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Lavishly illustrated with over 300 pictures, including more than 200 in full color, The Oxford History of Islam offers the most wide-ranging and authoritative account available of the second largest--and fastest growing--religion in the world. John L. Esposito, Editor-in-Chief of the four-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, has gathered together sixteen leading scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to examine the origins and historical development of Islam--its faith, community, institutions, sciences, and arts. Beginning in the pre-Islamic Arab world, the chapters range from the story of Muhammad and his Companions, to the development of Islamic religion and culture and the empires that grew from it, to the influence that Islam has on today's world. The book covers a wide array of subjects, casting light on topics such as the historical encounter of Islam and Christianity, the role of Islam in the Mughal and Ottoman empires, the growth of Islam in Southeast Asia, China, and Africa, the political, economic, and religious challenges of European imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and Islamic communities in the modern Western world. In addition, the book offers excellent articles on Islamic religion, art and architecture, and sciences as well as bibliographies. Events in the contemporary world have led to an explosion of interest and scholarly work on Islam. Written for the general reader but also appealing to specialists, The Oxford History of Islam offers the best of that recent scholarship, presented in a readable style and complemented by a rich variety of illustrations.
John L. Esposito is one of America's leading authorities on Islam. Now, in this brilliant portrait of Islam today--and tomorrow--he draws on a lifetime of thought and research to sweep away the negative stereotypes and provide an accurate, richly nuanced, and revelatory account of the fastest growing religion in the world. Here Esposito explores the major questions and issues that face Islam in the 21st century and that will deeply affect global politics. Are Islam and the West locked in a deadly clash of civilizations? Is Islam compatible with democracy and human rights? Will religious fundamentalism block the development of modern societies in the Islamic world? Will Islam overwhelm the Western societies in which so many Muslim immigrants now reside? Will Europe become Eurabia or will the Muslims assimilate? Which Muslim thinkers will be most influential in the years to come? To answer this last question he introduces the reader to a new generation of Muslim thinkers--Tariq Ramadan, Timothy Winter, Mustafa Ceric, Amina Wadud, and others--a diverse collection of Muslim men and women, both the "Martin Luthers" and the "Billy Grahams" of Islam. We meet religious leaders who condemn suicide bombing and who see the killing of unarmed men, women, and children as "worse than murder," who preach toleration and pluralism, who advocate for women's rights. The book often underscores the unexpected similarities between the Islamic world and the West and at times turns the mirror on the US, revealing how we appear to Muslims, all to highlight the crucial point that there is nothing exceptional about the Muslim faith. Recent decades have brought extraordinary changes in the Muslim world, and in addressing all of these issues, Esposito paints a complex picture of Islam in all its diversity--a picture of urgent importance as we face the challenges of the coming century.
Designed for general readers with little or no knowledge of Islam, this superb Oxford Dictionary provides more than 2,000 vividly written, up-to-date, and authoritative entries organized in an easy-to-use, A-to-Z format. The Dictionary focuses primarily on the 19th and 20th centuries, stressing topics of most interest to Westerners. What emerges is a highly informative look at the religious, political, and social spheres of the modern Islamic world. Naturally, readers will find many entries on topics of intense current interest, such as terrorism and the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, the PLO and HAMAS. But the coverage goes well beyond recent headlines. There are biographical profiles, ranging from Naguib Mahfouz (the Nobel Prize winner from Egypt) to Malcolm X, including political leaders, influential thinkers, poets, scientists, and writers. Other entries cover major political movements, militant groups, and religious sects as well as terms from Islamic law, culture, and religion, key historical events, and important landmarks (such as Mecca and Medina). A series of entries looks at Islam in individual nations, such as Afghanistan, the West Bank and Gaza, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the United States, and there are discussions of Islamic views on such issues as abortion, birth control, the Internet, the Rushdie Affair, and the theory of evolution. Whether we are listening to the evening news, browsing through the op-ed pages, or reading a book on current events, references to Muslims and the Islamic world appear at every turn. The Oxford Dictionary of Islam offers a wealth of information for anyone curious about this burgeoning and increasingly important world religion.
