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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:RELIGION
  • SubGenre:Islam / Sufi
  • Language:English
  • Pages:136

After the Clear Signs

This Is Not a Book About Islam

by Deborah Jamil

Book Image Not Available
After the Clear Signs is the author’s account of her immersion into a way of life that produces extremism. In her letter to a friend, she tells how governance by an intolerant and divisive dogma compelled her to study the origins of religion. This book is a source for open discussion of issues considered forbidden and blasphemous by religious authorities.
Communication between secular groups headed by businessmen and scientists have led to growth and success in the areas of technology and trade while religious groups and their leaders get nowhere. Religious indoctrination prevents some conversations from even beginning, thereby reinforcing the neglect of societal issues like ethnic strife, cruelty, poverty, injustice and inequity. Every individual and group is adversely affected by this failure in communication between diverse religious institutions and their leaders, and anyone struggling to sort through the fallout has a long and lonely road in front of them. This book describes the journey of one such person in her attempt to make sense out of the seemingly endless contradictions and confusion resulting from the lack of relevant discourse between non-secular groups. During her search, she examined scripture that condemns and warns against isolationism and ostracism, discovering that same scripture is now used to convey the exact opposite message--one of separatism, exclusivity and elitism. The Quran reads: “Oh ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends. They are friends to one another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.” (Surah V, Ayah 51) In the same chapter of the Quran, we see that Muslims are allowed to marry Christians and Jews. Interestingly, it seems the couple cannot be friends to one another. This and many other contradictions make for some very convoluted relationships as the author experienced in her marriage. When these contradictions encounter a rigid intolerance of exploration or explanation, everyone in the family suffers, and from there, the community, and so on. Historically, people from different religions came together, with no intention to convert others to their faith, in an attempt to solve problems that business, science and technology cannot. After the Clear Signs is an appeal to open the lines of communication and facilitate constructive discourse across the many faith traditions so that we can ultimately evolve past large-scale societal conflicts in America and beyond.
About the author
Deborah Jamil is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she went to school and met her future husband in 1973. They were married two years later in San Jose, California and had their first child the following year. This is when her involvement with the Pakistani culture and religion began through interaction with her husband's family and the Bay Area Muslim community. The material in this book is based on the author's own personal experiences and research done during thirty years of involvement with Muslim communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, London, and Pakistan. She and her husband raised six children as Muslims. For more than twenty years they held weekly religious meetings, first in their home, then in a masjid (mosque) built above their family business. They also managed an Islamic school in Sunnyvale, California from 1997 until her husband's death in 2003.

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