Is There an Islamic Problem?

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Author:M. Shahid Alam
Publisher:The Other Press, Kuala Lumpur
Year of Publication:2004 CE

Essays on Islamicate Societies, the US, and Israel

M. Shahid Alam is Professor of Economics at Northeastern University, Boston.


"M. Shahid Alam's enterprise of forcing 'the legacies of history' into 'the daylight of consciousness' in the West is informed by deep understanding of the cultural and economic history of Islamic and European societies, and of influential contemporary scholarship and debate. The analysis is careful and serious, and will be of considerable value to anyone concerned with the crucial and timely issues that Alam addresses, whether they come to agree with his conclusions or not." - Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, MIT, USA

"In this original work, Shahid Alam confronts the problem of power with exceptional candor and courage. His is an eminently sane voice that is moral without being squeamish, pragmatic without being defeatist, and Islamic without relinquishing the reins of history. A highly cogent, enlightening and liberating vision of contemporary politics and morality!" - S. Parvez Manzoor, Muslim critic, Sweden

"In the face of race-baiting, bigotry and official hysteria, M. Shahid Alam offers reason, analysis and genuine compassion for those who have been steamrolled by the imperial machine as it rampages across the globe. This urgent collection of essays proves that clear and courageous writing can still be a powerful force for change." - Jeffrey St. Clair, coeditor

"M. Shahid Alam is a truth-teller and powerful writer. Without fear, and in defiance of all attempts to censor him, he explains to us the origins of our present dangerously deteriorating situation. Read these essays and you will come away with a level of awareness that you cannot get from the world's corporate media." - Lawrence Davidson, Professor of Middle East History at West Chester University


M. Shahid Alam
  • English
The Other Press, Kuala Lumpur
Year of Publication:
2004 CE

In this thoughtful analysis of the current state of the U.S. vs. World brutality games, Dr. Alam attempts to provide answers to the questions surrounding the 9/11 attacks of 2001 –particularly the question of whether or not the problem lies within Islam. “If Islam is obscurantist, anti-rationalist, fanatical, and misogynist,” Alam writes, “then we can explain the aversion of the Islamicate world towards modernity and democracy.” He blasts this view of Islam, however, and says that such thinking is “reductionist and ahistorical.” Believing that “Islam is fundamentally at odds with the core values of the West,” the critics of Islam, Alam says, “urge the United States to confront this menace [Islam] now and contain it militarily before it threatens Western dominance.” Others, he writes, argue that “political Islam does not reject modernity; instead, it seeks to indigenize modernity, to give it a local habitation and a name” and that such proponents “believe in engaging Islamist movements, giving them a chance to run Islamicate societies since this will either discredit them or bring them into the political mainstream.”
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Is There an Islamic Problem?

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