Trial of a Thousand Years: World Order and Islamism

Trial of a Thousand Years: World Order and Islamism

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by Charles Hill
     
 

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“A Muslim has no nationality except his religious beliefs,” said Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, a key figure in the world of political Islam who was executed by the secular regime in his homeland in 1966. For the Islamists, the normal diplomatic order, constructed by unbelievers and accepted by state regimes across the Arab Islamic world, is no order of theirs.

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Overview

“A Muslim has no nationality except his religious beliefs,” said Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, a key figure in the world of political Islam who was executed by the secular regime in his homeland in 1966. For the Islamists, the normal diplomatic order, constructed by unbelievers and accepted by state regimes across the Arab Islamic world, is no order of theirs. In this book, Charles Hill presents a detailed historical perspective on the assault of Islamism against the order of states.

To understand the current Islamist assault on world order, says the author, it is necessary to recognize that every major war of the modern age has been an ideologically driven attempt—no two alike—to overthrow and replace the Westphalian international state system. Each war, he shows, sheds light on the question of world order and Islamism. He explains, for example, how, with the defeat and final exile of Napoleon in 1815, the French Revolution’s immediate threat to the international system was ended, but how its ideology would continue to live in later times and places, not least in the Middle East. Moving through history all the way to the cold war, he documents how the Soviets realized that they could exploit Arab discontent with the state system. And he reveals more of the vicissitudes of cold war era diplomacy in the story of Iran, which maneuvered its way through the troubles of the twentieth century—colonial exploitation, war, and revolution—to be in, but never of, the international system.

He concludes that America must not give up its values; neither should it retreat by practicing them only at home or by telling ourselves that our values are no more worthy than any others selected at random from the world’s many cultures. The first step, he says, is to recognize the problem and then try to develop ways to deal with the exploitation of asymmetries by the enemies of world order. From the global point of view, the stakes are enormous.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780817913243
Publisher:
Hoover Institution Press
Publication date:
05/05/2011
Series:
HOOVER INST PRESS PUBLICATION Series
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
166
Sales rank:
1,174,589
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)

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