Demystifying Islam: About the Book and Author

Now at the Patheos Book Club
Demystifying Islam
Tackling the Tough Questions

By Harris Zafar

About the Book

Despite heightened interest in the study of the Muslim faith, for many people Islam remains shrouded in mystery and confusion. What really is Shariah law? How is a Muslim to understand Jihad? Does Islam oppose Western values such as free speech or freedom of religion? What place do women have according to Islam?

Understanding that this confusion has as much to do with the behavior and words of Muslims as it does with allegations made by anti-Islam activists, Demystifying Islam offers refreshingly bold answers to provocative questions about Islam today. Author Harris Zafar—lecturer, writer, teacher and national spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA—is forthright about issues where Muslims disagree, and he digs into history through vast research and scholarship to track the origins of differing beliefs. From the burqa to the role of Jesus in Islam, Demystifying Islam is an essential resource and concise guide to understanding the fastest growing religion in the world.

Distinguishing Features:

  1. Provides an accessible overview of the history and teachings of Islam
  2. Each chapter "demystifies" a provocative topic in Islam, including jihad, Shariah law, women in Islam, how Jesus relates to Islam, and more
  3. Addresses recent events such as the Fort Hood shooting by a Muslim American citizen and initiatives banning Shariah law
  4. Explains concepts in clear language for all readers, but does not gloss over points where Muslims disagree
  5. Shows how arguments used by extremist Muslims run counter to the documented teachings of Islam and the prophet Muhammad
  6. Traces the sources of Islamic teachings to show they are not at odds with modern values
  7. Travels through history to explain how Islamic teachings were distorted

About the Author

Harris ZafarHarris Zafar is a public speaker, writer, and national spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA—among the oldest Muslim organizations in America—where he is also the national director of youth outreach. He speaks nationwide about Islam, interfaith dialogue, and pluralism, and he teaches courses about Islam's doctrines and history at two colleges.

Zafar has published articles in USA Today, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, New York Daily News, BeliefNet, Oregonian, and more, and he blogs for The Huffington Post. He regularly appears on national media, such as the O'Reilly Factor, to provide commentary on current issues from an Islamic perspective.

Follow him at @Harris_Zafar