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Download American Crescent: A Muslim Cleric on the Power of His Faith, the Struggle Against Prejudice, and the Future of Islam and America eBook

by Brad Crawford,Hassan Qazwini

Download American Crescent: A Muslim Cleric on the Power of His Faith, the Struggle Against Prejudice, and the Future of Islam and America eBook
ISBN:
1400064546
Author:
Brad Crawford,Hassan Qazwini
Category:
Social Sciences
Language:
English
Publisher:
Random House; First Edition edition (October 9, 2007)
Pages:
304 pages
EPUB book:
1292 kb
FB2 book:
1459 kb
DJVU:
1393 kb
Other formats
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Rating:
4.6
Votes:
498


Brad Crawford, the co-author of American Crescent, is the author of Compass American Guides: Ohio and the co-author of My Sister Is Missing: Bringing a Killer to Justice. A graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, he freelances full-time from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Brad Crawford, the co-author of American Crescent, is the author of Compass American Guides: Ohio and the co-author of My Sister Is Missing: Bringing a Killer to Justice.

American Crescent book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read

American Crescent book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking American Crescent: A Muslim Cleric on the Power of His Faith, the Struggle Against Prejudice, and the Future of Islam and America as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

by Imam Hassan Qazwini New York: Random House, 2007 . Either because of deceit by Qazwini or incompetence by his coauthor, American Crescent is an exemplar of incoherence. Qazwini's revisionism on the Iraq war and American Shi'i involvement with it overshadows such typically absurd touches, seen in similar books, as the claim that American "Muslims didn't object to Senator Lieberman's Jewishness, but rather to his unconditional support for the pro-Israeli lobby.

By counseling American Muslims–and sharing his religion with those of other beliefs–he came to feel at home in the .

By counseling American Muslims–and sharing his religion with those of other beliefs–he came to feel at home in the country he already loved, and he became a trusted advisor to local and national politicians. Published in the United States by Random House, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, In. New York.

book by Hassan Qazwini

book by Hassan Qazwini. In this inspiring narrative, one of this country's most important Muslim leaders reveals the story of his life and his faith, and why Islam is good for America. As the religious leader of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan, Imam Hassan Qazwini serves the largest Muslim congregation in the United States.

His dramatic journey to these shores began in 1971, when his father’s anti-Baathist views forced his family to flee from .

His dramatic journey to these shores began in 1971, when his father’s anti-Baathist views forced his family to flee from Saddam’s Iraq to Kuwait and then to war-torn Iran. Then, in 1992, with his father’s blessing, he left for the United States, a place where young Muslims were seeking spiritual guidance and where his children could grow up in the peace Qazwini had been denied. First in California and then in Michigan, Qazwini saw a shocking new world in which leaders were openly mocked, women’s bodies were on display in public, and Christian symbols were disparaged without consequence.

American Crescent introduces non-Muslim American readers to the .

American Crescent introduces non-Muslim American readers to the world of Iraqi Shiism into which Qazwini was born (and which he left in 1971 at the age of 6), and of the daily oppression Iraqis, especially clerics, endured under Saddam Hussein. A Muslim Cleric on the Power of His Faith, the Struggle Against Prejudice, and the Future of Islam and America.

By Imam Hassan Qazwini. New York: Random House, 2007. America's most prominent Shi' i cleric, in producing this book, has accomplished little in service of the Shi' i principle of divine justice. Qazwini' s revisionism on the Iraq war and American Shi' i involvement with it overshadows such typically absurd touches, seen in similar books, as the claim that American "Muslims didn't object to Senator Lieberman's Jewishness, but rather to his unconditional support for the pro-Israeli lobby. Qazwini describes himself as speaking to Bush only of removing Saddam, not of invasion.

MARTIN: Imam Hassan Qazwini is the author of a new book "American Crescent : A Muslim Cleric on the Power of His Faith, the Struggle Against Prejudice, and the Future of Islam in America. He joined us from member station WDET in Detroit

MARTIN: Imam Hassan Qazwini is the author of a new book "American Crescent : A Muslim Cleric on the Power of His Faith, the Struggle Against Prejudice, and the Future of Islam in America. He joined us from member station WDET in Detroit. Imam Qazwini, thank you so much for speaking with us. Imam QASWINI: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity. MARTIN: Coming up, there's a march on Washington today led by some icons of the past.

In this inspiring narrative, one of this country’s most important Muslim leaders reveals the story of his life and his faith, and why Islam is good for America. As the religious leader of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan, Imam Hassan Qazwini serves the largest Muslim congregation in the United States. His dramatic journey to these shores began in 1971, when his father’s anti-Baathist views forced his family to flee from Saddam’s Iraq to Kuwait and then to war-torn Iran. Then, in 1992, with his father’s blessing, he left for the United States, a place where young Muslims were seeking spiritual guidance and where his children could grow up in the peace Qazwini had been denied. First in California and then in Michigan, Qazwini saw a shocking new world in which leaders were openly mocked, women’s bodies were on display in public, and Christian symbols were disparaged without consequence. He also saw a land in which the lack of a common faith necessitated a great effort to create a shared community. By counseling American Muslims–and sharing his religion with those of other beliefs–he came to feel at home in the country he already loved, and he became a trusted advisor to local and national politicians.Then, after 9/11, Osama bin Laden gave him “a new full-time job.”American Crescent vividly describes Qazwini’s efforts to show Americans how those who destroyed the World Trade Center had hijacked Islam as well, and that most Muslims were appalled by their actions. Yet he also takes the Bush administration to task for championing the prejudicial Patriot Act (after Muslims supported George W. Bush in the 2000 election) and deplores its conduct in the Iraq War.Throughout American Crescent, Qazwini offers a revelatory look at the tenets and history of Islam, defending it as a faith of peace and diversity, and challenging stereotypes and misconceptions promulgated by the media. Iran, he points out, has a higher percentage of women in its parliament than the United States does in both houses of Congress. “If you want to learn about Islam,” he writes, “turn off the TV.”At once a fascinating personal story and a heartfelt plea to integrate Islamic teachings into the tolerant traditions of America, this book is an important contribution to our understanding of all those who live among us, at a time when it matters most.
  • Quinthy
The book, while inspiring and interesting and heart felt ignores a number of things and has one giant contradiction. The author was born in Iraq and claims descent from Mohammed. His world view is primairly that of an Arab and a Muslim. America gave him opportunity and he points out that Muslims up untul 2000 supported the Republican party. He does not describe the logic whereby they switched allegiance to the Democratic party and became allies with radical feminists and Homosexual rights activists and anti-Americans such as Chomsky.

But the biggest glaring contradiction is that while the author claims to be a 'patriotic America' he quite clearly shows through the title and picture on the cover that his ideal America is one with the crescent as the symbol of government. He does not understand the seperation of church and state and while the complains about the 'halls of power' he himself is in those halls, appearing on mass media and writing for major newspapers. It is an irony that the left wing people who celebrate this book are the very same people who condemn the religious right. But what is the difference between this books advocating of Islamic America and the Religious rights love of Christian Ameirica?

Seth J. Frantzman
  • Kashicage
I highly recommend this book for insights into Islam and how it relates to the American Dream. Imam Qazwini comes from a long line of Imams and his father currently serves a very famous mosque in Iraq in Karbala. The Imam tells a fascinating story of being a Shiite Muslim whose family spent time in Kuwait and Iran while Sadam Hussein had them on an "enemies list." They end up in California where he struggles to learn English and adapt to the American way. Later he is called to head a community in Dearborn MI where in a relatively short time he has built up an amazing Islamic Center which responds to the needs of families with a variety of outreach programs, with a particular focus on the youth.

He has been recognized by President Bush as a leader of "moderate Arabs" in this country and he gives some background as to how he and his colleagues have responded to the current war in Iraq and the Patriot Act. He has spoken to a variety of groups across Michigan in the "post-9-11 era" trying to explain that terrorists have "hijacked" a religion which does not have violence as a founding principle.

This book makes a good companion peace to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's "What Right With Islam Is What's Right With America." The latter is a Sufi Muslim with a storefront mosque a few blocks from the World Trade Center in NY who has served extensively as an ambassador of his faith to the American public since 9/11. Both Imams return to basic principles of Mohammed and contend that there are many things in his teachings and that of Islam that are completely compatible with American institutions and practices. They give some context to the history of Islam as it has evolved over time and in different cultures. Both would agree that the radical "Wahhabist version of Islam" coming from Saudi Arabia has done much to isolate it from the development of western civilization and portray it as the "enemy of the people" among civilized nations.
Qazwini's story is a very important voice in the immigrant experience of America and it shines a bright light on issues that are vital to our growth as a nation.

Do yourself a favor and read this fascinating and timely story.
  • Feri
Thank you
  • Stick
I've read a few other books about Islam in an attempt to understand it, but this book was the most helpful. I was attracted to it because I live in the Detroit area and know the beautiful mosque where the author, Imam Qazwini, serves the Muslim population. His mosque -- also known as the Islamic Center of America (ICOFA) -- is one of many that serve Muslims living in the Detroit area. Not only does Dearborn (western suburb and home to Ford Motor Company) hold the largest Arab-American population in North America, but another small suburb, Hamtramck (which is totally surrounded by Detroit), has in recent years become the first American city to have a Muslim-majority city council. I am used to seeing women in headscarfs and I once lived in a house on the Detroit-Dearborn border where I could daily hear the "call to prayer" of a nearby mosque.

But my interest in understanding Islam really stems from 9/11. I remember George W. Bush going on TV and telling Muslims "we respect your faith" and thinking "well, I don't respect your faith if it tells you to fly airplanes into skyscrapers and kill 3000 people." The terror attacks that have followed, carried out by Muslims attributing their action to Allah, made me wonder how other Muslims can say "Islam is a peaceful religion." Is it really?

