Recommended Books

Coming soon!  - First Book from Mukto-Mona Prokashoni


 

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God Willing: The Politics of Islamism in Bangladesh 

by Dr. Ali Riaz

 

Synopsis:

Is Bangladesh becoming a Taliban state? Talibanization has become an international fear in our post-9/11 era, and attention has begun to focus on Bangladesh in light of the growing strength of militant groups supposedly aligned with Al Quaeda, the landslide victory of the center-right coalition in the general election of October 2001, and the deliberate and planned violence against religious minorities that followed. God Willing answers the explosive question of Talibanization by analyzing the politics of Islamism in Bangladesh, the world's third most populous Muslim country. The author compares Bangladesh with Indonesia and Pakistan, thus adding a valuable global context for evaluating the politics of Muslim countries.

The book is published by Rowman and Littlefield (www.rowmanlittlefield.com). The publisher's website allows the buyers to have 15 percent discount.

Mukto-Mona member Ali Riaz is Assistant Professor of Politics and Government, and Associate Director of the Unit for Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies at Illinois State University. He has taught at Claflin University in South Carolina, Lincoln University in England, and Dhaka University in Bangladesh. He also worked as Senior Broadcast Journalist at the BBC World Service in London. His academic field of expertise includes South Asian politics, comparative politics, community development, and political economy of media.


 

Syed Kamran Mirza's "Roots of Islamic Terrorism"
 
What motivates American born Muslim converts John Walker Lindh, Adam Yahihyi Gadahn and Jose Padilla to become terrorists? Does it have something to do with Islamic scripture itself? Does their violent mindset evolve because of believing in Islam by the book? Is violence against non-Muslims and terrorism against modernity is aberrations, or, is these act simply manifestations of true teachings of Koran and Hadith? The renowned critic of Islam, Syed Kamran Mirza had been examining those issues for sometime. The author has published a book recently. “Roots of Islamic Terrorism” may resolve a number of unanswered questions. In thirteen chapters Mr. Mirza has attempted to show a direct correlation between terror motivation and scriptural guidance. The book costs six dollars. The publisher is New Horizons. P.O. Box 896. Glendale, CA 91209. To order  copies, you may contact Mr. Armen A. Saginian at [email protected]  or call him at 323-666-4278.

 

     Has Science Found God? : The Latest Results in the Search for Purpose in the Universe 

by Victor J. Stenger

Synopsis:

In the past few years a number of scientists have claimed that there is credible scientific evidence for the existence of God. In 1998 Newsweek went so far as to proclaim on its cover, "Science Finds God." Is this true? Are scientists close to solving the greatest of all mysteries? Physicist Victor J. Stenger delves into this fascinating question from a skeptical point of view in this lucid and engrossing presentation of the key scientific facts.

Stenger critically reviews the attempts of many contemporary theologians and some scientists to resurrect failed natural theologies in new guises. Whether these involve updated arguments from design, "anthropic" coincidences, or modern forms of deism, Stenger clearly shows that nothing in modern science requires supernatural explanation. He offers naturalistic explanations for empirical observations that are frequently given theistic interpretations: for example, that information in the universe implies an intelligent designer, that a universe with a beginning requires a Creator, and that the elegant laws of physics suggest a transcendent realm. He shows that alleged spiritual, nonmaterial phenomena do not lie beyond the experimental reach of physics. [ Read more...]


 

The Blind Watchmaker
by Richard Dawkins

Synopsis:

Richard Dawkins is not a shy man. Edward Larson's research shows that most scientists today are not formally religious, but Dawkins is an in-your-face atheist in the witty British style:

I want to persuade the reader, not just that the Darwinian world-view happens to be true, but that it is the only known theory that could, in principle, solve the mystery of our existence.

The title of this 1986 work, Dawkins's second book, refers to the Rev. William Paley's 1802 work, Natural Theology, which argued that just as finding a watch would lead you to conclude that a watchmaker must exist, the complexity of living organisms proves that a Creator exists. Not so, says Dawkins: "All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way... it is the blind watchmaker."

Dawkins is a hard-core scientist: he doesn't just tell you what is so, he shows you how to find out for yourself. For this book, he wrote Biomorph, one of the first artificial life programs. You can check Dawkins's results on your own Mac or PC.


 

Unintelligent Design Unintelligent Design
by Mark Perakh

Most detailed and comprehensive critique of Intelligent Design currently available that explains all of the flaws and errors in great detail, leaving no stone unturned. 

