Ed Husain doesn't pull his punches ... Although The House of Islam is aimed at the general reader, non-Muslims may struggle at times with the intricacies of the Islamic faith. Persistence pays off, however, because the accumulation of detail provides the evidence required to advocate a kind of Islam very different from that propagated so energetically in recent decades ... To a non-Muslim reader this feels a lot more like Islamic theology, written by a believer, than history ... Husain directs his withering gaze across the Muslim world... Within this bleak analysis, he finds a ray of hope.
Athough [The House of Islam is a] product of greater intellectual maturity... [it] is a good deal less compelling [than Husain's former works] ... [The House of Islam] is a rather slight book that lacks thematic coherence or firm historical underpinning. One looks in vain for references to modern analysts of 'global Islam' ... The absence of scholarship, however, is also an asset. Husain has a knack for explaining complicated matters in straightforward layman’s language ... While Husain’s book raises more questions than it answers, it goes some way to explaining the impasse faced by modern Muslim societies.
For anyone interested in the future of Islam, both in Britain and the Islamic world, this is an important book ... Husain’s writing can be little old-fashioned ('she was a wise and constant counsellor') but his style reflects his pious temperament. And it is the combination of deep religious commitment and western reformist politics that makes him such an necessary figure.
Ed Husain has taken on the mammoth task of writing a comprehensive history of Islam and its people for a Western audience. The House of Islam successfully achieves this, providing a necessary foundational overview of the historical, cultural and geopolitical issues of Muslim culture ... Husain’s book a fantastic introduction to Islam and Muslim culture. The House of Islam expertly addresses the current gaps in knowledge of this large, significant and diverse part of our world’s history and modern-day culture.
An account of the compassion, reason and wonderment that Islam has exhibited for much of its history, this book is a powerful corrective to the widespread perception, fostered by jihadis and Islamophobes alike, that it’s a belief system for misanthropes ... His insistence that Muslim nations accommodate the tiny Jewish state in their midst is common sense but a suggestion of a Middle Eastern union including Israel reads somewhat grotesquely in the light of the recent carnage in Gaza. For all that, Husain has written a valuable book, full of suggestions for Islam’s implementation from a position of magnanimity and love.