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Islam and the Arab Awakening 1st Edition

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199933730
ISBN-10: 0199933731
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Editorial Reviews


"Tariq Ramadan is a Muslim Martin Luther."--Paul Donnelly, The Washington Post

"Tariq Ramadan, one of the foremost Muslim intellectuals...comes into his own as a historian and provoker of ideas. He notes how, in their Western representation, Muslim Arabs have shifted from the benighted, terrorist 'other' to the 'alter ego of the Western Universal."--The Independent

"Whether you agree with Ramadan's interpretation of events or vision for the future of the Muslim-majority nations, Islam and the Arab Awakening is a thoughtful and nuanced examination of the events others have termed the 'Arab Spring.' There is no question that Ramadan supports the rule of law, freedom of religion, and the right of self-determination for all peoples...If you are looking for a straightforward history, or want simple answers to complex problems, this book is not for you. But if you are trying to understand the issues facing the Muslim-majority nations today, Islam and the Arab Awakening is a good place to start."--CultureMob

"Ramadan has started to pave out the road to reform and changes in the understanding of Islam in Muslim communities in the West."--Le Monde Diplomatique

"Tariq Ramadan, a prominent intellectual-activist in Europe and America, represents a new generation of Islamic reformers."--John L. Esposito, author of Unholy War and What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam

About the Author

Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Islamic Studies at Oxford University, and is President of the European Muslim Network in Brussels. His books include What I Believe, Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation, In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, and Islam, the West, and the Challenges of Modernity.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199933731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199933730
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.9 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #689,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the Oxford University (Oriental Institute, St. Antony's College) and also teaches at the Oxford Faculty of Theology. He is Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, (Qatar), Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and Director of the Research Centre of Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) (Doha, Qatar).

He holds an MA in Philosophy and French literature and PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Geneva. In Cairo, Egypt he received one-on-one intensive training in classic Islamic scholarship from Al-Azhar University scholars (ijazat in seven disciplines). Through his writings and lectures Tariq has contributed to the debate on the issues of Muslims in the West and Islamic revival in the Muslim world. He is active at academic and grassroots levels lecturing extensively throughout the world on theology, ethics, social justice, ecology and interfaith as well intercultural dialogue. He is President of the European think tank: European Muslim Network (EMN) in Brussels.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Todd Bartholomew VINE VOICE on September 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Few scholars have the knowledge and ability to give readers as great an insight into Muslim society and culture as Tariq Ramadan, and "Islam and the Arab Awakening" is perhaps the most insightful book this far on the current wave of unrest in the Muslim world. Approaching this book I was reminded of the somewhat apocryphal statement attributed to Zhou Enlai when asked about the French Revolution. His response, "It's too soon to tell." That would be a fitting leitmotif for Ramadan, as it is too soon to tell where the Arab Spring or Jasmine Revolution are going, as it is still unfolding and will likely differ depending on the country and the responses to how it unfolds. Ramadan debunks a number of preconceived notions about the Muslim world, society, and culture, and those insights are desperately needed to better understand what is occurring. There is no monolithic Muslim world, society, and culture; it is as diverse, divided, and diffuse as any other culture. And as one of the foremost scholars, thinkers, and philosophers in the Muslim world Ramadan has unique insights he shares with readers. Ramadan is the grandson of one of the founders of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and related to other leading lights in the reformist movement. To most Westerner's that may seem frightening, but the Muslim Brotherhood is not as extreme as the Salafist or Wahhabi sects who wish a return to strict Sharia laws. Ramadan gives some insight into the various Islamic sects, the philosophies, and current influence in the present-day Muslim world that help readers understand the fissures and fractures that exist and how they are playing out. Granted, it doesn't make for easy reading for the uninitiated yet it points to the complications and difficulties that exist in the Muslim world.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In a fair assessment of conspiracy theories, Oxford professor Tarriq Ramadan reports that starting in 2004 significant numbers of young bloggers and activists (including leaders of Egypt's April 6 Movement) were trained by US government funded NGOs such as Gene Sharp's Albert Einstein Institution, Freedom House and the International Republican Institute. Trainers emphasized how to use nonviolent tactics to shape mass psychology via the Internet with symbols and slogans spelled out by Gene Sharp. For example, the black clenched fist symbol used by Otpor was adopted in Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt and Syria and had no religious divisiveness between secular or Islamist viewpoints. Simple slogans like "Get out!" were repeated over and over to influence mass psychology. Instead of waging war that failed in Iraq, the US used mass movements to "undermine regional stability and bring about a Western-dependent transition under military and economic control."
Ramadan points out the main motive of the Western powers isn't democracy, as shown in their support for repressive dictators and monarchs, but economic and military interests that require stability and access to oil and other resources. Western countries set up bases in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Emerging economic power China is more popular than the US in the region, so real democracy would be fearful for the West. Since its formation in 2008, the Africom (United States Africa Command) bases in Africa have expanded. However, a conspiracy of foreign powers didn't start the uprisings nor did the Islamist organizations. Young women and men led them in a new form of nonviolent opposition with new models of democracy that Western powers tried to instigate and manipulate for economic gain.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on January 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
TR's excellent summation of the events to date and his analysis of what factors have led to these events and continues to exercise some control over them is summed up in "Arundhati Roy's conclusion: the Arab awakening must be seen primarily as a way to open the Middle East to the neo-liberal economy." (p. 58) In describing what Islam is a persistent issue that TR brings up in his books is that Islam includes all of the traditions associated with the Qur'an and Sunna (p.68) As part of these traditions TR includes many ethnic traditions that I am convinced have nothing to do with Islam but instead are pre-civilized behaviors that ought to end when a society becomes modern - or more specifically, modern modern (in the sense that Joseph Margolis uses it in his book Pragmatism Ascendent: A Yard of Narrative, a Touch of Prophecy.) But this is because I do not know what they are, while they seem clear to him - as well they should be since he is an Islamic Scholar and I am not. But certainly he goes on in this book to point out the wealth of different interpretations of those traditions - which is where I find that I understand them. I do not see the abstract principles which he does and uses to define Islam. But his description of the differences and the historical variants is terrific. Especially, the way he describes the way "Secular" has come to be viewed as an imposition on various ME NA societies and so has a terribly different connotation to Islamic ears than to Western ears. Instead of free, it is associated with despotic imposition of non-religion. So how then would the modern modern grow when it is instead associated with despotism?Read more ›
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