Islam under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post- Honor World

Islam under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post- Honor World

by Akbar S. Ahmed
     
 

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In this groundbreaking book, Akbar Ahmed, one of the world’s leading authorities on Islam, who has worked in the Muslim world but lives in the West, explains what is going wrong in his society by referring to Islamic history and beliefs. Employing theological and anthropological perspectives, he attempts to answer the questions that people in the West are

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Overview

In this groundbreaking book, Akbar Ahmed, one of the world’s leading authorities on Islam, who has worked in the Muslim world but lives in the West, explains what is going wrong in his society by referring to Islamic history and beliefs. Employing theological and anthropological perspectives, he attempts to answer the questions that people in the West are asking about Islam: "Why do they hate us?" "Is Islam compatible with democracy?" "Does Islam subjugate women?" "Does the Quran preach violence?" These important questions are of relevance to Muslims and to non-Muslims alike. Islam Under Siege points out the need for, and provides the route to, the dialogue of civilizations.

September 11, 2001, underlined the role of Islam in our time. In its demographic spread, its political span, and its religious commitment, Islam will be an increasingly forceful presence on the world stage in the twenty-first century. While some scholars predict that there will be a clash of civilizations, others see a need for a dialogue of civilizations.

This book will help students, scholars of politics, sociology, international relations, and cultural studies, and reporters as well as a more general audience interested in some of the most important issues of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Above all, this is a courageous book. Ahmed uses his knowledge ofthe Koran and anthropology to confront his co-religionists withuncomfortable truths about women, honour, social cohesion andleadership at a time when Islam is confronting all major worldreligions"

Times Higher Education Supplement

"In my view there surely cannot be a more relevant book ... oneof the most distinguished Muslim scholars today, Professor AkbarAhmed offers us a clear vision that has the potential to unite usin common action and purpose. It is one of the most hopeful booksas well as one of the most challenging I have read in recentyears."

Washington Times

"Ahmed paints a frightening picture of a world reverting to amore primitive state. This is an honest attempt to describe theproblems Muslims face. without absolving them entirely from blame.Western readers should reciprocate in kind."

Karen Armstrong, Modern Asian Studies

"This new book is written in a language that is understood inthe West and is readily accessible...Ahmed explains convincinglythe moral collapse of societies in what he calls our "Post-HonorWorld"..."

Houston Chronicle

"Bold and provocative, its penetrating cultural analysis willchallenge Muslims and Westerners, demanding a more sophisticatedconsideration of what is occurring in the world"

Christian Science Monitor

"Ahmed's book is an immense contribution to understanding acontemporary, dangerous world. No course on contemporary Islam orglobal studies should be deemed complete without this work. Boththe Muslim and non-Muslim worlds owe Ahmed a great debt for thispiece of honest, hard-hitting scholarship."

Islamic Studies

"It is rare to find a book this is so theoreticallysophisticated and yet to readable ... It is a book that one cangive to a friend or neighbor who wants to make sense of Islam andthe world today as well as assign to graduate students in IslamicStudies and political science ... If there is a better book aboutour post-9/11 world, this reviewer has not yet seen it. Hopefully,it will receive the widest possible readership."

Middle East Journal

"Islam Under Siege should be required reading for policymakers in Washington, Europe and the Islamic World. It deserves tobe translated into all of the major languages of the Middle Eastand South Asia."

Middle East Policy

"It is a pleasure to read Ahmed's Islam Under Siege. Oneneed not agree with every sentence and every phrase of any author.But if the author has been honest to his profession and madereaders think, his contribution is seminal. Ahmed succeeds in doingprecisely that."

Seminar (New Delhi)

"This is the most important book to date on life in the post9/11 world. Islam Under Siege goes beyond assigning guilt,to understanding the world that has produced such hatred andmisunderstanding. In this sometimes personal and consistentlycourageous meditation on the uncertainties of our time, Akbar Ahmedoffers hope by focusing on shared notions of honor and humandignity.”

Tamara Sonn, American Council for the Study ofIslamic Societies

“Akbar Ahmed is one of the wisest and bravest writers onIslam. This work confirms his reputation as a savant in thefield.”

Chris Rojek, Nottingham Trent University

“Akbar Ahmed’s understanding of the relationshipbetween politics and culture sets him apart from other analysts ofcontemporary Islam.”

Louis W. Goodman, American University

"Islam Under Siege is an honorable quest to capture andanalyze the dishonorable conduct of human society in a post honorworld. Just like an alarm clock that rings in your head it forcesyou to wake up from the pretentious slumber we are so used to. Infact this book keeps you awake long after you are done readingit."

Faizan Haq, State University of New York atBuffalo

Publishers Weekly
"The 21st century will be the century of Islam," writes Ahmed, who holds a chair in Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, D.C. Moreover, the 21st century may be "a time of war between Islam and... other world civilizations." Ahmed resists easy characterizations of Islam, always striving to offer a balanced depiction: Islam is both exclusivist and inclusivist, respectful of women but also mired in some cultural traditions that oppress them. Some portions of the book are dry and theoretical, and the academic jargon makes for slow reading. Other sections are fascinating and engaging--particularly Ahmed's ethnographic explorations of different pockets of Muslim life. He shares his difficult personal experiences as a scholar who spearheaded a controversial film study of Pakistan founder M.A. Jinnah, and concludes: "Looking at the breakdown of society for a Muslim scholar is like staring into the face of despair." In the next section, however, he communicates his optimism after visiting the inclusive, tolerant Muslim community in Toledo, Ohio. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780745622101
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
08/28/2003
Series:
Themes for the 21st Century Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 7.22(h) x 0.67(d)

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