PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION, AND SCIENCE: Islam under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World

By Safi, Omid | The Middle East Journal, Winter 2004 | Go to article overview

PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION, AND SCIENCE: Islam under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World


Safi, Omid, The Middle East Journal


PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION, AND SCIENCE

Islam Under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World, by Akbar S. Ahmed. Oxford, UK: Polity, 2003. ix + 172 pages. Notes to p. 184. Refs. to p. 196. Index to p. 213. BP 45 cloth; 12.95 paper.

Akbar S. Ahmed's provocative new book, Islam Under Siege, features a blurb on the cover by Professor Tamara Sonn proclaiming the book as "the most important book to date on life in the post 9/11 world." Though generally skeptical of such lofty praises, after having read the work closely I concur wholeheartedly with Sonn's assessment. Islam has been an almost endless topic of discussion since 9/11, through a multitude of parallel (yet independent) discourses: There are the large number of Islamophobic voices (Bernard Lewis, Daniel Pipes, Steve Emerson, etc.), some Muslim-sympathetic perspectives by non-Muslim scholars (Karen Armstrong, John Esposito, etc.), apologetic Muslim voices (Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Asma Gul Hasan), and Christian triumphalists (Robert Spencer, Franklin Graham, Jerry Vines, Pat Robertson, etc.). Rare has been the project that attempts to document these various perspectives and simultaneously rise above them. This is precisely what Akbar Ahmed succeeds in doing, and he does so brilliantly.

Ahmed is almost perfectly suited for such a task. A scholar of the highest caliber from a background in anthropology, Ahmed is able to combine the astute observations of a scholar with the heartfelt pleas of a believer who, rightly so, remains committed to the fact that Islam itself can and does offer possibilities for pluralistic, inclusive interpretations that would allow Muslims and non-Muslims to live in peace and harmony. Ahmed is able to call on a vast array of Islamic sources, ranging from the Qur'an and the humanist interpretation of South Asian Sufis and Rumi, to the statements of the Prophet Muhammad. What astonishes this reader is the fluid and graceful way in which Ahmed is equally at home in the contemporary debates about the so-called "Clash of Civilizations." He takes the tire-some Samuel Huntington, the bombastic Frances Fukuyama, and the former-scholar-turned-polemic-master Bernard Lewis to task. He wisely recognizes that much of the contemporary situation of what Mark juergensmeyer has termed "the global rise of religious violence" is inseparable from the narrative of globalization, and fully contextualizes contemporary Muslim responses to the West in light of anxieties about globalization.

Ahmed realizes that religion is an important part of the narrative, and does not shy away from it. Yet he also recognizes that the full story is one that needs to involve political, economic, sociological, and yes, anthropological explanations and frameworks. One of his many original contributions in this volume is in resurrecting the concept of "honor" and "post-honor" societies to analyze contemporary manifestations of violence. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION, AND SCIENCE: Islam under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.