Now all but forgotten, there exists within medieval Islamic political thought a coherent “realist” tradition analogous to its Western counterpart. In The Art of Jihad, Malik Mufti begins by analyzing contemporary debates on jihad designed to highlight the lacuna occupied by realism in other cultures. He explicates the features of medieval Islamic realism; those it shares with realism everywhere—a focus on power, for example, or the ubiquity of human conflict—but also those features that are distinctive: its insistence on the political centrality of religion, its rejection of scientific certainty, its valorization of hierarchy, and its adherence to empire as the optimal ethico-political framework. These features are fleshed out through the writings of medieval political thinkers such as Ibn al-Muqaffa`, al-Jahiz, and the anonymous author of a seminal military manual, as well as political philosophers such as Ibn Rushd and Ibn Khaldun. Finally, Mufti explores the prospects for a revival of Islamic realism in the context of the political and intellectual upheavals currently besetting the Middle East.
“There are few more important themes in Islamic political thought than the problem and status of jihad. Despite the great richness of the Islamic tradition, it is widely recognized that less progress has been made than one might hope in contending in a fruitful way with this phenomenon. This book is one of those rare works that offers a new way of looking at the matter.” — Joshua Parens, author of An Islamic Philosophy of Virtuous Religions: Introducing Alfarabi
Malik Mufti is Professor of Political Science at Tufts University. He is the author of Sovereign Creations: Pan-Arabism and Political Order in Syria and Iraq and Daring and Caution in Turkish Strategic Culture: Republic at Sea.
The world’s leading intellectual offers a probing examination of the waning American Century, the nature of U.S. policies post-9/11, and the perils of valuing power above democracy and human rights
In an incisive, thorough analysis of the current international situation, Noam Chomsky argues that the United States, through its military-first policies and its unstinting devotion to maintaining a world-spanning empire, is both risking catastrophe and wrecking the global commons. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from the expanding drone assassination program to the threat of nuclear warfare, as well as the flashpoints of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine, he offers unexpected and nuanced insights into the workings of imperial power on our increasingly chaotic planet.
In the process, Chomsky provides a brilliant anatomy of just how U.S. elites have grown ever more insulated from any democratic constraints on their power. While the broader population is lulled into apathy—diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable—the corporations and the rich have increasingly been allowed to do as they please.
Fierce, unsparing, and meticulously documented, Who Rules the World? delivers the indispensable understanding of the central conflicts and dangers of our time that we have come to expect from Chomsky.
One of the most thought-provoking books ever written about the Middle East, From Beirut to Jerusalem remains vital to our understanding of this complex and volatile region of the world. Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman drew upon his ten years of experience reporting from Lebanon and Israel to write this now-classic work of journalism. In a new afterword, he updates his journey with a fresh discussion of the Arab Awakenings and how they are transforming the area, and a new look at relations between Israelis and Palestinians, and Israelis and Israelis.
Rich with anecdote, history, analysis, and autobiography, From Beirut to Jerusalem will continue to shape how we see the Middle East for many years to come.
"If you're only going to read one book on the Middle East, this is it."--Seymour M. Hersh