Despite increasingly frantic calls - especially after the London bombings of July 7 2005 - for western leaders to 'understand Islam better', there is a still a critical distinction that needs to be made between 'Islam' as religion and 'Islamism' in the sense of militant mindset. As the author of this provocative new book sees it, it is not a more nuanced understanding of Islam that will help the western powers defeat the jihadi threat, but rather a proper understanding of Islamism: a political ideology which is quite distinct from religion. While Islamism may be draped in religious imagery and suffused by apocalyptic language, it nevertheless is similar in nature to secular ideologies of terror. And once, the author holds, this is properly appreciated, the ways to defeat it will become much better evident. Historically sophisticated and passionately argued, Rethinking Islamism makes a powerful case by a master theorist of political philosophy. It will be essential reading for students and policy-makers in the fields of politics, current affairs and religion.
Used availability for Meghnad Desai's Rethinking Islamism
October 2006 : UK Paperback