New York Times Book Review - Sunday January 6, 2008
The whole issue is given over to the subject of ISLAM with 12 current books on the subject reviewed along with four essays.The following is the editorial which does not appear in the online version of the paper:
Islam, one of mankind's great religions, numbers 1.3 billion adherents around the world, with major communities not only in Cairo, Baghdad, Istanbul, Jakarta and Tehran, but also in London, Paris, Berlin, New York and Washington. Yet most Americans know very little about Muslims, which often means they know very little about their own neighbours.
Even public officials with responsibility for our national security - powerful congressmen, top FBI agents - betray an ignorance of the most basic facts about Islam, like the difference between Sunnis and Shiites.
Since 9/11, publishers have been rushing to fill this knowledge gap, and the time seems right to highlight their efforts.
This special issue is by no means comprehensive (any more than a single issue of the Book Review could be comprehensive about Christianity or Judaism).
It is instead, a sampler of what is available. It offers reviews and essays by scholars, critics and journalists of varying points of view discussing many of the most important facets of an impossibly huge subject, from history and literature
to theology and politics.