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The Trouble with Islam: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  1,061 ratings  ·  158 reviews
"I have to be honest with you. Islam is on very thin ice with me....Through our screaming self-pity and our conspicuous silences, we Muslims are conspiring against ourselves. We're in crisis and we're dragging the rest of the world with us. If ever there was a moment for an Islamic reformation, it's now. For the love of God, what are we doing about it?"

In blunt, provocativ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2003)
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Apr 29, 2007 Sairah rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
I read "The Trouble with Islam", before it became "The Trouble with Islam TODAY". Manji regretted the original title because it sounded as though she was bashing the religion, not critiquing its followers and the way it is approached. Bad move. As a Muslim, I feel that she alienates the very people she critiques and wants to change...Muslims. If this was Manji's intended audience, it would seem that her way of approaching the subject might be different. The book, to me, is basically selling out...more
An open letter to Muslims and others, this book asks some tough questions about religion and faith. It looks at the nature of religion, but more importantly the relationship of people of faith to their essential texts, their fellow believers, and to others. The questions it poses are tough ones because they do not allow a passive approach to religion and faith. They assume that the individual - indeed the community - of faith has obligations and responsibilities that cannot be passed off by reso...more
Paras Abbasi
It would be very hard to take this book seriously because it has been written by someone who had been raised by an abusive father, who unfortunately was a Muslim and thus the lady stereotyped the world of Muslims to be such and rationalizing her reasons to turning out to be a lesbian, as the only man she knew turned out to be such... What a reason, What a logic and What a wit! I must say. The proceeding pages of the book go on to talk about how great and and how democratic the West is and how no...more
Nanny SA
Buku ini banyak mengundang pro dan kontra jadi ketika membaca buku ini aku berusaha mengosongkan pikiran supaya bisa lebih jernih mencerna.

Irshad Manji bercerita tentang pengalaman hidupnya; tentang keluarga , lingkungan sejak dia kecil sampai dewasa dan kehidupan keagamaannya.
Sayang ketika dalam masa pertumbuhan dia mempunyai pengalaman yang tidak menyenangkan berkaitan dengan lingkungan sosial ( juga keagamaannya).
Terasa dalam pemaparannya kemarahan atau ketidaksukaannya pada cara beragama ora...more
I read the Indonesian edition that I downloaded from the author's website. This book is pretty much about a girl throwing a tantrum because she's raised by an abusive father, who also happens to be a muslim, and because she's also one of those unlucky few who happened to be surrounded by muslims with questionable characters. Reading the book can be exhausting because the writing style is similar to teenagers moaning about their obnoxious neighbor.

It's very hard to take this book seriously, becau...more
Nov 27, 2010 Robin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone willing to think
This book is full of facts and real-life truths. In this open letter, a call for reform of Islam, Manji makes a compelling case for worshiping strategically rather than tactically. Among many other astoundingly insightful points, she says that one of the biggest hurdles for Muslims is the tendency to apply the Qur’an as though the practitioners still lived centuries ago, in a desert civilization, following behavior and rules that made sense then but might no longer apply, given the knowledge and...more
Marty Solomon
I read this book as the final read in a personal search for an elementary understanding of Islam. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and cannot speak into her deeper thoughts or methods, since I am mostly ignorant. For those that do not know Manji, she is definitely a progressive Muslim who critiques her faith for it's blind following of tribal Islam (and what she later calls "foundamentalism" - idolizing the foundation of the faith).

She calls the reader to take part in "ijtihad", an ancient Islamic...more
Omer Eldirdiri
I read this book several years back at a time I myself was having difficulties with Islam, the religion in which I was born.. There are verses in the Quraan which are great, but there are verses which I though were impossible to label as great, especially those which regarded women as subordinates to men, those which denigrate the Jews and describe them as descendants of monkeys and pigs, those which describe the Bible as a counterfeit scripture, and those which called for the killing of people...more
Saleem Khashan
This is a stupid book and understandably it comes from someone from a Pakistani origin, you see social matrix of Pakistan is full of brutal tribal in-justful brutality. For her to suggest she understand Islam while trying to bring to line after line of what George Bush would say is just absurd. I think this is a writer with a no dick syndrome who grew in a family and an environment far away from understanding of Islam.
You know what she doesn’t even deserve an appropriate review, because I am t...more
A frank read asserting the need for Muslims to cast off the authoritarian undertones and tribal zealotry that has become entrenched in the Islamic faith. Manji succeeds in providing a well researched thought provoking narrative without losing her own voice. However, whether her brand of Islam can successfully gain widespread appeal over the mainstream faith and stand consistently with scriptural teachings/theology for that matter remains ambiguous. Furthermore, the text does not provide a answer...more
The Trouble With Islam Today is a book written by Irshad Manji about the many troubling problems with Islam in the modern day right now. Tribal insularity, anti-semitism, status and treatment of Muslim women, and manifesto of God’s will are a few of the problems that this book addresses and discusses. The Trouble With Islam Today is an open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims. Irshad Manji really goes in depth with all the topics she includes in the book. She really puts in authentic and meaningf...more
Jean Tessier
Irshad came to give a talk at Google and they were handing out her book. The talk was engaging and I decided to read the book to see more of what she had to say.

