are a great many books published on the subject of Islam
today. Many of them are negative portrayals
produced by extremist think tanks and religious
fundamentalists, often with an obsessive bias bordering
on paranoia. Some are defensive presentations that
focus on the ideals of Islam, without reference to the
practice of Muslim societies in history. Below a
selection is offered of academic scholarship on Islam,
much of which is from university presses, but all of
which is intended to be accessible to the general
reader. These suggestions provide fair-minded and
reputable analyses of the complex issues that
characterize Islam in history and in the world today.
the Problem of Anti-Islamic Prejudice
Meri, Joseph W. Medieval Islamic
Civilization: An Encyclopedia.
Newby, Gordon. A Concise Encyclopedia
of Islam. Oxford/Oneworld Press, 2002.
Yarshater, Ehsan. Encyclopaedia Iranica.
Columbia University/Eisenbrauns, 1996-2008 (available
online, best viewed with Internet Explorer)
Islamic Religious Thought
Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet. San
Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1993.
Schimmel, Annemarie. And Muhammad is His Messenger:
The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety.
Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press,
Michael. Approaching the Qur'an: The Early
Revelations (with audio CD). Ashland, OR: White
Cloud Press, 1999.
Bernard G. The Spirit of Islamic Law. Athens:
University of Georgia Press, 1988.
Leila. Women and Gender in Islam. New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1993.
miriam. Women Claim Islam: Creating Islamic
Feminism through Literature. New York:
Fatima. The Veil
and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of
Women's Rights in Islam, trans. Mary Jo
Lakeland. Cambridge: Perseus Books, 1987.
and Islamic History
A history of the
Muslim world to 1405: the making of a civilization.
Prentice Hall, 2003.
Gelvin, James L. The
Modern Middle East: A History. Oxford
University Press, 2004.
Hodgson, Marshall G. S. The Venture of Islam: Conscience in History
in a World Civilization. 3 volumes,
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972. This
pathbreaking book is still a classic and is recommended
for serious readers.
Smith, Charles D. Palestine
and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. 5th edition,
Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004.