Reviews for My Islam : How Fundamentalism Stole My Mind-and Doubt Freed My Soul
Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
In this compelling, reverse-faith story, Nasr takes his reader through his journey from being a fervent believer in Islam to his increasing questioning of the faith. Born in Sudan but raised in Qatar and Malaysia, Nasr identifies himself as a "third-culture" kid, never fully feeling like he belongs to the country where he lives. Nasr explains how, as a child, he was heavily influenced in his faith by his teachers. Although raised in a moderate household, Nasar became increasingly conservative in his approach to religion, but that position began to change with his involvement in the blogosphere. Speaking with Muslims and non-Muslims from different countries, he was inspired to start his own blog and record his evolving attitude toward the Muslim faith. A moving chronicle of one man's spiritual transformation. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2013 May #1
Occasionally glib, yet conversational, ultimately endearing account of a Sudanese-born Malaysian youth's reckoning with his inherited Islamic faith through the act of blogging. The identity behind the popular blog The Sudanese Thinker, Nasr re-creates his journey from a fairly religious, comfortable upbringing in Khartoum (born in 1986), Qatar and Kuala Lumpur, where he attended private schools and began to question his Islamic teachings and especially its political uses. Memorization and rote learning of the Quran were the methods of instruction, with an emphasis on hating Jews and infidels and waging jihad. When Nasr questioned the teachings, he was told that he was courting the devil. While his homeland of Sudan was undergoing a civil war, the author became aware of the huge contrasts there between the rich and poor, as well as between the conservative dictates of his Malaysian school and his relatively permissible home. In 2006, he happened upon the Egyptian bloggers The Big Pharaoh and Sandmonkey and began to join conversations by liberal young Muslims about the controversial topics of the day--e.g., the Iraq War, Wahhabi ideology, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, feminism and the oppression by Arab tyrants. Transcending national borders, blogging allowed the youth to find solidarity among Arabs, leading to many of the explosive currents that found expression in the Arab Spring of 2011. Becoming the first Sudanese blogger in English, Nasr challenged long-standing beliefs about a Jewish American conspiracy bent on destroying Islam and embarked on an "unintended exercise in intellectual and psychological self-empowerment." Structured wittily around a love affair with Islam, in which doubt is personified as the seductress who urges him to read atheist authors, Nasr's account is straightforward, fluent and full of lively allusions for further readings. A candid, cosmopolitan look at the experience of Islam in the digital age. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal Reviews 2013 January #1
Following a suffocating fundamentalist upbringing, Nasr found his life opening up through the Internet. In 2006, he launched the blog The Sudanese Thinker, a three-time Weblog Award finalist that appeared anonymously until the Arab Spring. A call to freedom directed at young Muslims worldwide. [Page 66]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #2
Nasr, a Sudanese blogger, seamlessly blends memoir with political thought and activism in his book, a distillation of his last few years blogging about Islam and the Muslim world. Nasr, who grew up in Qatar and Malaysia, recounts his early religious education both at home and at school, including the confusion he felt about certain religiously conservative viewpoints. The book smoothly follows his journey out of a simplistic understanding of Islam, through rationalism and semi-atheism, towards a conversion to Sufism, the mystical school of Islam. Personal history--particularly his expatriate childhood--is the book's strongest aspect, delivered in Nasr's s casual, conversational tone. The focus on his developing political and religious thought, however, is weaker, as his trajectory is unremarkable. But Nasr's insight into the world of young Arab bloggers, including many of the activists behind the Arab Spring, makes this a valuable and enjoyable read. Agent: Linda Langton, Langtons International Agency. (June 11) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC