Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Beyond Jihad, a milestone of Islamic dissident writers

Many of you may remember the time period (the end of 1999 precisely) when a group of non-conformist writers began a perilous intellectual journey in the Internet forums. That started with the web-based daily News from Bangladesh. Gradually mukto-mona, Faith Freedom International, Vinnomot and lately Islam-Watch became the hinterlands of a bunch of freethinkers, agnostics and apostates. Incidentally most of such writers were of Bangladesh descent and their forefathers' religion happened to be Islam. The Islamic dissident authors endeavored to reach a new horizon, to a cyber place, as if where no man had gone before. They boldly penned such matters, discussion of which may be sufficient to face long-term jail sentence in many Muslim majority countries. Wide-eyed readers perused with awe essays of Syed Kamran Mirza, fatemolla, Abul Kasem, Avijit Roy, Aparthib Zaman, Jahed Ahmed, Alamgir Hussain, Mohammad Asghar, Esam Sohail, Quddus Khan, Syed Munir Islam, Sher Khan, Ohmyrus, Imran Hussain, Nonie Darwish, A.H. Jaffor Ullah. Also notably, Iranian born Ali Sina was a regular participant in Bengali Apostate Brigade.

Rutgers University’s Political Science Professor Dr. Kim Ezra Shienbaum was introduced to our network of writers after she stumbled into one of my essays in an Internet based newspaper called Pakistan Link. She and I started to correspond and things would never be the same. Because of Dr. Shienbaum’s initiative a Rutgers University seminar titled “Has Islam been hijacked” became a success http://ur.rutgers.edu/medrel/viewArticle.html?ArticleID=3799. After the successful completion of the seminar in 2004, Dr. Shienbaum gave me the idea of gathering a group of non-Western writers for a book project. We got great responses from the fellow authors, whose voices were hardly ever heard in the mainstream Western media because of a formidable shield of political correctness in the societies. After going through the bumpy ride in the publishing world, our book, a collection of essays titled “Beyond Jihad: Critical Voices From the Inside” http://www.academicapress.com/site/catalog.php?wd=b finally got out of the press.

Book publishing on the subject of Islam is not totally a new experience for a few of the writers of our “circle of sanity” (as Dr. Shienbaum coined the words for us). A few years ago, a renowned scholar Ibn Warraq edited “Leaving Islam” where Abul Kasem and Syed Kamran Mirza were contributors. Also, Syed Kamran Mirza and Fatemolla’s earlier publications have gone into several university libraries including the Harvard University Library. In a recent library catalog search I found the following titles in the Harvard collection.

Title: Roots of terror in Islam : a search roots of violence in Islam

 

Author(s): Mirza, Syed Kamran.

Publication: Glendale : New Horizons, CA, USA

Title: Four articles on roots of terror in Islam

 

Author(s): Mirza, Syed Kamran.

Publication: Glendale : New Horizons, CA, USA

Title:  Violence embedded in Islam

 

Author(s): Fatemolla

Publication: Glendale : New Horizons, CA, USA


Let us go back to Beyond Jihad once again. The book was published in March of this year. It is very encouraging to see the book made its way to a number of prestigious academic libraries of the United States. As of August 17, 2006 the book is available in 52 libraries worldwide. As the following record from a database shows, these include such high profile resource centers like the libraries of Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, University of California at Berkeley, Georgetown, National Defense University, and University of Ottawa. I found out Pentagon Library is in the process of obtaining a copy as well. And what about CIA Library? The chances are there, this much I can say for now.

Libraries with Item: "Beyond jihad : / critical..."( Record for Item | Get This Item )

 

1. DC  AMERICAN UNIV   yes   EAU ?

2. DC  GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIV  Yes   DGW ?

3. DC  GEORGETOWN UNIV  yes  DGU ?

4.  DC  LIBRARY OF CONGRESS  yes   DLC ?

5.  DC  NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV LIBR  yes   NDU ?

6.  AL   UNIV OF ALABAMA   yes   ALM ?

7.  AL  US AIR FORCE, AIR UNIV LIBR  yes  AAU ?

8.  AZ  UNIV OF ARIZONA  yes   AZU ?

9.  CA  CALIFORNIA STATE UNIV, FRESNO  yes  CFS ?

10.   CA   RIVERSIDE COMMUN COL LIBR  yes   RCZ ?

11.   CA  SAN DIEGO STATE UNIV LIBR  yes   CDS ?

12.  CA  UNIV OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY  yes   CUY ?

13.  CT  WESLEYAN UNIV  yes  WLU ?

14.  DE  UNIV OF DELAWARE  yes   DLM ?

15.  FL   FLORIDA STATE UNIV  yes   FDA ?

16.  GA  GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIV  yes  GPM ?

17.  GA  UNIV OF GEORGIA  yes   GUA ?

18.  IL  UNIV OF ILLINOIS, CHICAGO  yes  IAY ?

19.  IN  INDIANA UNIV  yes   IUL ?

20.   IN   INDIANA UNIV, PURDUE UNIV, INDIANAPOLIS   yes   IUP ?

21.  BOSTON COL

22. BRANDEIS UNIV LIBR

23.  WILLIAMS COL

24. UNIV OF MARYLAND, COL PARK

35.  CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIV

26.  EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIV

27.  WAYNE STATE UNIV

28.  WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIV

29.  UNIV OF ST THOMAS

30.  UNIV OF MISSOURI, COLUMBIA

31.  UNIV OF N CAROLINA, CHAPEL HILL

32.  PRINCETON UNIV

33.  RUTGERS UNIV

34.  COLLEGE OF MOUNT ST VINCENT

35.  COLUMBIA UNIV

36.  CORNELL UNIV

37.  BAKER & TAYLOR

38.  UNIV OF CINCINNATI

39.  UNIV OF S CAROLINA

40.  BAYLOR UNIV

41.  RICE UNIV, FONDREN LIBR

42.  TEXAS A&M UNIV

43.  UNIV OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON

44.  UNIV OF RICHMOND

45.  UNIV OF VIRGINIA

46.  VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIV

47.  WASHINGTON & LEE UNIV

48.  UNIV OF VERMONT, BAILEY LIBR

49.  MARQUETTE UNIV, MEMORIAL LIBR

50.  UNIV OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, GEN LIBR SYS

51.  UNIV D'OTTAWA/UNIV OF OTTAWA

52. UNISA: MUCKLENEUK MAIN CAM


It is time to celebrate on the news that Beyond Jihad: Critical Voices From the Inside drew the attention of major academic libraries of USA. Undoubtedly, the book will remain a milestone in our effort to create a better and tolerant world of tomorrow.

 
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