Cover image for The Islamic threat : myth or reality?
The Islamic threat : myth or reality?
Esposito, John L.
Personal Author:
Third edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxi, 328 pages ; 21 cm
Reading Level:
1530 Lexile.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BP60 .E84 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BP60 .E84 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Are Islam and the West on a collision course? From the Ayatollah Khomeini to Saddam Hussein, the image of Islam as a militant, expansionist, and rabidly anti-American religion has gripped the minds of Western governments and media. But these perceptions, John L. Esposito writes, stem from along history of mutual distrust, criticism, and condemnation, and are far too simplistic to help us understand one of the most important political issues of our time. In this new edition of The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, Esposito places the challenge of Islam in critical perspective.Exploring the vitality of this religion as a global force and the history of its relations with the West, Esposito demonstrates the diversity of the Islamic resurgence--and the mistakes our analysts make in assuming a hostile, monolithic Islam. This third edition has been expanded to include newmaterial on current affairs in Turkey, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Southeast Asia, as well as a discussion of international terrorism.

Author Notes

John L. Esposito is at Georgetown University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In this readable and well-researched work, Esposito argues that Muslim fundamentalism today, far from being a uniform phenomenon, contains within itself substantial diversity reflecting important differences in geography, culture, and ideological orientation. In his analysis of the principal fundamentalist or Islamist movements (as he prefers to call them), Esposito argues that the majority of these movements are concerned first and foremost with the reform and revitalization of their respective societies, and that they ought not be viewed as inherently opposed to Western economic and political interests or to Western culture as such. Esposito calls for an openness on the part of Western governments and observers to the diversity present in these Islamist movements together with a recognition that Western, secularist models of society and government are not necessarily appropriate to or even workable in regions whose historical evolution has followed a course different from that taken by the modern West. Whether one agrees fully with Esposito's interpretation of these movements, his critique of secularism, or certain of his conclusions, the work is an important addition to the literature on contemporary Islamist movements and a timely reminder that the Cold War is not necessarily destined to be replaced by a conflict between the Muslim world and the West. Perhaps one of the strongest features of Esposito's work is the detailed and informative account it provides of the various Islamist movements to be found in the Muslim world today. Highly recommended to college and university libraries as well as those public libraries that seek to keep abreast of pressing foreign policy issues. M. Swartz; Boston University

Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Editionp. ix
Preface to the Second Editionp. xi
Preface to the Paperback Editionp. xv
Prefacep. xix
Introductionp. 1
1. Contemporary Islam: Reformation or Revolution?p. 5
2. Islam and the West: Roots of Conflict, Cooperation, and Confrontationp. 23
3. The West Triumphant: Muslim Responsesp. 45
4. Islam and the State: Dynamics of the Resurgencep. 74
5. Islamic Organizations: Soldiers of Godp. 128
6. Islam and the West: A Clash of Civilizations?p. 212
Notesp. 291
Select Bibliographyp. 313
Indexp. 319