Recent events have focused attention on Islam, the often-misunderstood faith of one billion people. Westerners are showing a new openness to learning about Islam and other religions, in part perhaps because religion is arguably the single most important and volatile factor in geopolitics today. Islam needs to be understood on its own terms, apart from extreme expressions.
This little Facet offers the most basic information about Islam in an accessible and sympathetic presentation. Kaltner presents Islam as first and foremost a religion of orthopraxis, a set of prescribed practices -- the five pillars of Islam. Showing the deep humanism of Islam and its most cherished commitments, Kaltner presents Islam through assertions that counter frequent misconceptions of the faith:
1. Islam is a diverse and complex religion.
2. Islam is a religion of orthopraxy.
3. Muslims respect Judaism and Christianity.
4. There is no separation of religion and politics.
5. There is no institutional hierarchy.
6. Jihad does not mean "holy war."