The Islamic Threat: Myth Or Reality?

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Are Islam and the West on an inevitable collision course? Are Islamic fundamentalists medieval fanatics--a threat to stability in the Muslim world and to American interests in the region? Does a clash of world views loom on the horizon? From the Ayatollah Khomeini to Saddam Hussein, the image of Islam as a militant, expansionist, and rabidly anti-American religion has gripped the minds of Western governments and the media. But these questions and perceptions, John Esposito writes, stem from a long history of mutual distrust, criticism, and condemnation--and they are far too simplistic to help us understand one of the most important issues of our times.
In The Islamic Threat, Esposito places the challenge of Islam in critical perspective, exploring the vitality of Islam as a global force and the history of its relations with the western world. He offers a systematic assessment of Islamic politics in several key nations (including Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, and Algeria) and in particular Islamic movements (from moderates to radicals), demonstrating the diversity of the Islamic resurgence--and the mistakes western analysts make in assuming a hostile, monolithic Islam. Esposito examines the potential challenge or threat of Islam in light of the Rushdie affair, the Gulf War of 1990-91, the New World Order, and the pressure for democratization in the Muslim world. He goes on to explore the issues facing Islam and the West in the 1990s, such as pluralism, human rights, the status of women and minorities in the context of Islamic revivalism.
John Esposito is one of the foremost authorities on the Islamic world, widely acclaimed in both Muslim nations and the West. His most recent work, Islam: The Straight Path, was praised as "lucid and comprehensive" (Washington Post Book World) and "probably the best one-volume introduction" (Voice Literary Supplement). In this incisive and important new study, he throws fresh light on one of the most critical issues in world politics today.

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THE ISLAMIC THREAT: Myth or Reality?

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Holy Cross professor (Middle East Studies) and State Department consultant Esposito calls for a more balanced and informed view of the Muslim world. For the thousand years since the Crusades, Muslim ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
Roots of Conflict Cooperation
25
Muslim Responses
47
Copyright

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About the author (1992)


About the Author:
John L. Esposito is Loyola Professor of Middle East Studies at College of the Holy Cross. He has served as President of the Middle East Studies Association and as a consultant to the State Department. He is Editor in Chief of Oxford's Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (forthcoming). His books include Islam: The Straight Path, Islam and Politics, Islam in Asia, and Voices of Resurgent Islam.

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