On Being Human

About the book

This book seeks to understand the Muslim’s role in a world of sometimes discordant relations festered by attitudes of othering and dehumanisation. It shows that such attitudes, fuelled by hate, impinge upon a conviviality, harmony of existence and mutual understanding between peoples – as reflected in the Qur’ānic paradigm. The book breaks down codified concepts in an accessible way to the uninitiated reader, marrying together sociological constructs with real and illuminating examples from the Qur'an and Prophetic tradition.

Numerous, varied, historical and contemporary examples are used from many different fields to demonstrate key points throughout the book, giving the reader a glimpse into the depth and breadth of history, literature, spirituality, conflict studies and how these concepts have manifested themselves across all these fields in relation to discourses of othering, dehumanisation and empathy. This book calls on us to attempt to see one another without the stereotypes, the walls, the distance both physical and cultural, that mar our perceptions of each other. Inspired by the Prophetic empathy, the book provides guidelines on bridging between communities and suggests direct lessons for the reader to take.  

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About the author

Dr. Osman Latiff has a BA in History, an MA in Crusader Studies, and has completed a PhD in the 'Place of Fada'il al-Quds (Merits of Jerusalem) and Religious Poetry in the Muslim effort to recapture Jerusalem in the Crusades'. He has delivered many papers in the UK and internationally at renowned academic institutions. His book on the crusades, ‘The Cutting Edge of the Poet’s Sword: Muslim Poetic Responses to the Crusades’ was published by Brill in 2018. He has also written and continues to write academic articles and book chapters in the field of history.Further to his PhD he conducted post-doctorate research in Politics and International Relations ('The effect of war media iconography on US identity: disruptive images, counter hegemony and political syncretism') - considering bottom-up, grassroots humanistic values and affective principles of empathy and syncretism, and the power of the visual dimension in war and conflict. His second book, on the place of empathy in challenging attitudes of otherness in human societies, entitled ‘On Being Human: How Islam addresses othering, dehumanisation and empathy’ was published in February 2020 and launched in Christchurch New Zealand on the anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shootings (2019). He also awaits a forthcoming academic publication – ‘War, Dissent and Empathy: Seeing Our Others in Darkened Spaces’ (forthcoming - Springer, 2020). Dr. Latiff is a lecturer and teacher at Jamia Masjid and Islamic Centre, Slough, and is a regular speaker at mosques and universities in the UK and internationally.