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Catholic World News

Ohio Catholic college requires freshmen to read book on US Muslims

July 27, 2009

The University of Dayton is requiring all 1,700 of its incoming freshmen to read and write an essay on one book and hopes that the book-- Melody Moezzi’s War on Error: Real Stories of American Muslims-- will help them “to have a meaningful conversation about the simplicity of stereotypes and the complexity and diversity of identity” and “to begin to understand that we can be transformed by encounters with people unlike ourselves.”

According to a largely negative Publisher’s Weekly review:

[T]he book has an unimaginative format of one interview per chapter, with no larger framework or unifying theme. Most interview subjects are Moezzi’s own friends, some of whom Moezzi even quotes as praising her. Some readers, particularly Muslims, may be offended by an incident in which the author smokes marijuana with an interview subject, as well as other scenes in which she and her friends present themselves as self-indulgent. Although it is engaging and well written, the book lacks academic rigor and comes across as merely anecdotal. The title is never really explained, and Moezzi’s conclusion-- that American Muslims will lead the next Islamic Renaissance-- though an appealing thought, is underdeveloped.

 


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