Baker & Taylor
Heretic : Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
Continuing her journey from a deeply religious Islamic upbringing to a post at Harvard, the brilliant, charismatic and controversialåÊNew York TimesåÊandåÊGlobe and MailåÊ#1 bestselling author ofåÊInfidelandåÊNomadåÊmakes a powerful plea for a Muslim Reformation as the only way to end the horrors of terrorism, sectarian warfare and the repression of women and minorities.
Today, she argues, the world‰_s 1.6 billion Muslims can be divided into a minority of extremists, a majority of observant but peaceable Muslims and a few dissidents who risk their lives by questioning their own religion. But there is only one Islam and, as Hirsi Ali shows, there is no denying that some of its key teachings‰ÛÓnot least the duty to wage holy war‰ÛÓare incompatible with the values of a free society.åÊ
For centuries it has seemed as if Islam is immune to change. But Hirsi Ali has come to believe that a Muslim Reformation‰ÛÓa revision of Islamic doctrine aimed at reconciling the religion with modernity‰ÛÓis now at hand, and may even have begun. The Arab Spring may now seem like a political failure. But its challenge to traditional authority revealed a new readiness‰ÛÓnot least by Muslim women‰ÛÓto think freely and to speak out.
Courageously challenging the jihadists, she identifies five key amendments to Islamic doctrine that Muslims have to make to bring their religion out of the seventh century and into the twenty-first. And she calls on the Western world to end its appeasement of the Islamists. ‰ÛÏIslam is not a religion of peace,‰_ she writes. It is the Muslim reformers who need our backing, not the opponents of free speech.
Interweaving her own experiences, historical analogies and powerful examples from contemporary Muslim societies and cultures,åÊHereticåÊis not a call to arms, but a passionate plea for peaceful change and a new era of global toleration. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders, with jihadists killing thousands from Nigeria to Syria to Pakistan, this book offers an answer to what is fast becoming the world‰_s number one problem.