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Oil and Islam: Social and Economic Issues Hardcover – July 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471971537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471971535
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,917,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Oil and Islam examines the links between the changes in the oil industry in the Middle East and North Africa, and the growth of politically radical movements referring to Islam. The book charts the rise in oil revenues in the 1970's and early 1980's, and the subsequent economic and social failures of the region in the 1990's, leading to a decline in the fortunes of the oil industry and the possibility of a post-oil era. The differing fortunes of the oil industry are therefore charted against a background of historical, religious, economic and social issues and, more importantly, social unrest. A major proposition of this book is that the Islamist movements in the Muslim countries represent a social revolt as well as an assertion of cultural and national identity in the wake of an unsuccessful or incomplete modernisation based on oil.

From the Back Cover

During the 1970s and early 1980s, the Middle East and North Africa were perceived as being exceptionally successful, but now the region is viewed as a resounding economic and social failure. Islam is not only a religion, but also a political and social project. A major pretext of this work is to demonstrate how the tensions within Islamic movements feed directly into the economic, social, political, historical and religious arena of the region, and vice versa. An introductory chapter sets the context of the book. The core chapters of the book comprise an in-depth examination of the varied forms of oil revenue abuse. For examples, the past mismanagement of the tremendous wealth provided by oil. Following Islamic beliefs, revenue from oil should not finance wasteful consumption, but used instead for public welfare. Abstaining from interest calculations, there should be a case for keeping more oil in the ground. Indeed, oil has also stifled industrial development, and with declining oil revenues, the conflict between civilian and military priorities intensifies. While western interests have promoted arms spending, high population-growth expenditure reinforces the reality of the count-down to the post-oil era upon the Middle Eastern and North African oil exporters. So far the governments seem unwilling or unable to adapt and react. Furthermore, in the past oil has been used as a substitute for democracy. While the large oil revenues of the 1970s and early 1980s strengthened the position of autocratic rulers and weakened the private sector,repressive regimes have made Islam a source of criticism and opposition for the Western world. Following on from this, the book then looks forward to the problem of uniting the divergent interests in the spheres of oil and Islam into a cohesive whole. The book proposes that ideally Islamic governments would synchronise the depletion of oil reserves with investment in new productive assets. Islamic governments could also find ways to combine private, domestic and foreign interests in the oil industry. The main readership for this book will be policy-makers and professionals involved in development issues for Middle Eastern and North African affairs, and those with an interest in oil politics and Islamic studies.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mohammad Ahsan Siddique on April 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Professor Noreng has done a great service to both Muslims and Non Muslims by writing this book. It offers great insights into Islam, muslim history, business and culture. The common thread linking all these diverse topics is oil wealth.
Professor Noreng presents the facts as they are, and offers detailed refernces to back them up. He does not engage in any finger pointing, blame game, and things of that nature. His book follows the phiolosphy of these are the facts, thess are my interpretations and judgements, but feel free to make your own judgement.
I am a born muslim. Even I learned a lot about Islam after reading this book. The Economics of Oil is dealt superbly. Remarkable book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Has obvious relevance after September 2001, and with US forces now in Iraq and Afghanistan. The author shows how oil has been a very mixed blessing in Muslim countries. While producing great wealth, this has sometimes been unevenly distributed through the originating countries. And in cases like Saudi Arabia and Brunei, it was used to put off democracy by providing material benefits, that at least arguably were received by most of the population.
As an aside, it was through the industrialisation of Saudi Arabia, and many government contracts for this, that Osama bin Laden amassed much of his wealth, which then bankrolled his later activities. Though the book, written in 1997, of course does not mention him, as he was an obscure figure then.
The author also discusses Iraq, with almost half the world's proven resources. Here, the oil managed to pay for twenty years of war and internal repression. The consequences of which are still unfolding daily.
A good background primer on current political affairs.
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