The purpose of the book is to demonstrate various ways North American Muslim scholars read and interpret the Qur’an.
The prevailing image of Muslims in the media tends to be one of exotic but backward people from far away. Islam is portrayed as oppressive of women, intolerant of other faiths, zealous to impose a tyrannical theocracy, and incapable of freedom of thought. The voices gathered here show Islam as it is believed, understood, and lived out in North America. They discuss gender equality, religious pluralism, and social justice, and demonstrate a breadth and depth of intellectual vitality. They also do not all agree with one another. Nor is such agreement required in Islam, where the tradition values diversity of thought.1
1 Michael Birkel (ed.), Qur’an in Conversation Waco, TX: Baylor UP, 2014, 2.