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Challenging the New Orientalism: Dissenting Essays on the "War Against Islam" Paperback – January 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Islamic Publications International (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1889999458
  • ISBN-13: 978-1889999456
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,985,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

M. Shahid Alam's enterprise of forcing "the legacies of history" into "the daylight of consciousness" in the West is informed by deep understanding of the cultural and economic history of Islamic and European societies, and of influential contemporary scholarship and debate. The analysis is careful and serious, and will be of considerable value to anyone concerned with the crucial and timely issues that Alam addresses, whether they come to agree with his conclusions or not. --Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, MIT, USA

In this original work, Shahid Alam confronts the problem of power with exceptional candor and courage. His is an eminently sane voice that is moral without being squeamish, pragmatic without being defeatist, and Islamic without relinquishing the reins of history. A highly cogent, enlightening and liberating vision of contemporary politics and morality! --S. Parvez Manzoor, eminent Muslim critic, Sweden

In the face of race-baiting, bigotry and official hysteria, M. Shahid Alam offers reason, analysis and genuine compassion for those who have been steamrolled by the imperial machine as it rampages across the globe. This urgent collection of essays proves that clear and courageous writing can still be a powerful force for change. --Jeffrey St. Clair, coeditor CounterPunch.Org

About the Author

M. Shahid Alam is Professor of Economics at Northeastern University, Boston. His previous books include Poverty from the Wealth of Nations (Macmillan, 2000) and Governments and Markets in Economic Development Strategies (Praeger, 1989).

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Richard J. LaRock Jr. on May 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Challenging New Orientalism is more than a mere collection of "dissenting essays." No, this compendium is a lantern, illuminating the truths behind many of the Orientalist myths that have distorted Western perceptions of Islamicate societies. One such claim is that Islam and democracy are mutually exclusive. Armed with a deep understanding of the social sciences and humanities, Alam uses economics, political science, theology, philosophy, and history to combat the arguments made by so many for so long, including such highly-regarded Orientalists as Bernard Lewis, Samuel Huntington, and Thomas Friedman. Meticulously researched and carefully crafted, Alam takes time to first deconstruct popular arguments and pervasive themes, before offering his own, fact-based explanation for how history has shaped the current dialectic between Islam and the West using poetic prose that is easy to follow and difficult to put down. In the end, while the reader may not adopt Alam's view on the current situation, one would hope the reader no longer blindly accepts the view of the Orientalist.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Written by M. Shahid Alam (Professor of Economics at Northeastern University, Boston) Challenging the New Orientalism: Dissenting Essays on the "War Against Islam" is a post-September 11th anthology of short essays sharply critiquing "new Orientalism" - specifically, Western demonization of the Islamic world. While recognizing the political and economic failings of the Islamic world, Alam denounces the not-really-hidden objective of new Orientalism: to justify American and Israeli grabs for power, territory and influence as a security imperative and civilizing mission. Challenging the New Orientalism does not in any way condone terrorist acts; however, it does urge readers to think deeply about fundamental mishandling of modern situations - such as bungled wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that are ultimately creating terrorists faster than allied Islamic governments can catch them. Of particular interest are Alam's two essays critical of well-known New York Times political columnist Thomas Friedman. An emphatic, vociferously passionate counter against the tendency to frame Islam itself as a harmful, retrogressive, or pro-terrorist force.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Farseem Mohammedy on January 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a timely collection of some retrospection why islam and muslims had suddenly become the villain in the mind of the west. The author painstakinly dissected the current arguments and shows that its actually same orientalist veiwpoint that was once obscured all the intellectual thinkings in nineteenth century and before. After the cold war since US needed a new enemy, islam served as a potential candidate thanks to the zionist lobby. After reading Bernard Lewis's "what went wrong" and not being satisfied by his answers, I personally was looking for an explanation of what really went wrong. Dr. Alam explains that in a lucid way how various historico-socio-economic conditions led the demise of the once powerful islamic empire from Cordova to Indonesia. No wonder Dr. ALam is so villified in the media for having the courage to say and unveil the naked truth.
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