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More information on Islam


The Quran: A New Translation by Tarif Khalidi (Penguin Classics, 2008) conveys the nuance, subtlety and lyricism of the original Arabic that other versions have lacked.
The Penguin translation by NJ Dawood, considered by many Muslims to be a highly misleading and hostile (mis)translation, is not recommended.

Women and Gender in Islam

Leila Ahmed’s Women and Gender in Islam (Yale University Press, 1992) and Women and Islam by Fatima Mernissi (Blackwell, 1991) are well-regarded feminist interpretations of the Qur’an.

Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim, by Ziauddin Sardar (Granta, 2005) is a soul-searching travelogue of the Muslim world.

Nafeez Ahmed’s The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry (Duckworth, 2006) and The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Olive Branch, 2005) offer insightful analysis on Islam and realpolitik.

Former anti-apartheid activist Farid Esack’s Quran, Liberation and Pluralism (One World, Oxford, 1997) provides a progressive Muslim perspective on the fight for social justice.

Dancing in the No Fly Zone: A Woman’s Journey Through Iraq by Hadani Ditmars (Arris, 2005) recounts the writer’s journeys to pre- and post-invasion Iraq and captures the soul of the long-suffering nation.

The No-Nonsense Guide to Islam

The No-Nonsense Guide to Islam by Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies (New Internationalist, 2007) offers a comprehensive look at the world’s fastest-growing faith.
Available in the NI on-line shop.

About This Man Called Ali: The Purple Life of an Arab Artist by Amal Ghandour (Eland Books, 2009) is a compelling account of the fascinating life and tragic death of a gay Syrian artist.


offers interesting tidbits on science, architecture and other aspects of Islamic civilization from an historical perspective.

has thought-provoking articles, lively discussions and useful links.

A website/thinktank dedicated to inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue in the best tradition of the Andalucian city.

is a handy link to current affairs news from majority Muslim countries.

The US-based Muslim Women’s League provides a space for networking, education about gender issues in Islam, progressive publications and counselling.

is the website of Canada’s biggest gay Muslim advocacy group. 

Canada’s online voice for the progressive Muslim community.

The Iraqi LGBT site contains updates from human rights groups on the dangers facing gays in Iraq.

New Internationalist issue 426 magazine cover This article is from the October 2009 issue of New Internationalist.
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