This is an eye-opening exploration of a troubling phenomenon: the fast-growing belief in Muslim countries that the end of the world is at hand--and with it the "Great Battle," prophesied by both Sunni and Shii tradition, which many believers expect will begin in the Afghan-Pakistani borderlands. Jean-Pierre Filiu uncovers the role of apocalypse in Islam over the centuries, and highlights its extraordinary resurgence in recent decades. Identifying 1979 as a decisive year in the rise of contemporary millenarian speculation, he stresses the ease with which subsequent events in the Middle East have been incorporated into the intellectual universe of apocalyptic propagandists. Filiu also shows how Christian and Jewish visions of the Final Judgment have stimulated alarmist reaction in Islamic lands, both in the past and today, and examines the widespread fear of Christian Zionist domination as an impetus to jihad. Though the overwhelming majority of Muslims remains unpersuaded, the mounting conviction in the imminence of apocalypse is a serious matter, especially for those who are preparing for it.
Jean-Pierre Filiu is Associate Professor at the Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Paris. Formerly a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, he has extensive experience working with NGOs and as a diplomat in the Middle East. His writings about the Muslim world have been translated into a dozen languages.
Preface to the English-Language Edition Acknowledgments Prologue: The End of the World Draws Nigh Part One: True and False Messiahs of Islam 1. Archeology of the End of the World 2. Grand Masters of the Medieval Apocalypse 3. Avatars of the Mahdi Part Two: Apocalypse Now 4. Dawn of the Fifteenth Century of Islam 5. Pioneers of the Contemporary Apocalypse 6. The Horsemen of Apocalyptic Jihad 7. The Beginning of the End in Iraq 8. The Grand Return of the Shi?i Mahdi 9. Diasporas of the Apocalypse 10. The Armageddon of Jihad Epilogue: Through the Looking Glass--and Beyond Notes A Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic Bibliography Index
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