Shortly after the attacks of September 11, President Bush declared that the perpetrators had “violated the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith” and that “Islam is peace.” On what basis did Bush make this declaration? The terrorists certainly thought they were being obedient to the tenets of the Islamic faith. Does George Bush, who isn’t a Muslim, know something about Islam those Muslims didn’t?
For centuries the West has encountered Islam either through uninformed invective or equally ignorant glorification. It behooves us to know all we can about Islam as it is, has been and may become. Islam: Past, Present and Future is a huge book that gives a sweeping overview of Islam similar to Hans Küng’s earlier treatments of Judaism (1991) and Christianity (1994).