Mecca and Main Street: Muslim life in America after 9/11 by Geneive Abdo

* Picture from Amazon*

Format read: Hardback

Genre: Islamic

Rating: 8 out of 10

Plot: This is a book about the lives of Muslims in America in the post 9/11 years.  The author includes the point of view of second generation Muslims, converts, and activists in explaining the challenges of holding on to a faith in a world that is suspicious of it.

Opinion: I honestly was hesitant to read this book when I found out it was written by a non-Muslim.  Oftentimes when non-Muslims write about Islam, they are not so much trying to explain the faith as they are trying to demonize it.  The author didn’t focus so much on the faith as she did on Muslims in general.  I thought she did a pretty good job of explaining the frustrations and challenges of Muslims; she even explained the difficulties Muslims face when trying to make our voices heard.  I liked how the author resisted the temptation of a lot of non-Muslims to focus on the voices of the so-called progressive Muslims only; the author even explained that while these individuals are popular speakers amongst non-Muslims, they don’t share the views or values of the majority of Muslims.  I wish that the author had gone into detail about Islam, at least given the basics, but even without that, I think it’s probably the best book I’ve read by a non-Muslim about Muslims.

Next book: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

*Even though there’s about a day or two left in Ramadan, I’m probably not going to get much reading done, so I’m going to go ahead and resume my normal reading pattern.


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