It is really nice to see a perspective of Islam from the inside. Irshad questions many aspects of her religion but wants to hold on to it, so she seeks answers that can reconcile her with it rather than turn her away from it. It is very personal and thought provoking.

Towards the end, she touches upon the concept of individuality, the abi...more
Holly Garza
yeah.... so much to say.

Nothing more than someone with a corrupt aqueda, lack of minhaj and fulfilling her desires. Any of us can whine about "bad people". The reality is every culture, every race, every Religion, and EVERY Nation has crazy, bad, lazy, rude, lonely, judgmental and harsh people.

I don't like seatbelts, I don't like paying for insurance but I have to, it's the law. Same concept here whining about Islam and a few questionable people or practices does not make one right. Very much li...more
I was going to give this one four stars, but really can't as the book seemed drawn out by the last 25% - 30% or so. Manji's main point that defining Islam via seventh-century Arabian culture just doesn't work, as well as her implication that like the Bible, the Koran may not be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as far as the "accuracy" of what Muhammad really said (meant) is spot on!
I am so glad that a Muslim is asking the hard questions that I am sure most people have been asking. I just wish that this book had inspired more discussion throughout that community. She certainly brings a lot of discrepancies to light that need to be addressed and her whole idea of following "desert tribalism" has a lot to be said about this.

Having lived in Saudia Arabia for two years, I certainly had asked many of the same questions that she has asked. I commend her courage to write this book...more
This book is thought-provoking for moslems since the author launches critical questions on Islam. The readers should carefully digest Irshad's arguments which give impression that she 'attacks' Islamic teachings. I enjoy reading this book because Irshad challenges us to be critical toward religion.
Interesting issues to raise. Badly written. The author seems to take personal issues and try to generalize them with little basis on what she is attacking.
I was really put off by the way the argumentation was developed. Couldn't understand why this book make such a fuss.
I actually thought she had some valid concerns for Muslim communities living in the west, but I disagree with the confrontational and challenging and self-righteous manner in which she addresses them.
Hanan Muzaffar

A very bold book. Manji is funny, but I doubt if her sense of humor would be tolerated by most Muslims who read her book. Tough love. That’s what she calls it. Muslims (or Islam today) needs someone to shake them/it into waking up to the reality of today. She argues that Islam is in big trouble – basically stemming from her own inability to fully accept what she has been taught in school regarding a faith that deprives her from the right to ask questions. And it is our job as Muslims to rescue I...more
S.A. Alenthony
A few days ago, while in the grocery store checkout line, I found myself scanning the rack of idiot magazines and tabloids. Between the obligatory images of Angelina and the preternaturally beaming Rachel Ray, I saw this headline on the National Examiner’s cover: “Obama’s Top-Secret Meetings With Muslims: His Shocking Pact With The Enemy.”

This is moronic at several levels. What bothered me the most was not that some portion of the population might seriously believe President Obama to be involved...more
Jun 25, 2007 Hamad rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Muslims
Did not significantly learn anything new from this book. After reading Ziauddin Sardar, this book pales in comparison and unfortunately only scratches the surface. Unfortunate because this scratch looks more like pandering to the Western neo-colonialist mindset, although many of her points are valid and should be looked into with careful attention by the Muslim intelligentsia.

Her candor, ability to look at multiple arguments and her courage to question (although imlpying that many M...more
Does she have arguments? Or just anecdotes? I can't tell.

Let's face it, Wahhabism sucks. Big time. But screeds like this aren't the best way to discourage a revanchist, Islamist right. For instance, she decries the victimology of modern Islam, and she's right that colonialism isn't the sole source of the present Middle East tensions. She suggests that we move beyond the "vicitimology" of postcolonialism. However, she replaces it with a new victimology, claiming that while Muslims are currently i...more
i often begin reading a book with no assumptions other than the likely fact this book will tell me something i don't know - about a place, a story, a person, an idea. that being said, the increasing media exposure to islamic people, practices, and the religion itself (often in a negative context) prompted me to do some of my own searching on the subject. i picked this book up because the author is a well-educated westerner (albeit canadian, eh) in touch with her religion and her culture. i knew...more
Jan 03, 2008 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone; Muslims; Jews
Shelves: islam
I really enjoyed this book, and found it very easy to read. What made it very hard to get through was my constant note-taking as so many of the things described by the writer were things I wanted to know more about.

