"There is no shortage of commentary on the Arab Spring. it is so voluminous it reminds one of the observation made by a wag re the Internet: filter -- too little, democracy - too much, priority - none, insight - absent. Democracy, of course, is exactly the buzz word about the Arab Spring: its non-existence before 2011, its pervasive expectation now. But Critical Muslim/01 tells a different, more subtle story: the Arabs are awake, uprisings have begun, people are finding and using their voices, but no outcome is predictable, no formula guaranteed. One thing is certain: neither Islamism nor the social media nor even the youth bulge will satisfy as single cause explanations of what happened, and is yet to happen, in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Critical Muslim/01 is the path-breaking collective effort of multiple observers and stakeholders to make sense of the unexpected, and to learn the lessons of history as it is being (re)written. Its contributors are at once celebratory and sober, hopeful and cautious, in their forensic analysis of the great changes of our time."
Bruce Lawrence, Nancy & Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor Emeritus, Professor of Islamic Studies, Duke University
"Excited for the emerging social movement. Really enjoyed the idea of the future issues and look forward to reading them. Feel that a quarterly publication is frequent enough."
Alex Strick van Linschoten, author of My Life with the Taliban
"Exciting times! Fitting with the day and age we live in. A breath of fresh air from the overapolegtic tone some usually take. Such a critical eye is really needed for our times."
Barnaby Rogerson, author of The Prophet Muhammad: A Biography
"This week I attended the launch of the Muslim Institute's new quarterly, Critical Muslim, which promises to usher in a new era of organised critical thought on issues relating to Islam and Muslims. Crucially, this criticism is constructive rather than personal. It is underpinned by values such as truth, justice, compassion and wisdom – values that are both Qur'anic and secular.
At the very least, contributors share a deep concern about the problems that 21st-century Muslims find ourselves mired in. There is often dissatisfaction with the lack of nuance and insight in traditional religious leaders' responses, but this is accompanied by a keen awareness of the numerous agendas that often hijack this discussion." full article
Tehmina Kazi, director of BMSD, writing in The Guardian.
"The three cardinal virtues are Faith, Hope and Charity. For me Critical Muslim is a document of Hope. Hope is an abstract quality but in her article 'Café la Vie' Rachel Holmes suggests it can be sensed: in the scent of lemons, the chatter of young voices and in the taste of fresh bread."
Ken Mafham is a Muslim Insitute Fellow and a Town Planning Consultant with 40 years experience.
"[Critical Muslim] includes some excellent contemporary reportage/blogs, short stories and poetry, scholarly contributions, as well as satire. Editor Ziauddin Sardar and the Muslim Institute are to be congratulated on putting together such a stimulating volume. Most of the contributions would not be out of place in the Guardian." full article
Dr Philip Lewis, Lecturer at the University of Bradford's Department of Peace Studies writing in Lapidomedia.com