll probably wait until this summer when I don’t have so many commitments.
It is a really great and well thought out book, just a little heavy when you have to squeeze your reading in btwn dropping kids off at school, swimming etc.
I have a few really heavy, serious non-fiction books in the 746 and I notice that I veer away from them. I think it’s hard when your time is precious, sometimes there is enough thinking in the day!
I agree that this sounds like a very important topic, but perhaps addressed too academically. I love non-fiction, but I hate when I pick something up that I feel was meant for an academic audience. I do enough academic reading as a grad student, that I certainly don’t want to do it for fun!
Well this book definitely took me back to grad school!
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I’m seriously considering this one and Edelweiss took me right to your blog. 😉 What do you think?
It’s not an easy read. Very academic. Not to say that it is dry, it just requires concentration. I think there are more accessible books out there, but Kundnani is a great scholar.