In his first book since What Went Wrong? Bernard Lewis examines the historical roots of the resentments that dominate the Islamic world today and that are increasingly being expressed in acts of terrorism. He looks at the theological origins of political Islam and takes us through the rise of militant Islam in Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, examining the impact of radical Wahhabi proselytizing, and Saudi oil money, on the rest of the Islamic world. The Crisis of Islam ranges widely through thirteen centuries of history, but in particular it charts the key events of the twentieth century leading up to the violent confrontations of today: the creation of the state of Israel, the Cold War, the Iranian Revolution, the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan, the Gulf War, and the September 11th attacks on the United States. While hostility toward the West has a long and varied history in the lands of Islam, its current concentration on America is new. So too is the cult of the suicide bomber. Brilliantly disentangling the crosscurrents of Middle Eastern history from the rhetoric of its manipulators, Bernard Lewis helps us understand the reasons for the increasingly dogmatic rejection of modernity by many in the Muslim world in favor of a return to a sacred past. Based on his George Polk Award–winning article for The New Yorker, The Crisis of Islam is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what Usama bin Ladin represents and why his murderous message resonates so widely in the Islamic world.
the crisis of islam
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President Bush has made it clear that we are engaged in a war against terrorism. But for Usama bin Laden and his followers this is religious war, a war for Islam against infidels, especially the United States, the greatest power in the world of the infidels. In this book Bernard Lewis shows us where the anger and frustration have come from, and the extent to which almost the entire Muslim world is affected by poverty and tyranny. He looks at the influence of extreme Wahhabist doctrines in the Saudi kingdom, where custodianship of Islam's holy places and the revenues of oil have given worldwide impact to what would otherwise have been an extremist fringe in a marginal country. He looks at American double standards, which have long caused Muslim anger, and tells us the real meaning of `Islamic fundamentalism', `jihad' and `fatwa', and why the peoples of the Middle East are conscious of history in a way most Americans find difficult to understand.
This balanced and sensitive study draws on a wide range of original sources to provide a scholarly yet highly readable account of the period, exploring the delicate interplay between religion and politics and the roots of the conflict that led to the Crisis of Succession and Sunni/Shii schism.
Rigid notions of masculinity are causing crisis in the global Islamic community. These are articulated from the Qur'an, its commentary, historical precedents and societal, religious and familial obligations. Some Muslims who don't agree with narrow constructs of manliness feel forced to consider themselves secular and therefore outside the religious community. In order to evaluate whether there really is only one valid, ideal Islamic masculinity, The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities explores key figures of the Qur'an and Indian-Pakistani Islamic history, and exposes the precariousness of tight constraints on Islamic manhood. By examining Qur'anic arguments and the strict social responsibilities advocated along with narrow Islamic masculinities, Amanullah De Sondy shows that God and women (to whom Muslim men relate but are different from) often act as foils for the construction of masculinity. He argues the constrainers of masculinity have used God and women to think with and to dominate through and that rigid gender roles are the product of a misguided enterprise: the highly personal relationship between humans and God does not lend itself to the organization of society, because that relationship cannot be typified and replicated. Discussions and debates surrounding Islamic masculinities are quickly finding their place in the study of Islam and Muslims, and The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities makes a vital contribution to this emerging field.
