Confronting Political Islam: Six Lessons From the West's by John M. Owen

By John M. Owen

How should still the Western global this present day reply to the demanding situations of political Islam? Taking an unique method of resolution this question, Confronting Political Islam compares Islamism’s fight with secularism to different lengthy ideological clashes in Western background. through studying the previous conflicts that experience torn Europe and the Americas—and how they've been supported through underground networks, fomented radicalism and revolution, and caused overseas interventions and overseas conflicts—John Owen attracts six significant classes to illustrate that a lot of what we expect approximately political Islam is wrong.

Owen makes a speciality of the origins and dynamics of twentieth-century struggles between Communism, Fascism, and liberal democracy; the past due eighteenth- and nineteenth-century contests among monarchism and republicanism; and the 16th- and seventeenth-century wars of faith among Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists, and others. Owen then applies ideas discovered from the successes and blunders of governments in the course of those conflicts to the modern debates embroiling the center East. He concludes that ideological struggles last more than most folks presume; ideologies aren't monolithic; international interventions are the norm; a country might be either rational and ideological; an ideology wins while states that exemplify it outperform different states throughout a variety of measures; and the ideology that wins could be a surprise.

Looking on the heritage of the Western global itself and the fraught questions over how societies could be ordered, Confronting Political Islam upends a few of the traditional knowledge concerning the present upheavals within the Muslim global.

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For an excellent essay on Blyden’s fascination with Palestine, see Hilton Obenzinger, American Palestine: Melville, Twain, and the Holy Land Mania (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999). 10. Edward Wilmot Blyden, From West Africa to Palestine (London: T. J. Sawyer, 1873), 136, 141. 11. Teage was one of the founding fathers of Liberian independence that penned that country’s declaration of independence. 12. Blyden, The Jewish Question (Liverpool: Lionel Hart, 1898). 13. Ibid. For a discussion of postnationalist and internationalist African American politics, see Nikihl Singh, Black Is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005).

As long as this remained the case, however, Black Orientalism existed only as a cry on the margins of Blackamerica. With the repeal of the National Origins Act in 1965, however, and the subsequent massive influx of Muslims from the Middle East and Asia, a new basis of religious authority was introduced into American Islam. The primary authenticators of Islam were no longer Black Religion nor Black Americans. They were now immigrants and the traditional Islamic religious sciences in whose name they ostensibly spoke.

Consider the following example. 13 Nothing would excuse the casual dismissal of such statements from white Americans or Europeans. Nor should their authors’ status as Muslim Orientals earn them any such exemption. Holding up such statements for comment, investigation and criticism is not Black Orientalism. On the contrary, it is responsible scholarship whose ultimate aim and effect should be to alert Muslims to the ways in which they have failed to live up to their religious ideals. Black Orientalism 39 Having said this much, we should note that critical references to statements and actions by Muslim Orientals can approach Black Orientalism, when they proceed on the uncritical assumption that casual expressions of race or color prejudice in a society that has a history fundamentally different from that of the United States must have the same meaning and implications that they would have in America.

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