The New Crusades: Constructing the Muslim Enemy / Edition 1

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Overview

Not since the Crusades of the Middle Ages has Islam evoked the degree of fear, hostility, and ethnic and religious stereotyping that is evident throughout Western culture today. As conflicts continue to proliferate around the globe, the perception of a colossal, unyielding, and unavoidable struggle between Islam and the West has intensified. These numerous conflicts, both actual and ideological, have revived fears of an ongoing "clash of civilizations" -- an intractable and irreconcilable conflict of values between Western cultures and an Islam that is portrayed as hostile and alien.

The New Crusades takes head-on the idea of an emergent "Cold War" between Islam and the West. It explores the historical, political, and institutional forces that have raised the specter of a threatening and monolithic Muslim enemy and provides a nuanced critique of much received wisdom on the topic, particularly the "clash of civilizations" theory. Bringing together twelve of the most influential thinkers in Middle Eastern and religious studies -- including Edward Said, Roy Mottahedeh, and Fatema Mernissi -- this timely collection confronts such depictions of the Arab-Islamic world, showing their inner workings and how they both empower and shield from scrutiny Islamic radicals who operate from similar paradigms of inevitable and absolute conflict.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism - Max Weiss

The New Crusades assmbles expert knowledges of some tangled historical roots... this work deserves as wide a readership as possible.

Studies in Religion - Roxanne D. Marcotte

An insightful work.

Studies in Contemporary Islam - Daniel L. Smith-Christopher

An important book at an important time in American social thought.

The Muslim World Book Review

This is an important book... for those engaged in challenging the assumptions that lie behind this current 'war on terror'.

Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism
The New Crusades assmbles expert knowledges of some tangled historical roots... this work deserves as wide a readership as possible.

— Max Weiss

Studies in Religion
An insightful work.

— Roxanne D. Marcotte

Studies in Contemporary Islam
An important book at an important time in American social thought.

— Daniel L. Smith-Christopher

Foreign Affairs - L. Carl Brown

Sophisticated, subtle, richly documented, and wide-ranging.

Choice

A book of major importance.... Essential.

Foreign Affairs
Sophisticated, subtle, richly documented, and wide-ranging.

— L. Carl Brown

Foreign Affairs
As the title suggests, Western "construction" of Islam and Muslims comes in for a harsh appraisal in this impressive excursion into the history of ideas. One of the chapters is, appropriately, by Edward Said (famous for his notion of "orientalism"); others dispute Samuel Huntington's famous "Clash of Civilizations" thesis. Overall, the work of the editors and eleven additional contributors is sophisticated, subtle, richly documented, and wide-ranging. Maria Rosa Menocal shows how Western medievalists have expunged the European Arabic contribution to Western literature. Roy Mottahedeh, in a subtle critique of Huntington, brings out the complex reality that is obscured by such reifications as "Islam" and "the West." Rob Nixon presents a study of the persistent anti-Muslim bias in the works of V. S. Naipaul. Norman Cigar chillingly sets out the contribution of Serbian intellectuals to "defining and eliminating a Muslim community." Tomas Mastnak argues that, starting in the fifteenth century, anti-Islamic sentiment fostered the very idea of Europe as a political community. Others deserve mention as well, for all are scholarly, readable, and informative.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231126670
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 11/19/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Emran Qureshi is an independent scholar and freelance journalist. His articles and reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Toronto Globe & Mail, the Washington Post, and the Guardian Weekly. He resides in Ottawa, where he is working on his next book, a study of Islam and human rights.Michael A. Sells is Emily Judson Baugh and John Marshall Guest Professor of Comparative Religion at Haverford College. He is the author of more than sixty articles and seven books, including Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations and The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface: A Tribute to Eqbal, by AhmadEmran QureshiIntroduction: Constructing the Muslim Enemy, by Emran Qureshi and Michael A. SellsPart I Palace Fundamentalism and Liberal Democracy, by Fatema MernissiThe Clash of Definitions, by Edward W. SaidThe Clash of Civilizations: Samuel P. Huntington, Bernard Lewis, and the Remaking of the Post-Cold War World Order, by John TrumpbourThe Clash of Civilizations: An Islamicist's Critique, by Roy P. MottahedehAmong the Mimics and Parasites: V. S. Naipaul's Islam, by Rob NixonIslamic and Western Worlds: The End of History or Clash of Civilizations, by Mujeeb R. KhanEurope and the Muslims: The Permanent Crusade?, by Tomaz¼ MastnakThe Myth of Westernness in Medieval Literary Historiography, by MarÌa Rosa MenocalIslamophobia in France and the "Algerian Problem", by Neil MacMasterThe Nationalist Serbian Intellectuals and Islam: Defining and Eliminating a Muslim Community, by Norman CigarChrist Killer, Kremlin, Contagion, by Michael A. SellsContributorsIndex

Columbia University Press

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2005

    A confrontation of the clash of civilizations.

    The image of Islam and the West in a state of fundamental hostility is not new. In recent times, however, it has gained increasing prominence due to the growing number of proponents of this scenario, such as Bernard Lewis, Samuel Huntington and V.S. Naipul. Recent events such as 9/11 and the resulting rhetoric and action primarily against Islamic states have reinforced this idea. Emran Qureshi and Michael Sells confront these notions of an impending clash and offer a critique of the simplistic and hostile approach taken by writers such as Lewis and Huntington towards the religion of Islam.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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