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‚Äîpart novel, part essay‚ÄîTony Payne explores these questions via a series of conversations with his fictional neighbour, 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‚Äînot 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.