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Eid al-Adha by Grace Jones


Eid al-Adha by Grace Jones


This particular book is part of large book series called "Festivals Around the World." This non-fiction book plays a great role as an information source for kids eager to learn more about different holidays celebrated around the world and it fails miserably.

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I stumbled upon this book in the reference section in the public library of another district. I was excited to see their larger selection of books about Islam and Muslims, compared to my small local library. Since Eid al-Adha is around the corner this seemed the right timing for this book. Little did I know, that this would bring to light the current reality of Islamic content written by non-muslim authors.

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There are a few details in this book that are incorrect. This book is states that Eid al-Adha is "celebrated by Muslims in September of every year." A mistake like this is unforgivable. In addition, prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) is referenced as a wise man, not a prophet. Ishmail is the biblical and/or Jewish name, whereas in Islam it is Ismail. Also, the book suggests that "Eid al-Adha is also known as the 'Salty Eid' because of the amount of salty foods that are eaten". This must be a cultural statement as I have never come accross the Salty Eid reference. 📚

It was published in 2017, therefore when the author did her research, possibly in 2016, Eid Al-Adha was actually in September. This tells me that the author was too lazy to do extended research on this topic. Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr are also books in this series. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get my hands on them but I am very curious.

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So many questions came to mind when I read this book:

1. What are the references used to compile the information on this book?

2. Where was the research done and what was the cultural influence in it?

3. Where does the responsibility lie when errors like this occur? The author? Editor? Publisher?

4. What is the role of the publishers that invest and push these books that misinform the readers?

5. Why aren't more opportunities given to Muslim authors for projects like this? Going directly to the source?

6. And most importantly, what are we doing as Muslims to contribute in the greater community to change and promote the correct Islamic representation in the public bookshelves?


When I did a little more digging, I found that most of those reference books about Islam, were actually written by non-muslim authors.


June 29/2019

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