For our January 21, 2016 meeting we will read three books. Two by bitter antagonists, Sam Harris and Reza Aslan, and one by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Sam Harris is a well-known atheist author, who considers Islam a dangerous ideology (as he does Christianity and Judaism and other world religions). Reza Aslan is an author on religion and a popular defender of Islam against its critics.
Our group is more oriented towards our private search for non-supernatural meaning. We are trying to forge new connections and find a new language. This is what we might call a positive approach. I don’t want to get us into a negative, “anti-” mode. But I do feel that due to recent events and U.S. presidential campaigns, anti-Muslim bigotry has become ubiquitous. I think it is important to distinguish critiques of religion — understood as supernatural-based ideologies — from acts of bigotry and hate. Where is the balance of harm, in today’s climate? I feel it is an important moment to take this on.
Here are the books:
Islam and the Future of Tolerance, by Sam Harris and Maajid Nawas
No god but God, by Reza Aslan
Heretic, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Please write in with any more suggestions.
Setenay suggested another book, and it looks very interesting and thoughtful. It is In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong, by Amin Maalouf. Please click on the title for a link to the PDF.