Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here

Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here

Untold Stories From the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism

Book - 2013
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WW Norton
In Lahore, Pakistan, Faizan Peerzada resisted being relegated to a “dark corner” by staging a performing arts festival despite bomb attacks. In Senegal, wheelchair-bound Aissatou Cissé produced a comic book to illustrate the injustices faced by disabled women and girls. In Algeria, publisher Omar Belhouchet and his journalists struggled to put out their paper, El Watan (The Nation), the same night that a 1996 jihadist bombing devastated their offices and killed eighteen of their colleagues. In Afghanistan, Young Women for Change took to the streets of Kabul to denounce sexual harassment, undeterred by threats. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Abdirizak Bihi organized a Ramadan basketball tournament among Somali refugees to counter the influence of Al Shabaab. From Karachi to Tunis, Kabul to Tehran, across the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and beyond, these trailblazers often risked death to combat the rising tide of fundamentalism within their own countries.But this global community of writers, artists, doctors, musicians, museum curators, lawyers, activists, and educators of Muslim heritage remains largely invisible, lost amid the heated coverage of Islamist terror attacks on one side and abuses perpetrated against suspected terrorists on the other.A veteran of twenty years of human rights research and activism, Karima Bennoune draws on extensive fieldwork and interviews to illuminate the inspiring stories of those who represent one of the best hopes for ending fundamentalist oppression worldwide.
Eye-opening accounts of heroic resistance to religious extremism.

Baker & Taylor
Draws on fieldwork and interviews with Muslims in places ranging from Lahore, Pakistan to Minneapolis, Minnesota to discuss contemporary opinions on the rise of fundamentalism in Islam and how it can be curbed.

Book News
Bennoune (international law, University of California-Davis School of Law) describes anti-fundamentalism through oral histories collected while traveling in Muslim majority countries and in diaspora populations of Muslim heritage regarding their experiences with fundamentalism. Having garnered 20 years of experience in human rights research and activism, she spotlights the stories of people she believes represent hope for ending worldwide fundamentalist oppression: non-fundamentalist Muslims. Among other places, she went to France, Algeria, Niger, Pakistan, Turkey, Russia, Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Senegal, Afghanistan, and Mali. She met with journalists, writers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, psychologists, politicians, poets, academic, and activists. Her perspective is that of a secular person of Muslim heritage concerned with both rising fundamentalism and increasing discrimination against Muslims. She is troubled by the lack of interest in the international community and those who could have been allies, such as the Left and human rights advocates, and depicts a lack of coverage in the media of anti-fundamentalist Muslim voices. There are 11 chapters, conclusion, and notes. This interesting and readable book is for anyone who is concerned about this very current topic. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

A human rights activist and law professor interviews Muslim people from all walks of life in Lahore, Pakistan and even Minneapolis, to discuss their opinions on the rise of fundamentalism in their religion. 17,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, c2013
ISBN: 9780393081589
Branch Call Number: 297.09051 BEN
Characteristics: x, 402 p. ;,25 cm.


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Sep 13, 2015

Bennoune provides some insight into Algeria during the 1990s and the West's abandonment of activists' struggles against fundamentalism, but overall the book does not address root causes and is disappointing.

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