Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

Political Islam, World Politics and Europe

Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

Political Islam, World Politics and Europe

Article excerpt

Bassam Tibi. Political Islam, World Politics and Europe. London and New York: Routledge, 2014. 367 pages. Paperback $52.00

Political Islam, World Politics and Europe by Muslim scholar/philosopher Bassam Tibi is a timely study about the continuing rise of political Islamism in the twenty-first century. The book's exigency is borne out of concern for world peace, security, and democracy. It is in four parts, beginning with the conflict within the Islamic civilization in both its Sunni and Shi'ite varieties to institutional Islam and global jihadism to Europe as the battlefield for the competing options.

The Introduction frames the main argument of the book after contextualizing the impact of the politicization of Islam and its entry into world politics in the latter decades of the twentieth century and the first decades of the twenty-first century. Reading this modern emergence of the Muslim voice as civilizational rather than religious, Political Islam traces the international political shift to two major events from the Muslim World: the Iranian Revolution of the 1979 and the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Tibi seeks a corrective to the misrepresentation of Western sensational media and some Western leaders as to the Islamic connection of both events. Both the Iranian remaking of their world order according to Islamic values and the al-Qaeda's jihadism have been lumped together as a challenge to Western secular modernity. The massive Muslim migration to Europe, seeking safety and security from political and economic oppression, exacerbates the problem. What has emerged on the international world scene, Tibi suggests, is a new dichotomy of Christian versus Muslim, a "new Cold War. …

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