The UK’s Atlantic Books is to publish a provocative exploration of what it means to be a Muslim by Tawseef Khan, a young solicitor who specialises in immigration and asylum law. The Muslim Problem: Why We’re Wrong About Islam and Why It Matters is described by the publisher as a ‘bold and provocative polemic’ that argues that across the west ‘Muslims are perhaps more misunderstood than any other community’.
Atlantic’s publishing director Mike Harpley and Editor James Pulford acquired world rights from Matthew Turner at the RCW agency in London for publication in hardback, trade paperback, and eBook on 4 March 2021. Foreign rights are being handled by Atlantic’s rights director Alice Latham.
Khan asks ‘what does it mean to believe in Islam today, to have forged your beliefs and identity in the shadow of 9/11 and the War on Terror?’. The publisher says the book explodes stereotypes from both inside and outside the faith, and ‘shows that we are often wrong about even the most basic facts about Islam. As well as being a wake-up call for non-believers it is also a passionate new framework for Muslims to navigate a world often set against them’.
Khan has more than ten years’ experience working on refugee and Muslim issues and says: “I started working on the idea for The Muslim Problem at the beginning of 2017, several months before the bombing of Manchester Arena [in which 23 people lost their lives at an Ariana Grande concert]. That horrific event seemed to encapsulate the importance of discussing Islamophobia, dogmatic religion, and their effects on Muslim identity. Now, when Muslim communities are scapegoated by the government while being hit hard by coronavirus, this book is more vital than ever.”
Pulford said: “Whether it’s misconceptions around masculinity, the veil, violence or LGBT lives, Islam is profoundly misunderstood by many in the West. Tawseef’s fierce blend of historical analysis, personal memoir and investigative journalism is a luminous account of what it means to be a Muslim and a necessary corrective to harmful stereotypes. We are delighted to welcome him to Atlantic.”