I highly recommend this book http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159...lance&n=283155
Originally Posted by review 1This is not a review of the book, but only a strong endorsement. Jeffrey Lang, Professor of Mathematics, converted to Islam in the early 1980's. His earlir books, "Struggling to Surrender" and "Even Angels Ask" have found great success among American Muslims. His new book "Losing my Religion" is destined to become one of the most widely read books among second generation immigrants from Muslim societies as well as Western converts to Islam. Yet, it is the leaders of mosques and Islamic centers who are most in need of engaging with its message. Lang discusses issues that are crucial, yet difficult to face for a great many Muslims. One doesn't necessarily have to agree with him on every issue, but it is no longer possible for Muslims in North America, or indeed anywhere else, to keep these questions under the rug or in the closet.Originally Posted by review 2This book addresses the issues of Second Generation American Muslims and American converts to Islam with a tip of the hat to their Canadian counterparts, as the issues described are largely the same in both countries. The book is laid out in three large chapters, the first contains elements of the author's conversion story with emphasis on his first contact with the Qur'an, the second contains the author's exploration of hadith scholarship (both traditional and contemporary), and the third addresses the tremendous cultural pressures that both born American Muslims and converts face in trying to adapt to mosque culture. Conversely, it explains their (our) conspicuous absence in proportionate numbers from the mosque. The author uses actual letters and emails from readers of his first and second books as examples and writing prompts for his responses. Throughout the book, Prof. Lang offers his no-nonsense insights to Islamic scholarship, Islamic history, Muslim cultures, and American culture. His observations are penetrating, and this book is a wakeup call for those who would prefer to ignore the issues and maintain the status quo.
As an American convert to Islam I found this book comforting, due to the challenges I have faced in adapting to my local Muslim community. I found, as many converts do, that while Islam itself is pretty straight forward, the cultural/political dimensions of many masjids in the US are positively Byzantine (pun intended). Prof. Lang does not have ready solutions for the problems he describes, but he does offer an essential approach -- dialogue. My only reservation about this book has nothing to do with its merits (5 stars), but rather I fear that the people who would benefit the most from it, such as mosque administrators and imams, will not read it.
If you have ever thought twice about attending a mosque due to cultural pressures, this is the book for you. If you are having trouble communicating with your parents or your children due to cultural barriers, this book is definitely for you too. Finally, if you are pained by the scarcity or absence of young Muslims and converts in your masjid, then look no further, this book will give you valuable counsel. Although it won't make the problems go away, it's good to know how prevalent these issues really are, and frank dialogue remains the only viable option for improving the state of affairs.