Asma Gull Hasan
Asma Gull Hasan is the author of Why I Am a Muslim (HarperCollins Thorsons/Element 2004) and American Muslims: The New Generation(Continuum 2000). The daughter of Pakistani immigrants and born in Chicago, Hasan’s writing has been described as “a ground-breaking portrait” of the growing American Muslim community (The Christian Century Magazine).
Her second book, Why I Am a Muslim, was nominated in 2005 by the National MS Society for its 2005 Books for a Better Life Award. The State Department has invited Hasan to lecture on behalf of the US State Department all over the world, talking about Islam in America. Her books have been translated into French and Japanese and are distributed all over the world.
Why I Am A Muslim: An American Odyssey
The press has been filled with information and misinformation about the true nature of Islam. Hasan represents what is left out of the daily newspapers and explains why being a Muslim is not merely a matter of birth, but it is a matter of choice. In the wake of 9-11, the activities of Osama Bin Laden and Hamas, and the most recent Gulf War, the western press has been filled with information and mis-information about the true nature of Islam. Is it a feudal misogynist belief system that is a threat to Western values? Is it an ideology of oppression? Or, is it a religion that is as varied as Christianity; a “big tent” that includes not only bomb-throwing ideologues, but also those committed to an authentic spirituality that embraces many of the values shared by the mainstream in Europe and America? Why I am a Muslim is an attempt to grapple with these issues. Part memoir, part polemic, it represents the side of Islam that is left out of the daily newspapers. For Hasan, being a Muslim is not merely a matter of birth, but it is a matter of choice. In seven chapters, she presents seven reasons why she is committed to Islam and why it is a viable spiritual option for anyone. 1. Because I was born Muslim. 2. Because Islam gives me a direct relationship with God. 3. Because Islam has a rich mystical tradition in Sufism. 4. Because Islam allows and expects me to make mistakes. 5. Because Islam is ethnically diverse. 6. Because Islam is a woman’s religion. 7. Because being Muslim makes me a better American (and being American makes me a better Muslim).
“American Muslims: The New Generation”
Twenty-five-year-old Asma Hasan describes herself as a Muslim feminist cowgirl (she was raised in Puebo, Colorado). Convinced that Muslim Americans are the victims of mistaken identity Hasan breaks through the stereotypes and generalizations to talk about the religion and the believers she knows from the inside.While the book provides a lot of basic information about Islam in America, the major emphasis is on the sheer normalcy of American Muslims. Like other Americans, they are very keen on family values, religious freedom, and the opportunities the U. S. has always afforded new immigrants.Moreover, says Hasan, American Islam, as it grows and evolves, will offer a model to Islam in the rest of the world: a purer Islam, one more conscious of the difference between the essence of Islam and its accommodations to various cultures over time.
Red, White, and Muslim
An Inspiring Account of One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Spiritual and Cultural Identity For Asma Hasan, being a Muslim is not merely a matter of birth, but a matter of choice and faith. Hasan’s personal relationship with her religion was, and continues to be, a defining element of her life, and through her writing she inspires a new understanding and appreciation of a frequently misunderstood tradition. This is her American story.