Ziauddin Sardar, writer, broadcaster, futurist and cultural critic, is an internationally renowned scholar and public intellectual. Formerly, Professor of Law and Society at Middlesex University, he is author of over 50 books, including Reading the Qur’an; and Mecca: The Sacred City, and two volumes of the highly acclaimed autobiography: Desperately Seeking Paradise and Balti Britain: A Provocative Journey Through Asian Britain. Two collections of his writings are available as Islam, Postmodernism and Other Futures: A Ziauddin Sardar Reader and How Do You Know? Reading Ziauddin Sardar on Islam, Science and Cultural Relations. Professor Sardar has worked as a science journalist for Nature and New Scientist, as reporter for London Weekend Television and Channel 4 and has made numerous television and radio programmes, including Battle for Islam, a documentary for the BBC. A former columnist on the New Statesman, and long-standing Editor of the monthly journal Futures. Currently, he is Editor of the quarterly magazine Critical Muslim, and Director of the Centre for Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies.
Jeremy Henzell-Thomas is a Research Associate (and former Visiting Fellow) at the Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a member of the executive committee of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS UK), he was the first Chair of the Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism (FAIR), and is the Founder and former Executive Director of the Book Foundation, a registered UK charity which works with partner institutions in the UK and the USA to improve understanding of Islam in the West. Currently an Associate Editor of Critical Muslim, he has also written regular columns over the years for Islamica and Emel magazines, and the Credo column in The Times. A former lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, he endeavours to apply his academic specialisms of philology and psycholinguistics to contemporary issues affecting public perception of Islam and Muslims, and to the advancement of critically aware dialogue and polylogue in a range of socio-cultural and educational contexts.
Islam is one of the great monotheistic religions of the world. It produced a magnificent civilization, envied for its science and learning, spanning over a thousand years. The teachings of Islam emphasize unity, humility, forgiveness and love of God. The Qur'an sings the virtues of knowledge and rationality. The life of Muhammad demonstrates the importance of tolerance, social justice and brotherhood. In Sufism, Islam presents a mystical system based on love and devotion. So why is Islam associated with hatred, violence, obstinacy and bigotry?
Ziauddin Sardar examines the true teachings of Islam and explores the reality of the Muslim world today. Emphasizing the diversity of Islam and its ideals, he assesses the role Islam plays in the lives of ordinary Muslims and how Islamic beliefs and practices help Muslims understand the modern world.