As you may have heard, a glitch in Amazon’s Canadian system revealed the real names of its anonymous reviewers to make rank of the book down — and who was the above “reader from Riesel, Texas”? Yes, it was William Dembski — 

Read Authors "War of Reviews" -Online

 If this is the sort of honesty you can expect from Intelligent Design theorists when it comes to book reviews, what can be expected from their “scientific” work? :-)

 

Flim-Flam!: Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions
by James Randi  

Synopsis:

James Randi is internationally known as a magician and escape artist. But for the past thirty-five years of his professional life, he has also been active as an investigator of the paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims that have impressed the thinking of the public for a generation: ESP, psychokinesis, psychic detectives, levitation, psychic surgery, UFOs, dowsing, astrology, and many others. Those of us unable to discriminate between genuine scientific research and the pseudoscientific nonsense that has resulted in fantastic theories and fancies have long needed James Randi and Flim-Flam .. [Read More...]


 


 

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time
by Michael Shermer

Synopsis:

Few can talk with more personal authority about the range of human beliefs than Michael Shermer. who believes in skepticism, and his motto is "Cognite tute--think for yourself." This updated edition of Why People Believe Weird Things covers Holocaust denial and creationism in considerable detail, and has chapters on abductions, Satanism, Afrocentrism, near-death experiences, Randian positivism, and psychics. Shermer has five basic answers to the implied question in his title: for consolation, for immediate gratification, for simplicity, for moral meaning, and because hope springs eternal. He shows the kinds of errors in thinking that lead people to believe weird (that is, unsubstantiated) things, especially the built-in human need to see patterns, even where there is no pattern to be seen. Throughout, Shermer emphasizes that skepticism (in his sense) does not need to be cynicism: "Rationality tied to moral decency is the most powerful joint instrument for good that our planet has ever known." --Mary Ellen Curtin


A History of Western Philosophy
by Bertrand Russell 

Synopsis:
Since its first publication in 1945, Lord Russell's A History of Western Philosophy has been universally acclaimed as the outstanding one-volume work on the subject -- unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, its clarity, its erudition, its grace and wit. In seventy-six chapters he traces philosophy from the rise of Greek civilization to the emergence of logical analysis in the twentieth century. Among the philosophers considered are: Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the Atomists, Protagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Cynics, the Sceptics, the Epicureans, the Stoics, Plotinus, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Benedict, Gregory the Great, John the Scot, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Occam, Machiavelli, Erasmus, More, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, the Utilitarians, Marx, Bergson, James, Dewey, and lastly the philosophers with whom Lord Russell himself is most closely associated -- Cantor, Frege, and Whitehead, co-author with Russell of the monumental Principia Mathematica. [Read More..]


 

Why I Am Not a Christian
by Bertrand Russell 

Synopsis:

Dedicated as few men have been to the life of reason, Bertrand Russell has always been concerned with the basic questions to which religion also addresses itself -- questions about man's place in the universe and the nature of the good life, questions that involve life after death, morality, freedom, education, and sexual ethics. He brings to his treatment of these questions the same courage, scrupulous logic, and lofty wisdom for which his other work as philosopher, writer, and teacher has been famous. These qualities make the essays included in this book perhaps the most graceful and moving presentation of the freethinker's position since the days of Hume and Voltaire. [Read more...]


 


 

Ibn Warraq's 'Why I am not A Muslim' : Reviewed by Taslima Nasrin 

In the wake of the Rushdie Affair, a report in the New York Times (Feb. 27, 1989) voiced a common fear: "Ayatollah Khomeini has probably succeeded in preventing publication in this country of books critical of Muslims & Islam". This prophecy has proved, fortunately wrong, witness the writings of Anwar Shaikh that have earned him a fatwa from the mullahs in Pakistan, or Dr. Morey's The Islamic Invasion (1992). Now we have the courageous work of Ibn Warraq, Why I am not A Muslim, first published in the USA in 1995.. ....(Read more)


 

Ramendra Nath's "Why I am not a Hindu" 

Ramendra's paper (also published at infidels.org)  is one of the first of its kind in English, a critical and skeptical look at the major principles of Hinduism. The author was born a Hindu, but after an intellectual inquiry into his own faith realized its inherent contradictions. The book has been denounced by some Brahmins, since he exposes flaws in Vedic doctrines, and has virtually declared himself to be a `nastik' (atheist). However, instead of indulging in insults, he has concentrated on rigorous intellectual arguments, backed up by copious textual references from the Vedas, the Manusmrti, Indian researchers and Western scholars. Thoughtful Brahmanists and astik Hindus, one hopes, will welcome the challenge to reply to the demanding questions posed by the devastating skepticism of Ramendra Nath. Paper is viewable online


Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out

Editorial Reviews
Boston Globe
"Leaving Islam's stories make eye-opening reading."

