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  1. 7.5 hrs • 6/14/2016 • Unabridged

    In this gripping narrative history, Lesley Hazleton tells the tragic story at the heart of the ongoing rivalry between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, a rift that dominates the news now more than ever. Even as Muhammad lay dying, the battle over who would take control of the new Islamic nation had begun, sparking a succession crisis marked by power grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was embroiled in civil war, pitting its founder’s controversial wife Aisha against his son-in-law Ali and shattering Muhammad’s ideal of unity. Combining meticulous research with compelling storytelling, After the Prophet explores the volatile intersection of religion and politics, psychology and culture, and history and current events. It is an indispensable guide to the depth and power of the Shia-Sunni split.

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    After the Prophet by Lesley Hazleton

    After the Prophet

    7.5 hrs • 6/14/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 12.6 hrs • 2/23/2016 • Unabridged

    Hailed by the Washington Post as “mandatory reading,” and praised by Fareed Zakaria as “intelligent, compassionate, and revealing,” this powerful journey will help bridge one of the greatest divides shaping our world today. If the Oceans Were Ink is Carla Power’s eye-opening story of how she and her longtime friend Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi found a way to confront ugly stereotypes and persistent misperceptions that were cleaving their communities. Their friendship—between a secular American and a madrasa-trained sheikh—had always seemed unlikely, but now they were frustrated and bewildered by the battles being fought in their names. Both knew that a close look at the Quran would reveal a faith that preached peace and not mass murder; respect for women and not oppression. And so they embarked on a yearlong journey through the controversial text. A journalist who grew up in the Midwest and the Middle East, Power offers her unique vantage point on the Quran’s most provocative verses as she debates with Akram at cafés, family gatherings, and packed lecture halls, conversations filled with both good humor and powerful insights. Their story takes them to madrasas in India and pilgrimage sites in Mecca, as they encounter politicians and jihadis, feminist activists and conservative scholars. Armed with a new understanding of each other’s worldviews, Power and Akram offer eye-opening perspectives, destroy long-held myths, and reveal startling connections between worlds that have seemed hopelessly divided for far too long.

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    If the Oceans Were Ink by Carla Power

    If the Oceans Were Ink

    12.6 hrs • 2/23/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 8.0 hrs • 12/21/2009 • Unabridged

    In God’s Battalions, award-winning author Rodney Stark takes on the long-held view that the Crusades were the first round of European colonialism, conducted for land, loot, and converts by barbarian Christians who victimized the cultivated Muslims. To the contrary, Stark argues that the Crusades were the first military response to unwarranted Muslim terrorist aggression. Stark reviews the history of the seven major Crusades from 1095 to 1291, demonstrating that the Crusades were precipitated by Islamic provocations, centuries of bloody attempts to colonize the West, and sudden attacks on Christian pilgrims and holy places. Although the Crusades were initiated by a plea from the pope, Stark argues that this had nothing to do with any elaborate design of the Christian world to convert all Muslims to Christianity by force of arms. Given current tensions in the Middle East and terrorist attacks around the world, Stark’s views are a thought-provoking contribution to our understanding and are sure to spark debate.

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    God’s Battalions

    8.0 hrs • 12/21/09 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.9 hrs • 8/1/2009 • Unabridged

    Former Time Magazine Jerusalem bureau chief David Aikman takes a sober, balanced impactful look at the Middle East, bringing a journalist’s mind and a believer’s heart to his examination of a region aflame. In this timely and informed exploration of current Middle East issues that goes beyond headlines and sound bites, Aikman fills in the blanks for thoughtful Christians, accurately tracing recent history and fairly portraying the leaders who have made that history. With a firm grasp on a biblical understanding of Israel’s past, present and future, he turns a critical eye on the political and religious policies of the region’s prime players, resorting neither to blind pro-Israeli sentiment nor to reactionary pro-Palestinian bias. Aikman challenges us to a uniquely Christian approach to the Middle East, respect, reason and love, rather than unqualified tolerance on the one hand or religious crusading on the other.