Islamophobia has been on the rise since September 11, as seen in countless cases of discrimination, racism, hate speeches, physical attacks, and anti-Muslim campaigns. The 2006 Danish cartoon crisis and the controversy surrounding Pope Benedict XVI's Regensburg speech have underscored the urgency of such issues as image-making, multiculturalism, freedom of expression, respect for religious symbols, and interfaith relations. The 1997 Runnymede Report defines Islamophobia as "dread, hatred, and hostility towards Islam and Muslims perpetuated by a series of closed views that imply and attribute negative and derogatory stereotypes and beliefs to Muslims." Violating the basic principles of human rights civil liberties, and religious freedom, Islamophobic acts take many different forms. In some cases, mosques, Islamic centers, and Muslim properties are attacked and desecrated. In the workplace, schools, and housing, it takes the form of suspicion, staring, hazing, mockery, rejection, stigmatizing and outright discrimination. In public places, it occurs as indirect discrimination, hate speech, and denial of access to goods and services. This collection of essays takes a multidisciplinary approach to Islamophobia, bringing together the expertise and experience of Muslim, American, and European scholars. Analysis is combined with policy recommendations. Contributors discuss and evaluate good practices already in place and offer new methods for dealing with discrimination, hatred, and racism.
The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon left us stunned, angry, and uncomprehending. As it became clear that these horrifying acts had been committed in the name of religion, the media, the government, and ordinary citizens alike sought answers to questions about Islam and its adherents. In this level-headed and authoritative book, John L. Esposito, one of the world's most respected scholars of political Islam, provides answers. He clearly and carefully explains the teachings of Islam--the Quran, the example of the Prophet, Islamic law--about jihad or holy war, the use of violence, and terrorism. He chronicles the rise of extremist groups and examines their frightening worldview and tactics. Anti-Americanism (and anti-Europeanism), he shows, is a broad-based phenomenon that cuts across Arab and Muslim societies. It is not just driven by religious zealotry, but by frustration and anger at U.S. policy. It is vital to understand, however, that the vast majority of Muslims are appalled by the acts of violence committed in the name of their faith. It is essential that we distinguish between the religion of Islam and the actions of extremists like Osama bin Laden, who hijack Islamic discourse and belief to justify their acts of terrorism. This brief, clear-sighted book reflects twenty years of study, reflection, and experience on the part of a scholar who is equally respected in the West and in the Muslim world. It will prove to be the best single guide to the urgent questions that have recently forced themselves on the attention of the entire world.
Are Islam and democracy on a collision course? Do Islamic movements seek to "hijack democracy?" How have governments in the Muslim world responded to the many challenges of Islam and democracy today? A global religious resurgence and calls for greater political participation have been major forces in the post-Cold War period. Across the Muslim world, governments and Islamic movements grapple with issues of democratization and civil society. Islam and Democracy explores the Islamic sources (beliefs and institutions) relevant to the current debate over greater political participation and democratization. Esposito and Voll use six case studies--Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Sudan--to look at the diversity of Muslim experiences and experiments. At one end of the spectrum, Iran and Sudan represent two cases of militant, revolutionary Islam establishing political systems. In Pakistan and Malaysia, however, the new movements have been recognized and made part of the political process. Egypt and Algeria reveal the coexistence of both extremist and moderate Islamic activism and demonstrate the complex challenges confronting ruling elites. These case studies prove that despite commonalities, differing national contexts and identities give rise to a multiplicity of agendas and strategies. This broad spectrum of case studies, reflecting the multifaceted relationship of Islam and Democracy, provides important insight into the powerful forces of religious resurgence and democratization which will inevitably impact global politics in the twenty first century.