New York Review of Books, April 29, 2004
"...probably the first book of its kind...testimonies from former Muslims about their estrangement from the Islamic faith."


Click for more information!

 

The Trouble with Islam: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith
by Irshad Manji

Synopsis:

"I have to be honest with you. Islam is on very thin ice with me....Through our screaming self-pity and our conspicuous silences, we Muslims are conspiring against ourselves. We're in crisis and we're dragging the rest of the world with us. If ever there was a moment for an Islamic reformation, it's now. For the love of God, what are we doing about it?"

In blunt, provocative, and deeply personal terms, Irshad Manji unearths the troubling cornerstones of mainstream Islam today: tribal insularity, deep-seated anti-Semitism, and an uncritical acceptance of the Koran as the final, and therefore superior, manifesto of God. In this open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Manji asks arresting questions.

"Who is the real colonizer of Muslims - America or Arabia? Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation?  [Read more...]
The Jesus Puzzle
by Earl J. Doherty

Synopsis:
 

A new presentation of the argument that no historical Jesus existed. A full and comprehensive survey of the question through an examination of the early Christian record, canonical and non-canonical, from Q to the Gospels, from the earliest Pauline epistles to the second century apologists, along with Jewish, Gnostic, and Greco-Roman documents of the time. The philosophy of the era, its religious expression in the pagan mystery cults, fascinating glimpses into the historical background of the period, an in-depth consideration of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, are only some of the additional topics covered in the book. A richly-detailed, highly lucid and entertaining account of how Christianity began without an historical Jesus of Nazareth, who came to life only on the pages of the Gospels. While based on the author's work for The Jesus Puzzle website, the book is almost entirely an original writing, not a compilation of website articles. Like the website itself, the book has been styled for the general reader, though the scholarly community will find it of value as well.

Read the review by Richard Carrier.


 

The Case Against Christianity
by Michael Martin

Synopsis:
 

This book is the most systematic philosophical critique of Christianity ever written. Michael Martin discusses the historicity of Jesus, the resurrection, the virgin birth, the second coming, the incarnation, Christian ethics, salvation by faith, the divine command theory, and the atonement.


 

The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark
by Carl Sagan 

Synopsis:
Carl Sagan muses on the current state of scientific thought, which offers him marvelous opportunities to entertain us with his own childhood experiences, the newspaper morgues, UFO stories, and the assorted flotsam and jetsam of pseudoscience. Along the way he debunks alien abduction, faith-healing, and channeling; refutes the arguments that science destroys spirituality, and provides a "baloney detection kit" for thinking through political, social, religious, and other issues.


 

Twenty Three Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad

by Ali Dashti

While fundamentalist Muslims in Iran could silence Ali Dashti's voice and still his heart, they failed to suppress his words. Dashti evidently put a lot of careful heartfelt thought into his volume "Twenty Three Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammed". If you've become dreary and nauseated from reading inflated proselytizing puff pieces on the life of Mohammed, founder of the Islamic religion, then what a treat this book will be! Dashti is cautious and considerate in his handling of issues touchy within the sphere of Shi'ia Islam. He is clear in communicating whether something is from a specific source, opinion, or theory.

With this volume, Dashti took the courageous step of looking at Mohammed as a human: capable of mistakes, capable of anger, capable of being unjust, as are any of us. This perhaps, is what kindled so great a rage in the men who imprisoned him and tried to obliterate his words. 


 

Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist
by Dan Barker

Synopsis:
 

Looking for a good introduction to atheism without all the technical philosophical jargon? Barker's book is for you! As a former minister turned atheist, Dan Barker documents the arguments that "deconverted" him from Christian fundamentalist to atheist. Losing Faith in Faith is an arsenal for skeptics and a challenge to believers.


 


Al-Bho(n)dorer Desh
by Fatemolla [Bangla]
fatemolla's 'Al-Bho(n)dorer Desh' : Reviewed by  Ajoy Roy 

I got hold of your book "Al Bho(n)darer Desh" and gone through it some time back [September]. As per your request I wanted to write up a review of it. But so many things are happening I couldn't keep pace with time. Now I realize it will take more time to do so- may be I will not be able to do so at all. I therefore decided to make tit bit comments on your book and post it to [Mukto-Mona] forum, of course if you permit, now and then. I like your style of writing. You have a rare capability of presenting ....(Read more)


 

Araj ali

The Quest For Truth [Shotter Shondhaney] By Aroj Ali Matubbar

Translated by:
Dr. M.Shamsuddoha & A.T Mojumdar  (Some portion of the book viewable online)

