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As the events and aftermath of 9/11 have shown, the relationship between Islam and the West is deeply troubled. Here Mohammad Salama calls for a new understanding of Islam as a historical condition that has existed in relationship to the West since the seventh century. He compares the Arab-Islamic and European traditions of historical thought since the early modern period, focusing on the watershed moments that informed their ideas of intellectual history and perceptions of one another. Islam, he argues, has played a major role in enabling and positioning Western historiography at key points, leaving palpable imprints on Islamic historiography in the process. Focusing on Ibn Khaldun, the complexities of orientalism and modernity, and recent European as well as Arab writings on these themes, this book is essential for all those interested in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, Western and Islamic philosophies of history, and modernity. 'Well-written in an engaging style that expresses complex concepts in an eloquent yet accessible manner, this book examines key 'encounters' between East and West in depth, with nuance, and using a wide range of sources from an abundance of disciplines, geographical locations and theoretical orientations. This book will be invaluable to scholars of Literature, History and Islamic Studies, to name just a few fields.' - Ghada Osman, Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and Asian/Middle Eastern Languages, San Diego State University; 'This is a book of tremendous insight and erudition. Dr Salama's analysis is both provocative and expertly rendered, and he writes astutely about matters that have largely been ignored in both scholarly and popular discourses.' - Steven Salaita, Associate Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; 'Cleverly interrogating the many assumptions about Islam that pervade current discourse, this book will be indispensable for students and scholars interested in Islam, European colonialism, postcolonial studies and intellectual history.' - Dustin Cowell, Professor, Department of Arabic Language and Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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'This is a fresh look at debates such as Ibn Khaldun's theory of history, Hegel's understanding of Islam and the Anglo-French occupation of Egypt. Tying them together is a powerful argument about Islam's relation to intellectual history. Here is a literary scholar of great erudition skillfully redeploying the postcolonial critique of Orientalism in the face of a renewed demonization of Islam.' --Partha Chatterjee, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University
'An artfully written, colloquially vibrant work of demystifying scholarship. Salama has written the best study I know on the nagging misrecognition of Arabs and Muslims in the West by brilliantly re-thinking the much-maligned concepts of 'history' and 'modernity' across the East/West divide.' --Timothy Brennan, Professor, Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota
'[A] groundbreaking work ... accessible to a broad audience despite its formidable ideas and its scope. Salama goes to great lengths to make it compelling for both specialists and students.' --Emily Gottreich, Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of History and International and Area Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Mohammad R. Salama is Assistant Professor of Arabic at San Francisco State University and specializes in modern Arabic literature, Arab colonial and postcolonial thought, intellectual history and Arab cultural studies. He is the co-editor of 'German Colonialism: Race, the Holocaust, and Postwar Germany' (2011).
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