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For many years Malise Ruthven has been at the forefront of discerning commentary on the Islamic world and its relations with the predominantly secularized and Christian societies of the West Well known for his bold interventions on such issues as the Rushdie affair and publication of The Satanic Verses; the many unresolved uestions relating to the Lockerbie bombing; and the globe changing terrorist attack of 911 Ruthven's perceptive writings particularly those that have appeared in the New York Review of Books reliably re frame difficult issues and problems so that his readers are prompted to look at the challenges afresh Ruthven is here at his most compelling he offers astute and topical insights across the whole spectrum of Middle East and Islamic studies Whether uestioning the involvement of Libyan agents in the downing of Pan Am Flight 103; exploring the contested place of women in Islam; or discussing the disputed term Islamofascism his own the author's probing searchlight intelligence aims always to get at the truth of things regardless of attendant controversy Representing the best of Ruthven these lucid essays will be widely appreciated by students specialists and general readers They transform our understandings of contemporary society

14 thoughts on “Encounters with Islam

  1. says:

    Great reviews of insightful material Main takeaways Riesebrodt sees the obsessive concern with sexuality common to the American and Iranian movements as a reaction to broader anxieties resulting from rural displacement and economic change Riesebrodt sees ‘Manicheism xenophobia religious nativism a conspiracy mentality and a specific view of female sexuality’ as being characteristic of fundamentalist ideology American fundamentalists saw themselves as beset by Satanic forces most of them imported ‘liberal theology atheistic philosophy war as well as beer and evolutionary theory from Germany; rum from the Catholics bolshevism from Russia’

  2. says:

    I want you to beg borrow or steal in order to buy this book if you are a Muslim The book is a literary review an overarching discussion of all books about Islam in today's world I have begun to understand the great fear of the new Europeans when confronted by the Muslim culture It's a case of identity crises At a time when Europe is trying to come up with a distinctive new identity the last thing it needs is to try and absorb a very different and distant Muslim identity How does an Europe deal with the guilt of colonialism and the Holocaust not to forget the hundreds of years of crusades? The Jews are not so numerous and have already cashed in by claiming Israel for themselves but what about the millions of colonists? Interestingly it is exactly this payback mentality shared by a number of Pakistani immigrants in UK 'Time to get our share back for what they have taken away from us' is how they justify their continued existence in UK over and over again This book presents both sides of the arguments categorising various authors and presenting the gestalt of their discourse on a platter It is difficult not to admire this format as a Muslim for the shear number of explanations included between it's covers

  3. says:

    Perhaps my expectations were in the wrong arena but this departed no insight into Islam to me whatsoever It reads like a critiue of other author's works and at the same time offers nothing of value itself; at least as far as understanding or encountering Islam goesThe book was uite a disappointment for me so much so I couldn't finish it

  4. says:

    A interesting series of essays on why Islam can not be a coherent ideology and about perspectives on what is happening in the Middle East and it`s relation to Islam