Aroj Ali Matubbar was a truly homegrown philosopher without any formal academic training -he had not, in fact, attended any institution of higher learning. Yet, after his death in 1985, Aroj Ali Matubbar came to be regarded as one of the most brilliant rationalists the country has over produced, and as an iconoclast who was not afraid to speak out against entrenched beliefs and superstitions which easily lead to religious fanaticism. A practicing Muslim himself and a pious man throughout his life, Matubbar took it as a mission to strike at the roots of all superstitions and fanatic half-beliefs, and thereby restore the balance between science and religion. It was a difficult task no doubt, especially in a country with low literacy where there is practically no tradition of informed debates on dogmas, creeds, beliefs and religion. Matubbar's books are probably the first such attempts to introduce enlightened discussion and debate about a number of ideas and issues that have exercised the minds of religious philosophers and ordinary followers of Islam over the ages. [Read More...]


 

The Skeptic's Dictionary
by Robert Todd Carroll 

In this world of enormous information, vast data-clusters, metadata, superstition, exaggeration, paranormal and junk everywhere one needs an organized technology of how to separate fact from fiction. This is what this great book offers you. Carroll has put together a solid overview of all mystical, paranormal, and magical beliefs, deceptions, and hoaxes. 

The Times, 25 October 2003
"...Use this book as protection against attacks by New Agers, alternative therapists and others who have chosen to abandon reason..."



The Guardian, 18 October 2003
"...Carroll is always interested in why such beliefs occur and points generously t further literature..."



Book Description
A wealth of evidence for doubters and disbelievers

"Whether it’s the latest shark cartilage scam, or some new ‘repressed memory’ idiocy that besets you, I suggest you carry a copy of this dictionary at all times, or at least have it within reach as first aid for psychic attacks. We need all the help we can get."

–James Randi, President, James Randi Educational Foundation, randi.org

"From alternative medicine, aliens, and psychics to the farthest shores of science and beyond, Robert Carroll presents a fascinating look at some of humanity’s most strange and wonderful ideas. Refreshing and witty, both believers and unbelievers will find this compendium complete and captivating. Buy this book and feed your head!"

–Clifford Pickover, author of The Stars of Heaven and Dreaming the Future


 

pak sar jamin sad bad
By Humayun Azad 

Synopsis:

A scathing criticism of the perverted brutality perpetrated by fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh which almost cost his life during a recent attack on him by the hired thugs of the same quarter he was so vocal against.

 

Nari
By Humayun Azad

Synopsis:

In 1995, the government of Bangladesh banned Nari (Women, 1992), a scholarly written book by Prof. Humayun Azad of Dhaka University, in which he dealt with the subordinate and subservient position of women. The ban was eventually lifted in 2000, following a legal battle Azad won in the High Court. 

In this book Dr. Azad has done a great job by analytically compiling the feminist ideas of the west, which underlie the feminist contributions of the subcontinent's socio-political reformers. He has exposed the anti-women stance of some legendary Bangali writers including Rabindranath Tagore in his monumental work. The work, critical of the patriarchal and male-chauvinistic attitude of religions towards women, attracted the wrath of the conservative censors.

cover amar abishwash
By Humayun Azad 

Synopsis:

Yet another explosive treatise by the iconoclast author Humayun Azad where he openly expressed his disdain for all kinds of establishments including, but not limited to, religion, state, family and refusal to conform to their prescribed code of conduct and way of life.


 

Prabir Gosh

Aloukik noy Loukik (Vol-I, II, III, IV, V)

[Nothing is Supernatural]

Subjects on ‘Parapsychology’, like ESP, Telepathy, Precognition, Clairvoyance, Psycho-Kinesis are discussed  elaborately.

Various godmen of the world has been exposed in this volume and their claims on supernaturalism debunked.  Highly recommended for Bengali Readers. 

Ami Kano Ishwar-e Biswas Kori Na?

[ Why I Don’t believe in God ?]

An array of arguments in favour of religious faith or belief in god are brought in. Various points as expressed by believers from all walks of life –from a destitute to a Nobel-laureate are discussed and discarded with counter-argument.

Sanskriti-Sanghrasho-O-Nirman

[Cultural Revolution : the struggle and the formation]

This book is the Manifesto of  The Science and Rationalists’ Association of India. It is a veritable text-book for those who believe in the necessity of Cultural Revolution .

Juktibadir Challenger-ra (Vol.-I, II)

[The confrontation with rationalists]

Collection of real-life stories – a first hand account of thrilling challenges faced and won by Gurubusters Prabir and Rationalists’ Association.


 



 

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