I was contacted by @kaighlaumdayo over Instagram to check out a wonderful book she co-authored with Theresa Corbin called ‘The New Muslim’s Field Guide’. I’m always interested in supporting the work of new authors and immediately picked up a copy to start reading it.
The book is a mixture of kind well-thought-out advice with personal vignettes from the lives of the authors. In sections called ‘Tales from Theresa Town’ and ‘Candid Kaighla’ we learn more about how the personal experiences these Muslim women have gone through (some positive and some negative) have helped them to come to their conclusions. What is incredible, is despite their negative experiences, they remain upbeat and hopeful throughout, urging their audience to be both compassionate to themselves and to those around them whether they are Muslim or not.
The book is important for new Muslims and even those Muslims the authors refer to as ‘heritage’ (born into the religion), as I think it can really help to build sympathy and empathy for the experiences of those who are new to the religion.
The authors are very clear not to delve into areas outside of their knowledge base, so recognise that they cannot speak for people of colour who enter the religion, as they have some unique experiences and challenges.
Finally, I was fascinated to read Theresa’s reflections on Omar Hamami, particularly as I have spent my working life understanding political violence. She writes of him with a great deal of compassion and understanding, reminding us that people are complex and can sometimes take difficult turns in their lives.
I personally benefitted a great deal reading this book and would very much recommend it to all. It’s a useful guide and has been written in a very easy to read style.
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