By Maher Hathout M. D.; Book Review by Dr. Aslam Abdullah
Dr. Maher Hathout is a prominent Muslim leader in North America. He migrated from Egypt a few decades ago and pioneered several Islamic organizations and institutions, notably the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). He is the leading ideologue and thinker for the MPAC and the Islamic Center of Southern California.
Dr. Maher M. Hathout is a leading spokesperson for the American Muslim community. Besides being a respected physician, Dr. Maher Hathout is best known for his public service. He is an international figure who is highly regarded as a positive voice for Islam, offering a unique and valuable perspective on national and international issues involving Muslims and emphasizing the American Muslim identity. Dr. Hathout is the senior advisor of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and holds numerous other offices as well. He is the spokesperson for the Islamic Center of Southern California and a former chairman of its board of directors. Dr. Hathout has met with Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to discuss Americaâ€™s image in the Middle East and has been invited to Capitol Hill and the State Department several times to address a variety of topics such as â€œIslam and U.S. Policy,â€ â€œIslamic Democracy,â€ â€œEmerging Trends in Islamic Movements,â€ and â€œthe Future of the Middle East.â€ He also gave the invocation at the 2000 Democratic National Convention.
Dr. Hathout has written extensively on Islam, human rights, democracy, Middle East politics, and Bosnia. His articles and interviews have appeared in such prominent newspapers as â€œThe Los Angeles Times,â€ â€œThe New York Times,â€ â€œThe Wall Street Journal,â€ and â€œThe Christian Science Monitorâ€ as well as leading newspapers in the Middle East. He appears frequently on television and has traveled to Australia, Egypt, Kuwait, Malaysia, Pakistan, and South Africa to lecture on Islam and Muslims.
This book is the result of many years of conversations between the author and generations of Muslim youth and young adults, which led to a deep understanding of the questions this group of Muslims has. Islam 2.0 is an attempt to answer these questions through a mixture of information about Islam and lessons from the authorâ€™s personal life story. Dr. Hathout has tried to create a level of comfort for Muslim youth as they think about their religion. It is the hope of the author that this will inspire them to contribute positively to society and the whole of humanity. Although Islam 2.0 is directed towards young Muslims, it is also a wonderful tool and source of information for all who are interested in learning about Islam.
The book offers fresh perspective on how should Muslims read their sacred texts and how should they implement in their life. Dr. Hathout expounds on the concepts of American Muslim Identity extensively. This is one of the most favorite themes of the author and he has devoted his life in focussing on this idea from theological and policital angles. The book adds to a new level of understanding of Islam in America.
The book can be purchased from the Islamic Center of Southern California, 434 South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90020.