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This is a provocative account of the ways in which Muslim identities have come to play an increasingly political role in recent years. Theoretically innovative, it shows how Islamic movements -- despite the wide variety of their manifestations -- are best understood as a continuation of political and cultural decolonization.
The fear and anxiety aroused by the so-called Islamic threat is not a myth nor is it simply a consequence of terrorism or fundamentalism. The emergence of Islamism signals the end of the uncontested notion that ‘West is best’. As the author demonstrates, Islamism means having to rethink Western identity and its place in the world, having to come to terms with the idea that the West is just another civilization among many.
This study draws upon the full breadth of poststructuralist thought as a means of better understanding Islamism. As such, it is necessary reading for all those who are interested in the Muslim world -- in both its state and diasporic forms -- as well as academics concerned with questions of ‘race’ and place in a poststructuralist context.
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S. Sayyid is Research Fellow at the University of Leeds. He has previously taught at the Universities of East London, Manchester and Salford.Review:
'Sayyid's book has considerable intellectual and personal drive, showing how the adoption of a poststructuralist perspective can alter our perception of important matters of cultural politics' Nations and Nationalism 'A theoretically sophisticated attempt to read contemporary Muslim political identities as a symptom of Eurocentrism's decline' Global Society 'A welcoming change... should be of great interest to those who wish to look at the phenomenon of political Islam and the divination of the clash between the West and the rest from a more sophisticated and theoretical angle... a worthy contribution' Impact International 'Sayyid, with this dense and seminal work, has made a welcome attempt to reframe the uses of the term Islam within intellectual discourses without resort to populist terminology. The book is a broad treatment of the state of Islam and its relationship with the West and the West's relationship with the East... takes a fresh look at how Islam has reached its much-maligned status... Not only is [Sayyid] polemical, incisive and engaging, he is at times poetical. His use of metaphor and analogy serves to illustrate the complexity of the issues that he is putting across' Sociology, Volume 32:4, November 1998 'If we were to take up the suggestion of Norberto Bobbio that classics are those works able to speak to us in any time and any space, then this book should almost certainly be included in a list of contemporary classics...Although both Islamists and Orientalists have constructed an opposition between the West and Islam, this myth is convincingly deconstructed by Sayyid's argument - and the book leaves us with little doubt this dichotomy is a major simplification of the historical processes of the last century.' Contemporary South Asia, December 2005
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Book Description Zed Books, 1997. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX185649411X