When Islam Is Not a Religion: Inside America's Fight for Religious Freedom

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$27.95  $25.99
Pegasus Books
Publish Date
6.0 X 1.4 X 9.1 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

Asma T. Uddin is a religious liberty lawyer who has worked on cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, and federal trial courts. She is the founding editor­-in­-chief of altmuslimah.com and was an executive producer for the Emmy and Peabody­-nominated docuseries, The Secret Life of Muslims. She has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Teen Vogue. Asma lives in Washington, DC.


Asma Uddin has written a terrific book. It is all at once a primer on the very American commitment to religious freedom, a history of the discrimination that Muslims in America have endured since 9/11 and a window into the life of a leading American Muslim intellectual. It is both deeply researched and a joy to read. I give it my highest recommendation.--Eboo Patel, author of 'Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise'
A powerful book examining how modern discourse has tried to put Islam and Muslims into a small box of political identity. As Asma Uddin demonstrates, Islam is a vast corpus of ideas and Muslims incredibly diverse in the way they approach their faith. This book is a necessity at a time when American society is deeply divided. Perhaps in learning to recognize and appreciate the diversity within Islam, we can learn to transcend the differences we have with each other.
The freedom to practice and cultivate one's faith is the bedrock of America's founding principles. People have come to our country to escape religious persecution, but there has been a rising tide of discrimination right here at home. Ms. Uddin is a leader for religious freedom and calls our attention to the challenges facing First Amendment rights in the post-9/11 world.--Senator Orrin G. Hatch, former President pro tempore of the United States Senate
Uddin details the evolution over recent years of the shocking slander that one of the world's three Abrahamic faiths, is not a religion; and therefore that its American adherents are not entitled to the protections enjoyed by citizens of all other faiths under the US Constitution. Drawing on her extensive career as a lawyer in religious freedom cases she examines the current landscape of the law. Even more, she describes the effect of bigotry and otherization on the human heart, calling on her experience as listener, feminist, mother and daughter.--Meryl Chertoff, Executive Director of The Aspen Institute's Justice and Society Program
In the age of Donald Trump, American Muslims face a graver threat to their religious freedom than any other group. Everyone who cares about American freedom should grasp the danger and rally to their cause. In her remarkable book, Asma Uddin explains how.--Peter Beinart, Professor of Journalism and Political Science, City University of New York, contributor to 'The Atlantic' and CNN
Asma Uddin's book explores a critical and unknown dimension of Islamophobia--the false claim that Islam is not a religion--as well as the danger of this claim to American religious freedom as we know it. It is required reading for anyone who cares about the future and health of our democracy.--Dalia Mogahed, coauthor of 'Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion' Muslims Really Think
A compelling examination of the nation's ongoing efforts to balance religious freedom with civil liberties - and where, in the 21st century, those efforts are falling short, particularly for Muslims but also for other non-majority communities. Uddin avoids heated rhetoric in favor of an insightful examination of modern-day Islam in the U.S. and worldwide, and argues persuasively that the United States' commitment to religious liberty must not be derailed by animus toward those who distort Islam and use it as a mechanism of intolerance, political terrorism and violence. If you want to think seriously about the future of freedom of religion, this is a must-read.--Gene Policinski, a founding editor of USA Today and COO of the Freedom Forum Institute
A reasoned yet impassioned argument for religious liberty for all. The author laces her work with personal stories of growing up and living as a Muslim in America, explaining it as a source of empowerment despite the prevalence of bigotry and suspicion from fellow citizens. An intriguing and heartfelt read.-- (06/01/2019)
A reasoned, approachable book. She starts with a masterful takedown of the claim from anti-Islam fearmongers that Islam is not a religion. Uddin's thorough research, formidable intelligence, and eloquent prose are evident throughout. Her cogent arguments will be appreciated by readers willing to listen, as the work provides an accessible introduction to key Islamic concepts alongside a clarion call for the protection of everyone's religious rights. Readers will find much to ponder in Uddin's excellent work.
A must read--especially for conservative Christians like me--to better understand the scope and the stakes of the religious liberty debate. I hope it starts a long-overdue conversation among believes. It stands to be a landmark in the religious freedom discussion.--Rod Dreher, author of the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller THE BENEDICT OPTION
Uddin pushes back forcefully on anti-Muslim sentiment in this reasoned, approachable book. Uddin's thorough research, formidable intelligence, and eloquent prose are evident throughout, and she persuasively dismantles misconceptions about American Muslims. The work provides an accessible introduction to key Islamic concepts alongside a clarion call for the protection of everyone's religious rights. Readers interested in the current political struggles of Muslim Americans or the legal issues surrounding religious liberties will find much to ponder in Uddin's excellent work.-- (05/07/2019)
A bold exploration of Islam's legal place in U.S. society, as well as a deeply personal glimpse into one American family's Muslim faith. Uddin's efforts to counter ignorance with grace and humility are ever-present in this well-researched first book. She presents the reader with thought-provoking examples of religious persecution that ultimately threaten to compromise the religious freedom of all Americans, not just Muslims.-- (07/09/2019)
Brilliantly paced and rigorously detailed. This book will resonate and be in demand by those seeking to understand the erosion of religious freedom in America.-- (07/28/2019)
A stirring defense of religious freedom, which, try as we might, is inseparable from human freedom. As Uddin writes: 'It's not our beliefs that religious liberty protects--it protects us, the humans who hold those beliefs. Put another way, religious liberty protects believers, not beliefs.'-- (07/28/2019)
--Bob Roberts, Jr., Founding Pastor, Northwood Church, Founder of Glocal.net, and author of BOLD AS LOVE