Haghighat Publications has recently published a new rendition of Carl Ernst's Following Muhammad. The book addressed anti-Islamic stereotypes prevalent in West.
IBNA: Ernst, a professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is not a stranger to Islam-related controversy and has so far published many articles on the religion.
According to the translator of the book, Hassan Nouraei Bidokht, Ernst's main objective in publishing the word is admonishing the West for indulging in negative and inaccurate stereotypes of Islam and Muslims.
He believes Islam is not what western media are showing. He tries to share his view with Americans by his book and, to this effect, Ernst has outlined peaceful beliefs of Muslims.
Westerners are the main target readers of the book, said the translator, so far as the book is themed at changing their perspectives about Islam.
Another Persian translation of the book by Ghasem Kakaei will be marketed in Iran by Hermes.
Ernst is highly regarded for his books about Sufism (The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, 1997) and his brilliant translations of Sufi texts. But in this compelling, if occasionally disorganized, book, Ernst introduces the larger Islamic world and its history in engaging, thought-provoking prose. The overarching argument here is that the West ought not understand Islam as a monolith, that debate and diversity are inherent in Islam and were encouraged by the Prophet. So while most introductions to Islam give Shi'ism and Sufism short shrift, they are presented here as vital facets of Islamic belief. Although the text skips around historically, readers will come away with a good understanding of the different schools of Islamic thought and practice. Special attention is paid to the hot-button topics: gender and veiling, the relationship between Islam and democracy, and Islamist radicalism, for example. Ernst's obvious passion for Islam comes through quite beautifully here, and the rare mix of clear writing and careful scholarship makes this an important purchase for any Islamic studies collection.