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Islam: A Very Short Introduction, by Malise Ruthven

In this thorough revision of an earlier volume, Ruthven offers a quick overview of Islam and its adherents. Ruthven is helpful in explaining the origins and characteristics of the different branches of Islam. The concept of jihad, the role of Shari‘a law, the place of women and the ability of Muslims to adjust to the modern world all get special emphasis since they are hot-button issues.

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