The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror

The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror

by Bernard Lewis (Author)


President Bush has made it clear that we are engaged in a war against terrorism. But for Usama bin Laden and his followers this is religious war, a war for Islam against infidels, especially the United States, the greatest power in the world of the infidels. In this book Bernard Lewis shows us where the anger and frustration have come from, and the extent to which almost the entire Muslim world is affected by poverty and tyranny. He looks at the influence of extreme Wahhabist doctrines in the Saudi kingdom, where custodianship of Islam's holy places and the revenues of oil have given world-wide impact to what would otherwise have been an extremist fringe in a marginal country. He looks at American double standards, which have long caused Muslim anger. He tells us what the real meaning is of Islamic fundamentalism', jihad' and fatwa', and why the peoples of the Middle East are conscious of history in a way that most Americans find difficult to understand.


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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 192
Edition: First Edition
Publisher: Weidenfeld &Nicolson
Published: 08 Apr 2003

ISBN 10: 029764548X
ISBN 13: 9780297645481
Book Overview: This is the first time Bernard Lewis, the leading Western historian of Islam, has written about current history. WHAT WENT WRONG was concerned with 16th-19th centuries We have sold 12,500 copies of WHAT WENT WRONG since May. It has been sold to 17 countries and spent 15 weeks in the New York Times bestseller list.

Media Reviews
This has now just slipped off the Top Ten of the SUNDAY TIMES bestseller list which it has been on for a number of weeks. It was also featured in THE DAILY TELEGRAPH'S Books of the Moment on 26 April. Reviews not surprisingly havebeen excellent and they're still coming in: 'Lewis is brief and authoritative.'Michael Binyon, THE TIMES 'Readers who have been saturated with televisioncoverage and newspaper articles since 9/11 will find much to enlighten them in this book. Lewis writes clearly and elegantly, and his style is refreshingly free from academic jargon'Malise Ruthen, THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Bernard Lewis is not only the most eminent of living Arabists; he is also by far the most interesting.His latest book began life as a long essay for the New Yorker in November 2001, soon after the Twin Towers were struck; the rest of the text is new. The author's characteristic virtues are all very much in evidence: concision, readability, dry wit and devastating logic. This is vintage Bernard Lewis: he improves with age.'Daniel Johnson,THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Bernard Lewis has an authority all his own. In his eighties now, he has devoted a lifetime to the study of all aspects of Islam.He is the best available guide to the fraught and mostly unequal relationships which have developed over such a long time between Muslims and non-Muslims, and which so bedevil the present. Humanist in outlook and an exceptional linguist, Lewis is, on top of everything else, a graceful writer. David Pryce-Jones, THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'Lucid and stylish'THE ECONOMIST 'Bernard Lewis shows himself again to be a master of his material, a graceful essayist and a shrewd analyst of the complexities of Middle Eastern politics and religion.'Bill McSweeney, THE IRISH TIMES 'He delivershis argument in clear prose which will entertain and fascinate the non-expert.'THE IRISH EXAMINER We have reviews still to come in THE FINANCIAL TIMES, THE OBSERVER and THE SPECTATOR.
Author Bio
Bernard Lewis is Emeritus Professor of of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. He was formerly Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS, University of London, from 1949 to 1974. He is a member of the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the Institut de France.