Praise for Bernard Lewis "For newcomers to the subject[el]Bernard Lewis is the man." TIME Magazine “The doyen of Middle Eastern studies." The New York Times “No one writes about Muslim history with greater authority, or intelligence, or literary charm.” British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper “Bernard Lewis has no living rival in his field.” Al Ahram, Cairo (the most influential Arab world newspaper) "When it comes to Islamic studies, Bernard Lewis is the father of us all. With brilliance, integrity, and extraordinary mastery of languages and sources, he has led the way for[el]investigators seeking to understand the Muslim world." National Review "Bernard Lewis combines profound depth of scholarship with encyclopedic knowledge of the Middle East and, above all, readability." Daily Telegraph (London) "Lewis speaks with authority in prose marked by lucidity, elegance, wit and force." Newsday (New York) "Lewis' style is lucid, his approach, objective." Philadelphia Inquirer "Lewis writes with unsurpassed erudition and grace." Washington Times An objective, easy-to-read introduction to Islam by Bernard Lewis, one of the West’s leading experts on Islam For many people, Islam remains a mystery. Here Bernard Lewis and Buntzie Ellis Churchill examine Islam: what its adherents believe and how their religion has shaped them, their rich and diverse cultures, and their politics over more than 14 centuries. Considered one of the West’s leading experts on Islam, Lewis, with Churchill, has written an illuminating introduction for those who want to understand the faith and the global challenges it confronts and presents. Whatever your political, personal, or religious views, this book will help you understand Islam’s reality. Lewis and Churchill answer questions such as... • How does Islam differ from Judaism and Christianity? • What are the pillars of the Islamic faith? • What does Islam really say about peace and jihad? • How does the faith regard non-Muslims? • What are the differences between Sunni and Shi’a? • What does Islam teach about the position of women in society? • What does Islam say about free enterprise and profit? • What caused the rise of radical Islam? • What are the problems facing Muslims in the U.S. and Europe and what are the challenges posed by those minorities?
A comprehensive study of religious violence and aggression in Nigeria, notably its causes, consequences, and the options for conflict resolution.
All the world’s religions are experiencing rapid change due to a confluence of social and economic global forces. Factors such as the pervasive intrusion of globalizing political and economic developments, polarized and morally equivalent presentations seen in the media, and the sense of surety demanded in and promised by a culture dominated by science are some of the factors that have placed extreme pressure on all religious traditions. This has stimulated unprecedented responses by religious groups, ranging from fundamentalism to the syncretistic search for meaning. As religion takes on new forms, the balance between individual and community is disrupted and reconfigured. Religions often lose the capacity to recall their ultimate purpose or lead their adherents toward it. This is the situation we call “the crisis of the holy.” It is a confluence of threats, challenges, and opportunities for all religions. This volume explores the contours of pressures, changes, and transformations and reflects on how all our religions are changing. By identifying commonalities across religions as they respond to these pressures, The Crisis of the Holy recommends ways religious traditions might cope with these changes and how they might join forces in doing so. Contributors: Vincent J. Cornell, Alon Goshen-Gottstein, Sidney H. Griffith, Maria Reis Habito, B. Barry Levy, Deepak Sarma, Michael von Brück
This book intends to review the meaning of contemporary in Arab intellectual history. It presents a classification of four periods in modern Arab intellectual history; they are the following: 1) Nahda: the great Arab renaissance period, from 1850 to 1914. The Nahda sought through translation and vulgarization to assimilate the great achievements of modern European civilization; 2) the period between the two wars characterized by the the development of thoughts which played a leading role in social movements, especially in nationalist movements; 3) the period the Arab nationalist experiments on the unionist ideology; and 4) the period of moral and political crisis after the defeat in the 1967 War. The central thesis of this book is that the concept of history - a concept playing a capital role in modern thought - is in fact peripheral to all the ideologies that have dominated the Arab world till now.
Across the Muslim world today, if anything is self-evident across the Muslim world today it is that the Ummah is badly in need of reform. On this point it can be stated with confidence that Muslims are agreed. Poverty and injustice characterize the face of Muslim lands from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Pollution and corruption are the order of the day in the societies where the gulf between them and the developed countries of the world has never been wider. Politics in the Muslim world are all too often the politics of deprivation, and culture the culture of despair. “Crisis in the Muslim Mind” examines the intellectual and historical roots of the malaise that has encompassed the Ummah and threatens to efface its identity. Firs published in Arabic in 1991, this important work (in an abridged English translation) is designed to familiarize educated and concerned Muslims with the nature of the crisis confronting them, and to suggest the steps necessary to overcome it.