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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism by Karima Bennoune

Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism [Hardcover]

Karima Bennoune 
Karima Bennoune interviewed journalists, doctors, musicians, museum curators, lawyers, street vendors and women's rights activists, among others, in her three-year investigation of opposition to the rising tide of Muslim fundamentalism from Lahore to Minneapolis. Her subjects' own religious views range from the wholly secular to the deeply devout, yet all bear painful witness to the brutal effects of fundamentalist violence and oppression. Defenders of freedom, they struggle to foster creativity, compassion, discussion and diversity even sometimes in the face of death threats (and more than threats) from armed religious militants. Yet, some of these vibrant, engaging and heroic people also suffer from the consequences of counterterrorism.

Review

Karima Bennoune's book is the clearest, shrewdest, and most vivid journalistic account of the struggle over Islamism that I have ever read. Are you a liberal? A conservative? A champion of human rights? This book will open your eyes. Do you already consider yourself an expert? This book will sharpen your thinking. --Paul Berman, author of "Terror and Liberalism" and "The Flight of the Intellectuals"

About the Author

With twenty years of research and activism in human rights, Karima Bennoune is a professor of law at the University of California-Davis School of Law. She grew up in Algeria and the United States.

This review is from: Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism (Hardcover)
As an avid reader of the Economist, on August 31, 2013, I came across a review for, "Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here" by Karima Bennoune, which piqued my interest. The reviewer for the Economist wrote, "Her reporting is diligent, passionate and convincing. With courage and empathy, she takes readers to hardscrabble streets where Islamist militias unleashed a wave of almost indiscriminate butchery. She meets a woman who lost her husband and then six of her nine children; a newspaper publisher who returned from a funeral to find his offices blown up but still puts out a paper the next day; a nurse who lies at home helplessly after being paralyzed by a rocket attack."

I bought Ms. Bennoune's book and was not disappointed. The stories were deeply moving and shined a light on a struggle that brave, everyday people from all walks of life are fighting in order to defeat the terror of violence that is the calling card of radical fundamentalism. The book is poetic, historical and deeply moving. I recommend putting "Your Fatwa Does Not Apply here" on your must read reading list.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars your fatwa does not apply hereSeptember 21, 2013
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bennoune does a great job decribing what most of us in the west do not realize goes on as moderate muslims fight against the radical who get all the press attention due to their violent acts; a story that needs to be more widely understood; i have had fortune to visit many of the places she describes esp timbucto where i was able to go about a year before all the recent problems; remember being in a crowd of some thousands of locals being one of only five caucasians there; at worse we were ignored & at best treated very friendy; never felt threatened & i only saw one policeman the whole time who did not have a gun; it is inconievable what supposed religious muslims have done to that city that has so much muslim culture & history; some day the moderates have to overcome these fanatics who kill more of their own fellow muslims than they do the hated westerners; a very worthwhile read which i highly recomend
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars North African countries and contraddictions of moving culturesOctober 16, 2013
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This review is from: Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism (Hardcover)
Recommended for all those are trying to get more insights on North African countries, on Arab and 'islamic-inspired' cultures.
It is both voice from within (Algeria) and from the outside (US).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars met my expecttions fullyOctober 2, 2013
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This review is from: Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism (Hardcover)
lively written with personal touch! Brings the reader to understand the Situation better. But: it is not bitter. should be read by many!!
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Islamism vs LibertarianismSeptember 7, 2013
By 
William Garrison Jr. (Bellevue, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism (Hardcover)
Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here" by Karima Bennoune (Aug. 2013). Condensed comments from a review by Sohrab Ahmari in the Sept. 7-8, 2013 "Wall Street Journal": [The author] "was alarmed by how `the Western (and global) Left often refuses to recognize the reality' of `Islamist violence' and `the actual danger posed by its ideology" ....

She was enraged by the blindness of the human-rights establishment .... [The author] "profiles dozens of poets, journalists, artists and average Muslims who resist Islamism, often at great personal cost and with scant support from Western liberals"....

"Her father was a prominent intellectual and opponent of the ruling military regime in Algiers. Yet he also dared to teach Darwin at the height of the country's Islamist insurgency in the 1990s. He survived death threats from armed Islamists, but others weren't so lucky." ...

"The book feels overlong and disjointed" .... "Conceptually, she fails to distinguish between religious traditionalism in liberal-democratic countries, such as the U.S. and Israel, and the organized, global, illiberal menace of radical Islam" ....

"Still, we should be grateful that [the author] is willing to proclaim, from within the progressive academy: `I think when we talk about Muslim fundamentalism, we have to actually talk about it. It exists. It gravely menaces the human rights of people of Muslim heritage.'"
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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Sufficiency of OutrageOctober 2, 2013
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This review is from: Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism (Hardcover)
Some years ago, a caller from The New Republic asked why we had not renewed our subscription. In part, we replied, because reviewer Stanley Kauffmann during a one-year period had not seen one film that he liked. Or because every article sapped us of moral outrage, whether politics, or environmental destruction, or ....

So too for this chronicle of feminist struggle against religious and cultural burgeoning oppression in predominantly Muslim countries. Yet an oveerarching structure escaped me amidst the drum beat of distress.

A confession: I could not read more than half-way through. Perhaps this abandonment traces to depression over a moral terrorism in the United States that would deny health care and has cut food aid to the needy. How many professed Christians match Muslims in zagat, the injunction on charitable giving?

What might have hooked me earlier? A break from the blizzard of acronyms for some historical perspective on "fatwas" amongst the different sects of Islam. So bleak.
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