One Read Program

When Islam is Not a Religion: Inside America’s Fight for Religious Freedom

by Asma T. Uddin

One Read Keynote event sponsored by the University of Missouri School of Law and the MU Christian Legal Society

Why do we choose a book and read it together as a Law School community? What are we trying to accomplish?

We began this practice in 2015 – the year after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Everywhere on campus, we were having difficult conversations and struggling to hear each other and to be heard in return. In the practice of law, it is important for attorneys to be exposed to and aware of aspects of the world beyond their own daily experiences. To facilitate this understanding, and to strengthen our community at Hulston Hall, Mizzou Law started a One Read program. Law students, staff, and faculty are invited to read a particular book that relates to law, the legal profession, or legal education, and touches on important issues of the moment. We believe that a One Read program strengthens our community within Hulston Hall by providing a focus for conversations and events within the law school exploring the issues of race and the experience of “otherness.”

Over the past few years, our One Read program has led us to read books that consider otherness from different vantage points. Our inaugural One Read opened our eyes to the justice offered to the marginalized and impoverished in Just Mercy by attorney Bryan Stevenson. Since then, we’ve considered the Japanese American internment experience in the United States during World War II, the effects of the “War on Drugs” and the resulting mass incarceration, and health care, power, and self-determination. More recently, we read Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance’s compassionate yet provocative account of poverty in Appalachia and his tumultuous childhood. We explored how to have hard conversations about race by reading Ijeoma Oluo’s best-seller, So You Want to Talk about Race. Last year, we explored life-long advocacy by reading Judy Heumann’s memoir Being Heumann detailing her fight for rights for the disabled community.

2022 One Read Title

This year, we have chosen When Islam Is Not a Religion: Inside America’s Fight for Religious Freedom as the 2022-23 One Read title because it dives into the constitutional values of religious freedom for people of all faiths and explores the tensions that press on this American idea. Author Asma Uddin defends people of all religious faiths so that all can live and worship freely.

Access the Book

There are several ways you can access the book:

Get Caught Up

Check out past Mizzou Law One Read books and find all the books nominated to be the One Read for more excellent reading suggestions.