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Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the Middle East

Shadi Hamid

List price £17.99
Product Details
01 Jun 2016
256 pages - 236 x 154 x 16mm

In Islamic Exceptionalism, Brookings Institution scholar and acclaimed author Shadi Hamid offers a novel and provocative argument on how Islam is, in fact, "exceptional" in how it relates to politics, with profound implications for how we understand the Middle East.With unprecedented access and drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with Islamist activists and leaders across the region, Hamid argues for a new understanding of how Islam and Islamism shape politics and how the practice of politics shapes Islam.

Despite the hopes of the Arab Spring, ideological and religious polarisation has actually worsened. Divides among citizens aren't just about power but are instead products of fundamental disagreements over the very nature and purpose of the modern nation state. Offering a panoramic and ambitious interpretation of the region's descent into violence, The Last Caliphate is a vital contribution to our understanding of Islam's past and present, and its central role in the struggle over the future of the Middle East.

A dramatic inside account of the Arab Spring and its violent aftermath, based on years of research, travel, and first-hand access to participants in several nations.

From the founding of Islam in the seventh century, there had always been a dominant Muslim empire, or "caliphate." But in 1924, the Ottoman Caliphate was formally abolished. Since then, there has been an ongoing struggle to establish a legitimate political order in the Middle East. At the centre of that struggle is the vexing problem of religion and its role in political life.

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