In this timely and important work, John Esposito and John Voll explore the development of contemporary Islamic movements and thought through the biographies of nine major activist intellectuals who represent a wide range of Muslim societies. Many Muslims have combined revivalist activism with intellectual efforts, but only a few have achieved significant international visibility and influence. By examining the lives and work of nine such internationally recognized figures, Esposito and Voll provide a new understanding of the intellectual foundations of contemporary Islamic awareness and politics. Included are profiles of: Ismail Ragi al-Faruqi (U.S./Palestine), Khurshid Ahmad (India/Pakistan), Maryam Jameelah (U.S./Pakistan), Hasan Hanafi (Sudan), Rashid Ghannoushi (Tunisia), Hasan al-Turabi (Sudan), Abdolkarim Soroush (Iran), Anwar Ibrahim (Malaysia), and Abdurrahman Wahid (Indonesia). These thinkers contributed to some of the most significant intellectual and activist developments in the Muslim world during the 1980s and 1990s--the period during which Islamic movements became a major force in Muslim societies and international affairs. They helped to organize and lead the movements of Islamic renewal and provided the conceptual foundations for the programs those movements advocate. Together, they represent a distinctive phase in the evolution of Islamic thinking: the ongoing effort to create an effective synthesis of modernity and Islamic tradition. Their work supplies the core of the Islamic resurgence of the1990s and the foundation for what it can become in the twenty-first century.
Most Americans and Europeans have by now heard of Shariah. In the West, politicians, media commentators, televangelists, and others have stoked fears that Muslims intend to impose a repressive rule based on Shariah in America and Europe. Shariah has been portrayed as a medieval system that oppresses women, stifles human rights, and imposes harsh punishments like stoning and amputation. In reality, however, Shariah is a complex concept that has been interpreted in many ways over time and around the world. It plays a vital role in the lives of Muslims around the world, offering guidance on everything from personal morality to ritual practices, family life, and finance. In this timely addition to Oxford's What Everyone Needs to Know® series, John Esposito and Natana DeLong-Bas offer an accessible and thorough guide to this little-understood, but often caricatured system. The book provides clear and even-handed answers to a wide range of questions, covering the history, development, content, and practice of Shariah. What are its origins? What is a Shariah court and how does it work? How does a person become a Muslim in the eyes of Islamic law? Does Islamic law allow Muslims to marry non-Muslims? What are blasphemy laws, and how are they enforced? How does Islamic law govern trade and contracts of sale? Do Muslims in the West want Shariah Law? Is there a need to protect American and European societies from the imposition of Shariah? By answering the questions that so many people have about Shariah and its role in Muslim life, this book makes an invaluable contribution to the crucial task of fostering mutual understanding in our globalizing, pluralistic societies.
John L. Esposito is one of America's leading authorities on Islam. Now, in this brilliant portrait of Islam today--and tomorrow--he draws on a lifetime of thought and research to sweep away the negative stereotypes and provide an accurate, richly nuanced, and revelatory account of the fastest growing religion in the world. Here Esposito explores the major questions and issues that face Islam in the 21st century and that will deeply affect global politics. Are Islam and the West locked in a deadly clash of civilizations? Is Islam compatible with democracy and human rights? Will religious fundamentalism block the development of modern societies in the Islamic world? Will Islam overwhelm the Western societies in which so many Muslim immigrants now reside? Will Europe become Eurabia or will the Muslims assimilate? Which Muslim thinkers will be most influential in the years to come? To answer this last question he introduces the reader to a new generation of Muslim thinkers--Tariq Ramadan, Timothy Winter, Mustafa Ceric, Amina Wadud, and others--a diverse collection of Muslim men and women, both the "Martin Luthers" and the "Billy Grahams" of Islam. We meet religious leaders who condemn suicide bombing and who see the killing of unarmed men, women, and children as "worse than murder," who preach toleration and pluralism, who advocate for women's rights. The book often underscores the unexpected similarities between the Islamic world and the West and at times turns the mirror on the US, revealing how we appear to Muslims, all to highlight the crucial point that there is nothing exceptional about the Muslim faith. Recent decades have brought extraordinary changes in the Muslim world, and in addressing all of these issues, Esposito paints a complex picture of Islam in all its diversity--a picture of urgent importance as we face the challenges of the coming century.
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