Islam – A Short History

Author – Karen Armstrong

Genre – History, Religion

Islam. You can love it or have a strong distaste for it, but you simply can’t ignore it. The extreme antagonism of its critics is matched only by the extreme faith of its 1.6 bn believers. 

24% of the world believes in Islam. That’s one in every four people, making it the second largest religion after Christianity. In 50 of the 196 countries, muslims are in majority. And Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world with its percentage of world population having doubled in the last century. 

For non-believers, Islam’s popular imagination is often of an extreme faith that promotes terrorism, authoritarian government, female oppression, and civil war. However, Karen Armstrong, a former Catholic nun and an expert in comparative religion, suggests that the modern fundamentalist strain might not be the real Islam. And the western world may be thoroughly misplaced in its judgement on Islam.