Review of Haroon Siddiqui’s Being Muslim

There is a wide range of diversity when it comes to religion. That is also the case for books in a bookstore’s bookshelves. Most of the books, especially religion books, are present in those bookshelves with the purpose of preaching a certain religion to readers. But one book chose to be different from those typical books about religion. It is given a title that says “Being Muslim,” but this one wasn’t published to preach. The book was written to explain the world’s fastest growing religion, Islam.

It was also written to explain about the Muslim’s side regarding issues in the society and tell the Muslims people story. It was not written as the typical 1-2-3 guide to a world religion which is weirdly gaining popularity. What is special with this book is that this book maybe about Muslims but it very important to take into consideration that it was intentionally written for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Even from the title of the book “Being Muslim,” there is definitely something about this book that stimulates interests of prospective readers as they are exploring the shelves of the bookstore.

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The title immediately gives the readers enough hints as to what the book is probably about. “Being Muslim” sort of gives a promise that it will be about the life of Muslims explained to the readers, may they be Muslims or non-Muslims. But for me, what is most interesting about the title is that it suggests that the readers will be hearing the side or the voice of the Muslim community regarding certain issues in the society. The title and the topics that it suggests to discuss would be very interesting especially in Christian dominated communities where the Muslims’ voices are unheard of.

The table of contents is outlined in such a way that the chapters are given titles with strong words that in themselves alone stimulates the readers to check out the chapters. The table of contents is packed with strong words like Islamophobia, discrimination, politics, Jihad, terrorism, women, honor killings, genital mutilation and many more. These words are typically buzzwords that when spoken in public could generate endless religious debates. The table of contents also tells us that there are the book is basically divided into six parts: the politics, European Muslims, the faith, women, Jihad and terrorism, the future.

Just by a glance at the table of contents, the readers could have an idea that this book is about the position and opinion of Muslims regarding world topics. The author has opened the book with the chapter with the title “the politics. ” I guess that the author wanted to convey his messages regarding the politics that surround the Muslims immediately, as soon as the readers begin reading. The first sentences of the book tells the readers that the biggest victims of the 9-11 attacks were the Muslims since after the attack they were the target of endless wrongly-based discrimination (Siddiqui 11).

That is probably the most important argument and thesis of the whole book. I suppose there was also the intention to emphasize on this topic that is why it is found on the beginning of the book. The chapter about politics will soon be preceded by the discussions on” European Muslims” and “the faith. ” For me, these two topics are the less interesting, if not the weakest part of the book. That is because most readers already know about these things. The readers can get this sort of information from other religious literatures. Those chapters will be followed by discussions on women, jihad and terrorism, and the future.

These chapters are for me the most interesting and substantial part of the book since it talks about timely and controversial issues concerning the Muslim community. I also believe that these chapters were placed at the middle of the book to the last pages as also with the intention of emphasis. For us to understand the book much better, let us first get to know the author a little bit and get an idea as to what kind of person authored this book. As they say, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree just like how the book isn’t much different with its author.

The author of the book “Being Muslim” is Haroon Siddiqui, a Canadian journalist, columnist, and writer. Haroon Siddiqui had been a much known journalist and editor for a top newspaper in his country for good many years. Haroon Siddiqui received many awards during his career in the newspaper industry. Haroon Siddiqui had also received the Canadian Islamic Congress and the Order of Canada award which is regarded as Canada’s most prestigious civilian honor award (Siddiqui 161). These details regarding the author of the book can be found on the back flap of the book just right after the index page.

For me, this is very helpful to the book since it makes the author credible to the readers therefore increasing the chance that the book will get the attention of the readers. Additionally, the details about the author tell the readers that the author is a person that has much to say about the given topics. What us most interesting is that the details about the author tell us that the author is not a preacher so the readers are guaranteed that they won’t be subjected to boring and subjective preaching. The author had fashioned his writing on an objective third-person perspective (Kautilya).

I personally find this admirable of the book since its objectivity tells the reader that it can be read by everyone (both Muslims and non-Muslims) and the third-person perspective tells the readers that this book is meant to inform, and again not to preach. The third-person point of view is really working for the author Haroon Siddiqui since he is known as an impartial voice on the issues concerning the Muslims, this characteristic of him makes him credible and at the same time interesting. The author’s choice of topics is on my opinion just superb.

These are issues that will be ringing in the ears of the society for generations. The 9-11 incident is definitely something that the whole world can’t forget in an instant, and unfortunately will always be connected to the Muslims. The sad part is that the very small percent of the extremist who perpetuated the attack now becomes the representatives of all the 1. 3 Muslims in the whole world (Rochman). I guess that the intention of this book to enlighten non-Muslims about their wrongly-based discrimination will always be timely until the time comes that this dilemma is fully resolved.

As the author claims, there are more individuals who are Muslims that are hurt than non-Muslims (Siddiqui 12). The tone of the book is what we can consider conversational, and that makes it an informative, easy and enjoyable read (Vanderploeg). For me, this tone of the book goes well with the intention of the author to explain the unheard side of the Muslims. There are only very few technical religious terms that are interspersed in the book, so it can be easily read by non-Muslims.

If the readers will inspect the font style and size of the print of the book, they can notice that it is printed in such a way that the font size is rather large and the font style is very simple. I’m guessing that it was printed that way so that the book would be friendly to the eyes and be good for long readings. The sentences were also short and crisp, there were only a handful of complex sentences that are interspersed within the book. The whole book is written in a simple and understandable language that shows humility on the part of the book that its intention is to inform, not to impress with deep but hard to understand words.

That is just a good thing because the concepts within the book are already complicated in themselves. If the book was to explain those complicated concepts in a complicated manner, the readers are more likely to close the book due to boredom. All in all, the book was written in a light and easily readable manner. That is because the author feels that the discrimination towards Muslims needs immediate alleviation. It is good that he had explained the Muslim’s side of the story in an easily understandable manner.