Taking Back Islam

December 7, 2002

Source: The New York Times

On December 7, 2002 The New York Times printed an editorial by Peter Steinfels. It stated, "these days, when American Muslims exchange that wish for a blessed Id al-Fitr -- the Feast of Fast-Breaking, which begins after the monthlong fast of Ramadan -- many are probably hoping for a few days' respite from anguishing about the meaning of Sept. 11. For over a year, they have watched public opinion teeter between sympathy and suspicion. Sympathy, encouraged from the White House, has kept the upper hand, but negative opinion, along with the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes, has crept slowly upward. Publicly, American Muslims have spent the year trying to explain their faith and disassociate it from terrorism. Privately, many of them have nursed painful questions about how such an aberration sprouted from the soil of Islam. For Mr. Wolfe, doing something meant putting together Taking Back Islam (Rodale, 2002), a collection of short articles mostly from the religious Internet site beliefnet. It is a book in which Muslims, most of them Americans, 'reclaim their faith,' as the subtitle puts it, first of all from Muslim extremists but also from a leadership that many contributors find still rooted, physically or psychologically, in other lands and other cultures."