Side by Side
George Braziller, 9780807615201, 224pp.
Publication Date: October 17, 2003
List Price: 27.50*
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In Opposites: Side by Side, Turkish authors Sanar Yurdatapan and Abdurrahman Dilipak--one an atheist and the other a devout Islamic theologian--present their opposing views side by side in the spirit of freedom of expression. Rather than allowing themselves to be isolated by their fundamental disagreement, they've achieved a genuine respect for each other's differing views: "We wanted to show that we could live together with our differences, holding onto them." The book is composed of two halves, each divided into short essays, in which both men separately tackle such contentious issues as faith, fundamentalism, gender roles, human rights, jihad, and human origin. The theologian Dilipak's half serves as an antidote to the unfortunate misperceptions that have recently come to define Islam in the West, earnestly and knowledgeably advocating the centrality of reason, individual confession, education, and democracy in true Islam. Yurdatapan's portion is marked by the energy and urgency of a seasoned activist and human-rights worker, and he writes, like Dilipak, with insightful clarity about his positions on such issues as atheism, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and conscience crimes. Each essay ends with a notation that refers the reader to the corresponding essay in the other half of the book. Readers of all faiths and ethnicities will appreciate this sincere attempt at mutual understanding.
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