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The Challenge of Fundamentalism Political Islam and the New World Disorder

by Bassam Tibi

  • ISBN: 9780520088689
  • ISBN10: 0520088689

The Challenge of Fundamentalism Political Islam and the New World Disorder

by Bassam Tibi

  • List Price: $34.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr
  • Publish date: 05/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780520088689
  • ISBN10: 0520088689
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Description: Islamic fundamentalism has had a significant impact in nearly every corner of the world in recent years. Bassam Tibi, a widely recognized expert on Islam and Arab culture, offers an important and disquieting analysis of this particular synthesis of religion and politics. A Muslim and descendant of a famous Damascene Islamic scholar family, Tibi sees Islamic fundamentalism as the result of Islam's confrontation with modernity. The movement is unprecedented in Islamic history and parallels the inability of Islamic "nation-states" to integrate into the new world secular order.

Tibi's study is not a litany of sensational events and outrageous tactics, but rather an in-depth analysis of the politicization of religion, a global phenomenon that extends beyond Islam. Such global issues must be addressed within the framework of worldwide solutions, says Tibi. As an alternative to religious fundamentalism he proposes a compact based on secular democracy and human rights. These twin goals should become the substance of an international cross-cultural morality, one that could bring people of different civilizations to live together in peace.

Islamic fundamentalism poses a grave challenge to world politics, security, and stability, Tibi maintains. He consistently draws a distinction between Islam as a religion and Islamic fundamentalism as a political ideology, a distinction not always understood in the West. The lack of appropriate Western policies and the insensitivity of some Western politicians contribute to the fundamentalists' sense of being threatened, in turn strengthening political Islam's stronghold. Tibi cites the fundamentalists' interpretation of the Gulf War and the war in Bosnia,the latter seen to be in continuity with the former, as recent examples of this perceived threat.

This is a book that is both timely and necessary, with a message that has relevance for decision makers throughout the world.

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