The terrorist attacks of September 11, as well as other attacks such as the London and Bali bombings, catapulted Islam back into Western consciousness. Were these the opening shots in a new level of conflict between the 'Islamic' East and the 'Christian' West? How much were the attacks bound up with Islam itself? Just what does Islam teach, and how are we in the West to relate to it?
In this unique book‚ part novel, part essay‚ Tony Payne explores these questions via a series of conversations with his fictional neighbor, Michael. He goes behind the media stereotypes to examine the beliefs and teachings of Islam, in their essence, and in their diversity, and explains the origins of Islamic radical groups like the Taliban.
More than that, he explores the religious challenge that Islam brings to Western society‚ not just in relation to terrorism, but in how we should deal with the big questions of 'God' and 'truth' in a multicultural, multi-faith society.
Islam in our Backyard is a fascinating and very readable book.