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Bassam Tibi offers a radical solution to the problems faced by Islam in a rapidly changing and globalizing world. He proposes a depoliticization of the faith and the introduction of reforms to embrace secular democracy, pluralism, civil society and individual human rights. The alternative to this is the impasse of fundamentalism. The pivotal argument is that Islam is being torn between the pressure for cultural innovation and a defensive move towards the politicization of its symbols for non-religious ends.
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BASSAM TIBI was born in Damascus and educated in Germany. He has been Professor of International Relations at the University of Goettingen since 1973 (between 1982-2004 in a variety of affiliations at Harvard, the latest 'The Harvard Bosch Fellow'). Professor Tibi lectured and taught at more than 30 universities in four continents including Khartum, Yaounde/Cameroun, Ankara and the Middle East, more recently at the Islamic State University of Jakarta, Indonesia. Since 2004 he has held the A.D. White Professorship-at-large at Cornell University. Professor Tibi is author of numerous books in English and German translated into 13 languages. Among these books are Arab Nationalism (3rd edition 1997), Conflict and War in the Middle East (2nd edition 1998) and The Challenge of Fundamentalism (updated edition 2002). He is also contributor to International Herald Tribune and Wall Street Journal and to leading German press. The President of Germany awarded him the highest decoration of the state/first class for his contribution for a better understanding of Islam in Germany.
Review of the First Edition:
'Bassam Tibi has produced yet another impressive and thought-provoking book... an elaborate and sophisticated cultural analysis that painstakingly attempts to define concepts, elucidate relationships, and propose solutions for the dilemmas at hand.' - Emad Ei Din Shahin, American University in Cairo, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
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