With wit and intelligence he chronicles the diversity and richness of Islam, and argues for a pluralistic and reflective religion, with a distinguished past, but one that appears to have been wrenched from its noble origins by rigid fundamentalism. He looks at how the rise of Islamic jihadi groups has been nourished, and urges us to work together.
The meaning and message of Islam has been corrupted and perverted by a particularly virulent strain of Islam. But behind the stories of atrocities, strife and turmoil, there is a number of different versions and visions of Islam struggling to survive and make sense of a rapidly changing world. Writer and critic Ziauddin Sardar tells the stories of different interpretations of Islam and argues for a critical version of a religion that has a long and distinguished history - but which appears to have been swept aside by a fundamentalist interpretation. Along the way, he answers a host of questions uppermost on the minds of most people. Is Islam inherently violent and misogynist? Why do young men and women go to join the Jihadi Caliphate? Does Islam need a reformation? Should we be frightened of Sharia? What part do Muhammad's teachings play, or ought to play, in our own times?