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    Council Member graphei's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Upstate New York

    Default First SWC Book Club Marching Orders

    In the SWC Recruiting thread, I mentioned starting a book club. Well, I'm making good on that threat While I doubt it will do anything to swell our ranks, it may foster a small increase in community spirit. Perhaps? Maybe? We'll see what happens. While it doesn't take the place of sitting in the same room with likeminded people discussing a great read, we can do our best to break the digital barrier and start a discussion here. One advantage this format has is that resources can be preserved for later. Even if someone doesn't participate, they may be able to glean some useful information from the discussions.

    Anyway, this is something I've wanted to do for a long time. It's rather ironic for as engaged as we've been in the Middle East for the past 40 years, the lack of understanding about Islam and the history in that corner of the world is so sad it's laughable. The mixture of emotions 'Islam' evokes (while understandable) and the level of misinformation out there is a recipe for disaster. Extremists of all stripes count on their adversaries to be ignorant. I'll try to pick books that touch on as many different topics of interest as possible, but the underlying current will be Islamic Studies.

    Without further ado, my first selection is, Religion and State: The Muslim Approach to Politics by L. Carl Brown. Professor Brown is an emeritus Professor of Foreign Affairs at Princeton. While this book is getting a bit long in the tooth, it's still very timely. He does an outstanding job of providing the right mix of history and theology to understanding Politics and Islam. It's a book that I used when I was first starting out, and I find myself returning to it all the years later.

    A matters of business:
    - We'll work through one book (perhaps an article or two?) every two months. Everyone is busy, but that should be a doable pace. This should be enjoyable!
    - I'll announce the new book 3 weeks before the next cycle starts. That should give everyone time to hunt down a copy.
    - There will be a lot of jargon and foreign words. If the definition doesn't jive for you, please ask and reference the page number! However, by the end you'll know your tafsir from your tawhid.
    - If you want to take issue with something in the book, please do! However, to reinforce community standards, be prepared to back it up with a source or two. If you can link to that source so others can evaluate their evidence for themselves, even better!
    - I'll add more as necessary.

    Since this is a bit of a late start, how about we shoot for September 16th to kick off the reading?

    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-21-2013 at 09:01 AM. Reason: SMC becomes SWC, typo happens

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