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From the Publisher'Line Khatib’s book is an excellent overview of the Syrian Ba’th regime’s relations with Islam and especially of Syria’s creeping Islamization under Bashar al-Asad’s first decade. She shows how the regime’s attempt to foster a moderate Islam to counter secularists and radical Islamists inadvertently undermined secularism, leading to the Islamization of the anti-regime opposition after the Syrian Uprising.'
Raymond Hinnebusch, University of St Andrews, UK.
'In this remarkably prescient book, Line Khatib examines the erosion of Ba’thist secularism in the decade prior to the current civil war. Under Bashar al-Asad, she argues, the regime had sought to stabilize its position by reaching an accommodation with Islamist groups—thereby creating the political space for their growth and proliferation. Her analysis accurately predicts both the fragility of the regime and the foundations for Islamic radicalization since 2011, and is unquestionably important reading for anyone interested in contemporary Syrian politics.'
Rex Brynen, McGill University, Canada.
'Dr. Line Khatib has written a fascinating book, predicting and making clear in various ways what is going on in Syria today. Her in-depth study fills a (huge) gap in our knowledge of why Islam went through such a strong revival and became a potential political power threatening the regime of Bashar al-Asad. She convincingly explains how the regime itself gave a lot of space to the Islamic movements to the detriment of secularism.'
Nikolaos van Dam, author of The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society in Syria and the Ba'th Party (Routledge).