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American Jihad: Islam After Malcolm X.

No matter what strain or variety, Islam has never been a popular topic in America. When it has aroused media attention, it is cast in a negative light or at the center of civic disturbance. In this atmosphere, Steven Barboza's American Jihad: Islam Affer Malcolm X is a welcome edition on the religion, in that it allows some of its many adherents their own voice.

In the introduction to this collection of profiles, Barboza notes the circumstances of his own conversion to Islam 10 years after the assassination of Malcolm X. An experienced journalist, Barboza positions the religion in a world context by observing that there are more than one billion Muslims, comprising 23.2% of the world's population, of which six million followers reside in the United States.

But it is the personal experiences and reflections of the 50 Muslims he recounts that resonate. Most are ordinary folks, such as Johnny Lee X who was not satisfied with Christianity; others are better-known devotees, such as Malcolm's oldest daughter, Attallah Shabazz. Shabazz answers questions about the world's fastest growing religion with insight and authority.

In a chapter called "Relations," Amir Abdul Latiyf Hamin and his three wives expound on the issue of polygamy and how it is handled, at least by one family. Like most essays in here, this one is thoughtful but too brief. A longer discussion is warranted also from Jamil Abdullah Al-amin--formerly H. Rap Brown.

A glossary, a profile of Islam and the prophet Muhammad and a section on the 99 names of Allah round out this offering, a sound introduction to this burgeoning religion.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Boyd, Herb
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 1994
Words:268
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