A comprehensive survey of militant Islam, or Islamism, from Judith Miller, former bureau chief for The New York Times in Cairo. She covers eight Arab countries, plus Iran and Israel, in providing a complete, if bleak, picture for Western readers: from poverty-stricken Egypt to rich Saudi Arabia, she believes Islamists are threatening Middle Eastern stability. Whether floundering under incompetent government, corruption, and repression, or, as in the case of Jordan, too dependent on one ruler, the states close to the West are weak, and vulnerable to a movement that promises social justice and moral righteousness. Miller is forthright in her condemnation of the intolerance and sexism of Islamic movements she sees as largely antithetical to Western democracy. A provocative and daring book.
From Publishers Weekly
Indispensable for Middle East watchers, Miller's eye-opening, firsthand report begins in Sudan in 1985 with the jubilant public execution of Mahmoud Taha, founder of a nonviolent Islamic reformist group. His conviction for sedition and heresy by a militant Muslim regime that commits appalling crimes, she observes, should serve as a warning to other Middle Eastern states tempted to institute theocratic rule. In virtually every country she visited-Egypt, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.-Miller, New York Times correspondent and former Cairo bureau chief, found that the appeal of fundamentalist, militant Islam was growing, though it was often brutally suppressed, as in Algeria, where a war raging between the secular government and armed Islamic radicals has claimed an estimated 40,000 lives. In Israel in 1993, she interviewed a terrorist of the Muslim group Hamas and met with members of the largely nonviolent Islamic movement, which was increasingly divided over whether Arabs should integrate into Israeli society or pursue cultural and institutional separatism. Her trenchant observations on Libya, Lebanon, Jordan and Iran round out a compelling odyssey.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.