There can be few subjects more critical to understanding modern world politics than Islamic fundamentalism; to live through the last decade was to see that it is not just a phenomenon that affects faraway places, but also has a devastating impact on the streets of London, Madrid, New York and Mumbai. But, as Wendy Kristianasen shows here, Islamic Fundamentalism is about much more than just terrorism. She explores the roots of where it came from and traces the myriad forms it has since taken in parts of the world as different as Turkey and Indonesia, the UK and Gaza. Drawing on her wealth of experience as an international journalist, she examines how in some situations, such as Turkey, fundamentalist parties have entered mainstream politics; in others, such as Iran, the entire state is run along fundamentalist principles; while in the West, Islamic fundamentalism in our major cities is much written about by the press, but rarely glimpsed or understood by most of us. In concise, cogent form, Kristianasen sheds light where many commentators generate only heat, and draws some conclusions about the likely shape of the fundamentalism of the future.
Wendy Kristianasen is an internationally respected journalist specializing in Islam and the Middle East and the founding editor of the English-language edition of Le Monde diplomatique.
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