Philip Blosser is Professor of Philosophy at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.
Cracks in the Crescent. By Hussein Hajji Wario. Bethany Press. 252 pages. $24.95.
Since the events of 9/11, Christians in the West have become increasingly interested in what makes the Muslim world tick. Writers and publishers, for their part, have begun turning out a growing number of books introducing Western Christians to the world of Islam. Offerings from Catholic publishers include Jacques Jomier's The Bible and the Qur'an (Ignatius Press, 2002), Daniel Ali and Robert Spencer's Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics (Ascension Press, 2003); Spencer's Islam Unveiled (Encounter Books, 2003), and Giorgio Paolucci and Camille Eid's interview-based volume, 111 Questions on Islam: Samir Khalil Samir, S.J., on Islam and the West (Ignatius Press, 2008), to mention but a few.
Hussein Hajji Wario's Cracks in the Crescent warrants special notice. Two facts set this book apart. First, Wario is not only a former Sunni Muslim with years of experience in an Islamic culture, but unlike many Muslims was thoroughly educated in the esoteric aspects of Islam. Second, the arguments he uses to expose Islam — arguments honed by years of experience of debating Muslim peers after his Christian conversion — are drawn from the extensive literature of Islam itself, not merely the Qur'an, but Islamic history, Seerah (the life of Muhammad), Sunnah (specific words, actions, and practices of Muhammad), and Hadith (narrations based on the words of Muhammad shedding light on the Qur'an and matters of jurisprudence), and Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). The purpose of his book, Wario says, is to help both Muslims and non-Muslims seeking answers about the true nature of Islam.