Political Islam from Muhammad to Ahmadinejad: Defenders, Defractors, and Definitions

Political Islam from Muhammad to Ahmadinejad: Defenders, Defractors, and Definitions

Political Islam from Muhammad to Ahmadinejad: Defenders, Defractors, and Definitions

Political Islam from Muhammad to Ahmadinejad: Defenders, Defractors, and Definitions

Synopsis

This collection of 15 essays illuminates the evolution of political Islam from the era of the Prophet Muhammad to the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran.

• 15 compelling essays on various dimensions of the evolution of political Islam from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to present-day Iraq, Iran, Palestine, and Africa

• Contributions from distinguished international scholars from diverse regional perspectives and varied academic disciplines, including political science, history, anthropology, theology, international relations, and counterterrorism

• A useful index is included comprising political concepts, historical events, important figures from the past and present, and Islamic theological terms

• A list of abbreviations is also provided for further reader support

Excerpt

I welcome the opportunity to reflect on this new and important collection of essays exploring the theme of political Islam. The authors in this volume are members of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA). Their chapters are based on papers presented to the organization’s inaugural conference in Washington, DC, in April 2008. Its mission is to promote the highest standards of academic research and teaching in the fields of Middle Eastern and African studies. It is a response to the growing interest in these interrelated subjects and the absence of any single group addressing them in a comprehensive, multidisciplinary fashion. In its short life, it has already had a salutary effect on scholarship and public debate vis-à-vis Africa and the Middle East.

ASMEA is located squarely within the Western intellectual tradition. As chairman of its academic council, I highlighted this feature in my keynote address to the inaugural conference by drawing upon the insights of one of eighteenth-century England’s finest writers, Samuel Johnson. I said, on that occasion:

I wish to situate our profession, the academic study of the Middle East, in a his
torical context. And I would like to begin with a quotation from the famous
Dr. Johnson, from one of his conversations recorded by Boswell. He says, “A gen
erous and elevated mind is distinguished by nothing more certainly than an emi
nent degree of curiosity. Nor is that curiosity ever more agreeably or usefully
employed than in examining the laws and customs of foreign nations.” A very
interesting statement, I feel, and as I shall try to demonstrate, one uniquely
Western, uniquely distinctive of this Western Civilization of which we are the
heirs at the present time. And I use the word “we” in the widest sense.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.