This book by Imam Qazwini has finally convinced me that there is nothing in the essence of Islam that tells anyone to kill another person, let alone lead terrorist attacks on innocent people. But Islam, like other religions, has a number of sects and factions and different interpretations of their holy book (the Quran) and the teachings of Islamic scholars through the ages.

I learned a great deal through Imam Qazwini's personal story of growing up in a family immersed in Islam. His father was a famous imam and the author always wanted to follow in his footsteps. He finished secondary school and went on to a religious college that he describes as "bigger than the University of Michigan" with beautiful buildings and eminent professors. His father had been a frequent speaker on Islam and this son began speaking as well. He married at age eighteen in an arranged marriage. I wish he had told us more about what he thought when he first saw the woman chosen for him and how they built a relationship. On the subject of women, he is pretty shy. He also talks much more about his father than about his mother. That bothered me a bit, but later he redeems himself by expressing support for women's rights and rejecting extreme views about gender roles. He relates a story of participating in a class for newly arrived immigrants that required him to be in a group that included females. The exercises including touching (as in hand-shaking) and he had always been taught not to touch any woman but his wife. This sounds a bit trivial to anyone growing up in the US, but it bothered Qazwini and he substituted a small bow. To his credit, he realized this is a cultural difference and does not have anything to do with the value of women.

He came to the US because his father had come here and urged him to come too. He came first to California, then did some speaking visits to Dearborn before being offered the job of Imam at the big mosque, the Islamic Center of America. He also became an American citizen and sees no contradiction between democracy and Islam. But he does object to the stereotyping of Muslims in the US and will speak to any group on the subject to help them understand his religion. He says it is not his goal to convert Christians or Jews to Islam, but to help them understand Islam. People are used to the stereotype of Arabs as terrorists as seen in a number of popular movies and, because many Americans do not know any Muslims, tend to accept this view of them. He says Islam's role in history is also misunderstood: the prophet Muhammad had multiple wives mainly because some were widows who would have no means of support without a husband; most Muslims have only one wife. He says large populations were NOT converted "by the sword" but voluntarily and were better treated under Muslim rulers who tend to be tolerant of other faiths. And the word "jihad" is not just about wars (that is a minor meaning), but has a meaning in personal self-development. The Prophet Muhammad believed in only "just war" and there are rules for what is a just war.

Islamic beliefs are not just based on the Quran but also on a set of principles passed down from generations of teachers; these are called the hadith. Shia Muslims stem from a group that accepted the Prophet Muhammad's choice of a successor, his son-in-law, Ali, while Sunnis chose leaders from a more powerful clan. Shia also respect the Twelve Imams (successors to Muhammad) whose sayings are part of their teachings.

I also learned that Islam is not just one set of practices, but varies depending on the sect. Imam Qazwini is a Shia, but most Muslims are Sunnis, although there are other sects like the Sufis and Alowites. In Saudi Arabia, home to the Prophet Muhammad and holy city of Mecca, the ruling family are Wahhabis, a strict sect based on the teachings of an imam from the 14th century. We know Saudi Arabia as the country where they have a lot of oil money, but women have no rights at all and can pretty much do nothing without permission of a man. They cannot even drive a car. The country is not democratic and their treatment of women is, in my American point of view, abusive and violates the civil rights of half the population, the female half. Imam Qazwini also does not think highly of Wahhabis. When the US State Department sent a group of "Muslim students" to visit Dearborn and stop at his mosque to pray, the students rejected the mosque and did their prayers out on the lawn instead. The imam realized they were Wahhabis who objected to something about his mosque. He sent the State Department a note telling them that these people had insulted him as well as his mosque employees and his religion. He told them not to send any students to pray at his center unless they are "civilized students." I guess that would be Muslims who are not Wahhabi.

Iran is a Shia-majority country while Iraq is Sunni. Sadam Husein was not a religious man, but he favored Sunni over Shia and had persecuted Shia clergy including Imam Qazwini's father. When his father got word that Sadam's guards were looking for him, he and his family fled in the night to Kuwait, an important boyhood memory for Imam Qazwini. He has much to say about the interaction of American politics with affairs in the Middle East. He considered Sadam a tyrant ruler but also grew disaffected with George W. Bush's handling of foreign policy.

He tells us of small differences between Shia and Sunni like Sunnis pray on rugs and Shia don't and Sunnis pray five times a day and Shia three times, but they all use the same prayers. Some mosques separate men and women by a wall and others do not. He feels the difference between Shia and Sunni are less than the differences between Catholic and Protestant and that Muslims of both sects are known to pray in each others' mosques.

The last chapter is a series of 20 questions that Americans frequently ask about Muslims. It is one of many helpful parts of this book that will provide the reader with information about this religion that has taken on such a negative meaning in the United States. I think I was really sold on the author's take on Islam as compatible with American principles when he used the pronoun "we" in a sentence that I realized was referring, not to himself as a Muslim, but to himself as an American. Although I live in a metro area that has a fairly large Muslim population, I did not understand much about their beliefs and practices. This is a good book for learning more.