In this groundbreaking book, Akbar Ahmed, one of the world's leading authorities on Islam, who has worked in the Muslim world but lives in the West, explains what is going wrong in his society by referring to Islamic history and beliefs. Employing theological and anthropological perspectives, he attempts to answer the questions that people in the West are asking about Islam: "Why do they hate us?" "Is Islam compatible with democracy?" "Does Islam subjugate women?" "Does the Quran preach violence?" These important questions are of relevance to Muslims and to non-Muslims alike. Islam Under Siege points out the need for, and provides the route to, the dialogue of civilizations.
September 11, 2001, underlined the role of Islam in our time. In its demographic spread, its political span, and its religious commitment, Islam will be an increasingly forceful presence on the world stage in the twenty-first century. While some scholars predict that there will be a clash of civilizations, others see a need for a dialogue of civilizations.
This book will help students, scholars of politics, sociology, international relations, and cultural studies, and reporters as well as a more general audience interested in some of the most important issues of our time.
Akbar Ahmed is Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University, Washington, DC
Acknowledgments. Introduction: God's Gamble. Chapter 1 Islam under Siege. i The Return of Anthropology and the Final Crusade. ii The Sense of Muslim Siege. Chapter 2 What is Going Wrong?. i Is it about Islam or is it Globalization?. ii A Post-Honor World?. Chapter 3 Ibn Khaldun and Social Cohesion. i The Khaldunian Breakdown. ii The Man in the Iron Cage. Chapter 4 The Failure of Muslim Leadership. i. Muslim Leaders. ii. Veiled Truth: Women in Islam. Chapter 5 Searching for a Muslim Ideal: Inclusion. i Case Study One: The Scholarship of Inclusion. ii Inclusivists in America: Islam in Toledo, Ohio. Chapter 6 Searching for a Muslim Ideal: Exclusion. i Case Study Two: The Scholarship of Exclusion. ii Exclusivists in America: The Debate in Cleveland, Ohio. Chapter 7 Toward a Global Paradigm. i The Challenge for Islam. ii Questions for our Time. Notes. References. Index