A controversial title for sure, but a very Islam-friendly book with a lot of interesting information about Islamic- Jewish relations and a very interesting look at Israel -- from a very Muslim viewpoint.

I think this book would be a great read for any Muslim interested in learning mo...more
Apr 01, 2008 +Chaz rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to +Chaz by: C-Span
Just about every page has marks on it after I read the book. Although simply written, and perhaps deliberately so for her target audience, she opens our eyes to the challenges of the Islamic religion. A brave woman who is willing to risk her life for the things she believes her faith followers need to address. The West attacks Islam for its perceived backwardness and violence. The reader must understand that Islam is not the only religion that spawns violence; Christians, for almost 2000 years h...more
Not too bad. I learned some interesting things I didn't know about muslims. It was a fortuitous time that I was reading this, as the Koran burning had just taken place, and the UN workers were killed over in Afghanistan. I remember thinking "why would they kill innocent people, who had nothing to do with burning the Koran!" And then I got to the part in the book about how desert arabs view the world in "Tribes" mentality, so if one person in one tribe brings insult to their tribe, then it is per...more
Buku yang cukup menarik. Selalu menyenangkan membaca pengalaman keagamaan orang. Cerita-cerita Irshad tentang kehidupan pemeluk Islam di beberapa negara baik barat dan timur juga lumayan menambah informasi, tetapi tidak ada yang baru bagiku. Irshad manji juga tidak cukup menguasai khazanah keislaman untuk bisa menambah wawasan, malah ada beberapa "pergulatan pemikiran"nya yang terasa naif. Bandingkan misalnya dengan khaled abou fadl (hehe..perbandingan yang tidak adil ya..)But overall, i would l...more
Johena S

Religion is a delicate topic to write about and can be a challenge. However Irshad Manji manages to do this well in her book ‘The Trouble with Islam Today’. Her writing style is engaging as she not only explains the historical reasons on the current state of Islam, but also describes the personal experiences she endured to practice her faith: Islam, being an open lesbian. This book mainly discusses the status and treatment of Muslim women, anti-semitism, as well as a few more issues. Throughout...more
Amazing book, just what we need. Open and honest conversation on what are the problems with modern islam and how to overcome it. Written by a Muslim, who loves Islam. And the author is an amazing brave person - my role model! I am amazed she has not been killed by a fanatic for her brave stance and unflinching honesty (and for being open gay)....praying for her.

The book was banned in Malaysia and quite a few other countries. But it can be downloaded for free in many languages from her web-site....more
Kimberly Ross
Very insightful from a woman who grew up Muslim.

It is not an easy read since it brings many different thoughts and facts into the picture. However, take your time and digest. It was easier to absorb the second time.

Everyone should read this book at least once.

I've read some of the comments left by other readers. You can certainly tell when someone of her faith is offended by her frankness; which, points to her points of not questioning it all. And I can see some points of theirs accusing her of...more
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About writer 1 20 Oct 30, 2007 04:28PM  
  • Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam
  • Western Muslims and the Future of Islam
  • The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future
  • Toward a True Kinship of Faiths: How the World's Religions Can Come Together
  • Murder in the Name of Honor: The True Story of One Woman's Heroic Fight Against an Unbelievable Crime
  • My Year Inside Radical Islam: A Memoir
  • While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within
  • The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam
  • Born of a Woman
  • The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror
  • Daughters of Another Path: Experiences of American Women Choosing Islam
  • Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees
  • The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Women's Rights in Islam
  • The Islamist
  • Why I Am Not a Muslim
  • Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope
  • Read My Lips: Sexual Subversion and the End of Gender
  • The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity
Irshad Manji (born 1968) is a Canadian Muslim feminist, author, journalist, and activist. Manji is Director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University. The Moral Courage Project will teach young leaders to speak truth to power in their own communities. She is a well-known critic of radical Islam and orthodox interpretations of the Qur'an. The New York Times has described her as "Osama bin...more
More about Irshad Manji...
Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom The Trouble with Islam Today: A Wake-up Call for Honesty and Change Musulmane Mais Libre The Trouble with Islam: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith

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“قانون الشريعة: بعدما قيل لهم أن الشريعة تجسد المثل الاسلامية العلياافترض غالبية المسلمين أن الشريعة مقدسة...يكتب ضياء الدين ساردار "ان القسم الأعظم من الشريعة ما هو الا الرأي الفقهي لفقهاء كلاسيكيين هذا هو السبب في أنه كلما فرضت الشريعة خارج سياق الزمن الذي وضعت فيه تكتسب المجتمعات الاسلامية احساسا قروسطيا.هذا هو ما نشهده في السعودية، ايران، السودان، افغانستان” 9 likes
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