The January 6, 2008 edition of the New York Times Book Review was devoted to “Islam,” as the header for the edition boldly proclaims. The edition aims to highlight some of the most relevant historical, literary, political and theological issues informing contemporary discourse around the topic of Islam, as it is found in recent literature. The effort to shed light on such an important subject is laudable. What follows are my comments on the various articles and essays. They follow the order presented in the Book Review. 1. This issue of the Book Review begins with Tariq Ramadan’s excellent essay Reading the Koran. Ramadan is able to capture in a concise essay both the simplicity and the nuanced complexity of the Koran (Qur’an). Its simplicity is rooted in its ability to singularly address the believing heart. At this level the Qur’an is simple and universally accessible. Each person finds in its message, filtered through the prism of his or her personal experiences, knowledge, joy, pain, triumphs and setbacks, a distinct intimacy. At this level, the message requires “no intermediary.” This is the basis of what Ramadan refers to as the dialogue that exists between the Qur’an and its reader. Ramadan beautifully captures the spirit of that dialogue.