In The Path Of God (Ppr) / Edition 1

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Overview

Americans' awareness of Islam and Muslims rose to seemingly unprecedented heights in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, but this is not the first time they have dominated American public life. Once before, during the period of the Iranian revolution and hostage crisis of 1979 to 1981, Americans found themselves targeted as a consequence of a militant interpretation of Islam. Daniel Pipes wrote In the Path of God in response to those events, and the heightened interest in Islam they generated. His objective was to present an overview of the connection between in Islam and political power through history in a way that would explain the origins of hostility to Americans and the West. Its relevance to our understanding of contemporary events is self evident.

Muslim antagonism toward the West is deeply rooted in historical experience. In premodern times, the Islamic world enjoyed great success, being on the whole more powerful and wealthier than their neighbors. About two hundred years ago, a crisis developed, as Muslims became aware of the West's overwhelming force and economic might. While they might have found these elements attractive, Muslims found European culture largely alien and distasteful. The resulting resistance to Westernization by Muslims has deep roots, has been more persistent than that of other peoples, and goes far to explain the deep Muslim reluctance to accept modern ways. In short, Muslims saw what the West had and wanted it too, but they rejected the methods necessary to achieve this. This, the Muslim trauma, has only worsened over the years.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Among the outstanding contributions to public-policy debates are Daniel Pipes’s In the Path of God, a lively history of modern Islam and the politics it produces.” —Ellen Wilson, The Wall Street Journal “A cogent study of Islam as a political force in the modern world.” —CW, National Review “Scholarly, far-ranging, and thoughtful. . . . the debate is interesting, and Pipes has make a stimulating contribution to it.” —Ernest Gellner, The New Republic “Brilliant, authoritative. . . . demonstrates encyclopedic knowledge of Muslim intellectual history. . . . Few other writers have explained so lucidly such complex developments in Muslim history. . . . Pipes’ brief account is certainly useful to the nonspecialist trying to understand what seems to be the inherent political instability of the Muslim world. . . . forcefully presented and cogently argued. . . . The book is a valuable contribution to our understanding.” —Thomas W. Lippman, The Washington Post “Mr. Pipes’s forte is logical argumentation. The arguments here are usually clever, occasionally even brilliant, and invariably presented with verve and style.” —Lisa Schiffren, The Wall Street Journal “Pipes has handled his subject well. It is difficult these days to address the question of Islam, the Arabs, and their relations with Israel and remain nonpartisan. Pipes has managed to do just that. He has wended his way through that minefield unscathed. His book is a scholarly attempt to explain what is going on in that little-known, volatile, and very important part of the world - and to define the role that religion plays in it. For that reason, it is well worth reading.” —Ronald Taggiasco, Business Week “Daniel Pipes’s. . . . insightful presentation that sets In the Path of God apart from the recent spate of didactic efforts by Islamicists and quickie potboilers by journalists on the ‘Islamic revival.’. . . . a reasoned, literate explication of whence this bewildering Islamic resurgence has come and whither it is going. Specialists. . . . can also profit from Mr. Pipes’s approach. . . . Mr. Pipes, a Harvard lecturer who has hitherto been known principally as an expert on medieval Muslim armies, helps us make sense of it all.” —Bruce D. Hardcastle, Policy Review “Daniel Pipes’ ambitious work. . . . stands out for its historic sweep, its focus on the political aspects, and the cohesion that comes with single authorship. . . . Pipes, with no apparent ax to grind is not afraid to predict that religious fundamentalism, as the answer to modern political and economic challenges, will fail.” —Foreign Affairs “He has resisted a widespread tendency to translate Muslim self-expression into social science jargon as unintelligible as any mosque harangue. His unadorned interpretation strikes a judicious balance between faithfulness to sources and clarity of presentation. . . . Here Pipes is at his very best.” —Martin Kramer, The American Spectator “This book, ambitious in its scope, eloquent in its presentation, and provocative in its judgments, is a welcome addition to the growing body of new Western writing on the interaction of politics and Islam. It offers both a comprehensive historical review and a wide-ranging contemporary survey of Islamic politics, in their doctrinal as well as practical manifestations. The result is a concise and erudite introduction to this subject for the general reader, and an interesting interpretation for those with more background in Islamic studies. . . . In pursuing its distinctive themes, the book largely succeeds on all three counts, demonstrating mastery of detail combined with an ability to capture the ‘big picture’ and make general arguments in the grand style.” —David Pollock, Middle East Insight
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765809810
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/11/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Pipes is the president of the Middle East Forum and the author of numerous books, including In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power; The Long Shadow: Culture and Politics in the Middle East; andThe Rushdie Affair: The Novel, the Ayatollah, and the West. A former official in the departments of State and Defense, Pipes has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, and the US Naval War College. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. Daniel Pipes is the president of the Middle East Forum and the author of numerous books, including In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power; The Long Shadow: Culture and Politics in the Middle East; andThe Rushdie Affair: The Novel, the Ayatollah, and the West. A former official in the departments of State and Defense, Pipes has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, and the US Naval War College. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Transaction Edition
Acknowledgments
Corrections to the Text
1 Understanding Islam in Politics 3
Pt. I The Premodern Legacy
2 Islamic Sacred Law and Politics 29
3 The Medieval Synthesis 48
4 Relations with Non-Muslims 70
Conclusion: The Civilization of Islam 89
Pt. II Encountering the West
5 Western Armies and Civilization 97
6 New Attitudes toward the Sacred Law 114
7 Responses to Western Political Ideologies 143
8 Muslim Anomie 168
Conclusion: Muslim Ambivalence 195
Pt. III Islam in Current Affairs
9 The Islamic Revival: A Survey of Countries 203
10 The Great Oil Boom 281
Conclusion: The Revival and Future Choices 331
App Muslim Populations by Country 337
Glossary 340
Notes 342
Index 363
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