Compiled by Atiya Chowdhury
“Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.” — Barack Obama
Reading is perhaps one of the most powerful tools in education. It allows us to gain new perspectives and gives us the opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes. It’s hard to have sympathy or empathy for someone, something, or a group of people if you don’t ever read about what life is like for them.
This list of books can hopefully change that regarding what you know or understand about Muslims and their experiences. While some books are educational and seek to provide knowledge on Islamophobia in the world, other books are simply written by Muslim authors and offer Muslim representation in fiction.
It’s Not About the Burqa: Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race by Mariam Khan
This powerful book contains multiple essays written from the perspective of Muslim women. Each essay centers on Muslim women’s experiences with race, gender, sexuality, feminism, queer identity, and marriage. With writers ranging from being British to international, It’s Not About the Burqa humanises Muslim women and gives them a platform to share their voices during a time where they are being silenced.
Unicorn by Amrou Al-Kadhi
Robin Bailey writes that Unicorn “is the most powerful memoir [they] have ever read. Al-Kadhi grasps the reader by the wrists and proclaims their self-narrative with staggeringly witty prose”. Read Robin Bailey’s review which is available on our website!
Lost Islamic History: Reclaiming Muslim Civilisation from the Past by Firas Alkhateeb
Firas Alkhateeb reclaims the forgotten and disregarded Islamic history from the Ottomans to the Mughals, to the West African Kings. His book brings to light the key figures, findings, and moments in Islamic history most of which have had a monumental impact on our society and culture today.
Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali
Love from A to Z tells the tale of two Muslim teenagers whose lives intersect at Qatar. While the story focuses on their budding romance, it also touches on issues related to Islamophobia in the classroom and living with multiple sclerosis. This is the unapologetically Muslim book which the contemporary genre is missing.
More to the Story by Hena Khan
This middle-grade piece of fiction is a re-telling of the classic, Little Women. The story follows Jameela, a Pakistani Muslim girl, who is juggling family issues along with the responsibility of being the features editor for her school newspaper. This wholesome book injects sensitive topics like illness in the family while remaining heartfelt.
The Muslims are Coming! : Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror by Arun Kundani
The Muslims are Coming! Is an extremely insightful book by political writer, Arun Kundani. The book examines and analyses the ways in which Muslims are treated as the “homegrown enemy” in the United States and across Europe. Kundani explores the extent to which Muslims are kept under surveillance in these countries and deconstructs the myths surrounding them in this gripping book.
The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Hatred of Muslims by Nathan Lean
Nathan Lean writes a powerful account of the ways in which campaigns promoting fear and hatred towards Muslims have gained traction in the United States and Europe, from the ‘War on Terror’ to Trump’s travel ban. The book contains accounts of hateful rhetoric from conservative, right-wing politicians to evangelical religious leaders demonstrating how wide-spread the efforts to demonize Muslims are in the Western media. Lean seeks to enlighten readers by exposing them to the scare tactics and propaganda that is so strategically used in order to promote an anti-Muslim society.