1. Zealot: The Life And Times Of Jesus Of Nazareth written by Reza Aslan, who is a Muslim.*
*Aslan is also a religious scholar with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, a Ph.D. in the history of religions from the University of California, and he is fluent in Biblical Greek.
2. Islam: A Short History written by Karen Armstrong, who was raised Catholic.*
*Armstrong also has addressed members of the U.S. Congress on three occasions, lectured to policy makers at the U.S. State Department, participated in the World Economic Forum in New York, Jordan, and Davos, addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and New York, is increasingly invited to speak in Muslim countries, and is now an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations.
3. Islam: The Religion And The People written by Bernard Lewis, who is Jewish.*
*Lewis also is a Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University with an emphasis in the history of Islam and interactions between Islam and the West
4. Islam: The Straight Path written by John L. Esposito, who was raised Catholic and spent a decade in a Catholic monastery.*
*Esposito is also a professor of religion and international affairs at Georgetown University, founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin-Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Modern Islam.
5. The First Muslim: The Story Of Muhammad written by Lesley Hazelton, a woman who studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which sounds like a pretty Jewish place.*
*Hazelton also reported from Israel for Time, and has written on the Middle East for numerous publications including The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, The Nation, and The New Republic.
6. A New Introduction To Islam written by Daniel W. Brown, whose name doesn’t sound very Muslim.*
*Brown was was awarded his doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago, has taught at Mount Holyoke College and Smith College and has been a visiting scholar at the Islamic University in Islamabad, the Institute of Islamic Culture in Lahore, Cairo University and Oxford University and he directs the Institute for the Study of Religion in the Middle East.
7. An Introduction To Islam written by Frederick Denny, whose name doesn’t sound very Muslim and also he teaches at a university in a state where only 1% of the population is Muslim.*
*Denny is also a professor in the department of religious studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, editor of the University of South Carolina Press scholarly book series “Studies in Comparative Religion,” and he has served on the editorial boards of five scholarly journals.
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