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    The Mirage of Peace

    9.9 hrs • 8/1/09 • Unabridged
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  5. 7.1 hrs • 4/21/2009 • Unabridged

    A cosmic war is a religious war. It is a battle not between armies or nations, but between the forces of good and evil, a war in which God is believed to be directly engaged on behalf of one side against the other. The hijackers who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, thought they were fighting a cosmic war. According to award-winning writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan, by infusing the United States War on Terror with the same kind of religiously polarizing rhetoric and Manichean worldview, is also fighting a cosmic war–a war that can’t be won. How to Win a Cosmic Waris both an in-depth study of the ideology fueling al-Qa‘ida, the Taliban, and like-minded militants throughout the Muslim world, and an exploration of religious violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Surveying the global scene from Israel to Iraq and from New York to the Netherlands, Aslan argues that religion is a stronger force today than it has been in a century. At a time when religion and politics are increasingly sharing the same vocabulary and functioning in the same sphere, Aslan writes that we must strip the conflicts of our world–in particular, the War on Terror–of their religious connotations and address the earthly grievances that always lie behind the cosmic impulse

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    How to Win a Cosmic War

    7.1 hrs • 4/21/09 • Unabridged
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    11.3 hrs • 7/15/2008 • Unabridged

    In 1521, Suleiman the Magnificent, Muslim ruler of the Ottoman Empire at the height of its power, dispatched an invasion fleet to the Christian island of Rhodes. This would prove to be the opening shot in an epic struggle between rival empires and faiths for control of the Mediterranean and the center of the world. In Empires of the Sea, acclaimed historian Roger Crowley has written his most mesmerizing work to date–a thrilling account of this brutal decades-long battle between Christendom and Islam for the soul of Europe, a fast-paced tale of spiraling intensity that ranges from Istanbul to the Gates of Gibraltar and features a cast of extraordinary characters. This struggle’s brutal climax came between 1565 and 1571, seven years that witnessed a fight to the finish decided in a series of bloody set pieces: the epic siege of Malta, the savage battle for Cyprus, and the apocalyptic last-ditch defense of southern Europe at Lepanto. Lepanto fixed the frontiers of the Mediterranean world that we know today. Roger Crowley conjures up a wild cast of pirates, crusaders, and religious warriors struggling for supremacy and survival in a tale of slavery and galley warfare, desperate bravery and utter brutality, technology and Inca gold. Empires of the Sea is page-turning narrative history at its best—a story of extraordinary color and incident, rich in detail, full of surprises, and backed by a wealth of eyewitness accounts. It provides a crucial context for our own clash of civilizations.

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    Empires of the Sea

    11.3 hrs • 7/15/08 • Unabridged
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  7. 8.2 hrs • 10/2/2007 • Unabridged

    In The Siege of Mecca, acclaimed journalist Yaroslav Trofimov pulls back the curtain on a thrilling, pivotal, and overlooked episode of modern history, examining its repercussions on the Middle East and the world. On November 20, 1979, worldwide attention was focused on Tehran, where the Iranian hostage crisis was entering its third week. That same morning, gunmen stunned the world by seizing the Grand Mosque in Mecca, creating a siege that trapped 100,000 people and lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the United States and causing hundreds of deaths. But in the days before CNN and Al Jazeera, the press barely took notice. Trofimov interviews for the first time scores of direct participants in the siege, and draws upon hundreds of newly declassified documents. With the pacing, detail, and suspense of a real-life thriller, The Siege of Mecca reveals the long-lasting aftereffects of the uprising and its influence on the world today.

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    The Siege of Mecca

    8.2 hrs • 10/2/07 • Unabridged
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  8. 5.2 hrs • 2/24/2007 • Unabridged

    Few books in history have been as poorly understood as the Qur’an. Sent down in a series of revelations to the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur’an is the unmediated word of Allah, a ritual, political, and legal authority, an ethical and spiritual guide, and a literary masterpiece. In this book, one of the launch titles in Atlantic Monthly Press’ “Books That Changed the World” series, the distinguished historian of religion Bruce Lawrence shows precisely how the Qur’an is Islam. He describes the origins of the faith and assesses its tremendous influence on today’s societies and politics. Above all, Lawrence emphasizes that the Qur’an is a sacred book of signs that has no single message. It is a book that demands interpretation and one that can be properly understood only through its history. Bruce Lawrence’s work is a beautifully written and, in these increasingly troubled times, invaluable introduction to and exploration of the core sacred text of Islam.

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  9. 6.7 hrs • 8/22/2000 • Unabridged

    Bestselling author and renowned religious scholar Karen Armstrong presents a concise and articulate history of Islam, the world’s fastest-growing faith. Beginning with the Prophet Muhammad’s flight from Medina and concluding with an examination of modern Islamic practices and concerns, Armstrong delivers an unbiased overview. She contends that no religion is more feared and misunderstood by the Western world than Islam, and firmly challenges the notion that these two civilizations are on a collision course.

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