Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam

Oxford University Press
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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.
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About the author

John L. Esposito is University Professor of Religion and International Affairs and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. A past president of the Middle East Studies Association, he is Editor-in-Chief of the four-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, Editor of The Oxford Illustrated History of Islam, and the author of numerous books, including Islam: The Straight Path and The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? His newest books include What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam and The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Nov 13, 2003
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9780199840229
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Middle East / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Terrorism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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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.


From the Hardcover edition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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