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

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

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

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.

Excerpt

Allah is our goal

The Prophet is our leader

The Koran is our constitution

Holy War is our way

Death for Allah's sake is our supreme desire

Slogan of the Muslim Brethren

In the Name of Allah: the Rise of the Muslim Brethren

The Muslim Brethren, Al-ikhwan al-muslimun, which can be considered the greatest politico-religious movement in modern Islam, continues until this day to capture headlines. Having been outlawed and dispersed in Egypt, its birthplace, some forty years ago, it lay dormant in Syria and showed little sign of life in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, and the Arab countries of North Africa -- as well as in several other Arab countries where it was known to have partisans and supporters. Although following the death of Jamal 'Abd al-Nasser in 1970 the movement was given some measure of freedom of action under President Anwar al-Sadat's regime, the Brethren's future remains shrouded in uncertainty. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that its essence, its message, and its teachings will remain with us as long as Islam itself does.

The reality of the impact made by the Muslim Brethren has never been contested. in its nearly seventy years of life, the movement has had an . . .

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