Arabs Face the Modern World: Religious, Cultural, and Political Responses to the West

Synopsis

This book of extraordinary breadth condenses and presents the works of the major Arab thinkers of the modern period. It surveys the ways in which Muslim Arabs have responded to challenges from the West since the first Muslim reformists made their appearance in Egypt in the 1870s up to the most recent pleas for Islam's regeneration at the end of the 20th century.

The book begins with reactions to the West in the works of such religious leaders as Afghani, 'Abduh, A1-Kawakibi, Rashid Rida, Qasim Amin, and Taha Husain; the rise of Islamic militancy; and the spread of the nationalist movement. It describes events surrounding the Six-Day War of 1967 and the October War of 1973 and the rise of a new and more violent type of religious fundamentalism. And it summarizes issues that continue to preoccupy Muslim Arabs into the late 1990s -- prospects for democracy, the position of women, changing attitudes toward Israel, and the plight of intellectuals in the face of rising militancy.