MUSLIMS TELL THEIR OWN STORY
Sufiya Abdur-Rahman, Chicago Tribune, 11/22/02
When Ibrahim Abusharif, 44, was a young Muslim
growing up on Chicago's
South Side, the books available about Islam were
terrible, he said. The
printing quality was poor, translations were
shoddy and editorial attacks
on the religion were common.
"At some point I said, 'There's got to be
something better than this.' This
great world religion is so misunderstood and so
easily maligned. Muslims
have to get their act together and take narrative
control," said Abusharif,
whose parents are Palestinian immigrants. Now he
is in a position to help
do that. About two years ago, Abusharif became a
partner in Starlatch
Press, a small south suburban publisher of
English-language books aimed at
educating Muslims and non-Muslims about the
religious, spiritual and
cultural aspects of Islam.
Starlatch, based in Bridgeview, is the latest
publishing house to tell of
the Islamic experience from a Muslim viewpoint.
Amid the outpouring of
books about Islam to hit bookstores since Sept.
11, 2001, these Muslim
publishers say they want to tell their own story
without distortion or
"After Sept. 11, there was a rush for books on
Islam," Osman said.
Bakhtiar said Kazi had an increase in the sale of
Korans, and Abusharif
said Starlatch sold thousands of copies of its
introductory text, "Islam:
Religion of Life."
But Abusharif added he is disappointed that most
of the information being
presented about Islam in the media is still
"There are people who have an ax to grind against
Islam and they're not
even subtle about it," he said. "I really trust
in what the Koran says:
Falsehood always disappears."