Islam And The Future of Tolerance (Book review)

Islam and the future of tolerance review


Subject of the Book:

Isslam and future of tolerance  is a book in dialogue format, and features an exchange between Harris, an atheist and a critic of religion, and Nawaz, an Islamist-turned-liberal activist. Harris argues that the doctrines of Islam are dangerous while Nawaz defends Islam by arguing that those dangerous doctrines have been circumvented by the tradition. Nawaz further argues that like any other religion, Islam is open to reform and will find its place in a secular world.



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Islam And The Future of Tolerance (review) 6

Maajid Nawaz is a former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir who now chairs the counter-extremism think tank Quilliam.


Sam Harris

Sam Harris


Sam Harris is an author, neuroscientist and philosopher. He is an atheist, a critic of religion and a proponent of the”New Atheism”, a movement closely associated with him, Professor Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens.



Publisher: Harvard University Press (October 6, 2015)

Inside the book:

Islam and the future of tolerance book is one continuous dialogue, but there are some sub-headings to help readers navigate it.

  • The Roots of Extremism
  • The Scope of the Problem
  • The Power of Belief
  • The Betrayal of Liberalism
  • The Nature of Islam
  • Finding the Way Forward

The dialogue is followed by a short (10 book) list of Further Reading and Acknowledgements.

What makes it worth reading

The book is published with the explicit purpose of furthering difficult conversations about Islam without “devolving into bigotry or caricature”.The book also explores the differences between the religion of Islam and the ideology of Islamism.

Some Quick facts about this Book-

  • It is an Interpolated dialog between Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz.Harris is a famous aetheist and Nawaz ia a former radical.
  • It is on the Subject of Islamism and jihad-A favourite topic for the debators.
  • The issues discussed are probably the most important challenges faced by Muslims living in Muslim majority countries and can be summarised in a single question. “What does it mean to be a Muslim today?”
  • The book is concise and straight to the point. It’s evident that both set out to have their dialoge published as a book, and from time to time you seem them referring to the “reader” which is in this sense us.
  • Harris and Nawaz demonstrate how two people with very different views can find common ground.
  • In this conversation, Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz achieve what so many who take part in the debate on Islam and the West fail to accomplish: a civil but honest dialogue.
  • This book gives a lesson how to constructively engage with some one you disagree with.


  • (Kirkus Reviews 2015-07-01) :Readers with a knee-jerk opinion of Islam will learn a lot.
  •  (Ray Olson Booklist 2015-09-01) :A wise little volume.
  • (Brian Stewart National Review 2015-10-07):Provocative and profane…Islam and the Future of Tolerance exemplifies the virtues of open dialogue…All Harris and Nawaz seek is to give voice to the spirit of rebellion and reformation smoldering in the lands of Islam. Forcing it into flame will doubtless be a long time coming, but these two men should be lauded for endeavoring to provide a spark.
  • It is an insightful discussion covering modern day Islamic issues.
  • It is an honest, frank discussion on the factions, probable roots and potential solutions to Islamist ideology. Thoughtfully written, the discussion proceeds with the rare ability to touch on the recruiting tactics of Islamist recruiters & how speaking candidly about religious doctrine is one of means of dismantling such tactics through the creation of a counter-narrative.
  • Most refreshing thing about this book is that both Harris and Nawaz agree on the complete failure of liberal Leftists for silencing honest discussion, which has empowered jihadists and Islamic theocrats. Nawaz holds up the example of the American civil rights movement, where people like Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders took responsibility for their communities and acted in a positively empowering way, instead of constantly playing the victim card or rioting in the streets.
  • A much needed discussion on modern Islamic issues.


  • Price:Available from :$10.38
  • Publisher:Harvard University Press (October 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • Available:Here


Accordingly I recommend it to anyone who cares about these issues and who are involved in interfaith dialogues .Also This is a small volume – a short book (about 120 pages)which takes only a few hours to read.Ideal for gifting it to someone as it is hard to convince some one to read a massive book



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Book Reviews, Islamophobia,