Academic journal article Military Review

Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats and the New Politics of Islam

Academic journal article Military Review

Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats and the New Politics of Islam

Article excerpt

LEGACY OF THE PROPHET: Despots, Democrats and the New Politics of Islam, Anthony Shadid, Westview Press, Boulder, CO, 2001, 340 pages, $26.00.

Even before the 11 September 2001 attacks on America, most Westerner thought of Islam as being characterized by strong ideals, religious fervor, and an almost fanatical approach to ideas and cultural issues. After the attacks, most Americans added terrorism and violent conflict to that list. In Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats and the New Politics of Islam, Anthony Shadid argues that the West misunderstands Islam and those who practice the religion.

Shadid sets out on what begins as a self-inspired journey, taking his U.S. roots to the Middle East in an attempt to understand his paradoxical feelings of "being an Arab in the United States and an American in the Middle East." Through a series of interviews with personalities as diverse as Mujihadeen freedom fighters to Cairo entrepreneurs, Shadid examines the emotions that make up the people of Islam. …

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