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Uncompromising clarity of the foundations and inspirations of Islamists
on June 1, 2013
Islamism and the adherents to the ideology, so called "Islamists", is concept that is currently breaking through esoteric usage and beginning to enter common parlance. What this book does, and beautifully at that, is introduce the reader to the political, theological, and philosophical foundations of the proponents of Islamism.
The beginning part of the book explicates the contemporary arguments advocated by the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna, and follows that up with his disciple Sayyid Qutb. These communications have normally been limited to Arabic speaking audiences and the author has translated the original sources in such a manner that clearly and succinctly displays the passion, vigor, and rigor of the original ideology.
Later in the book, issues such as the political context of Islam are debated, followed by gender issues in the Islamic context, then issues on fighting, and lastly violence. The last section is probably the one I have the least interest in, and this kind of subject matter in generally not pleasant to read. Some of the segments will be uncomfortable for some, and I would not consider this book a candidate for a "pleasure" read. Nonetheless, this is a valuable contribution to an important and relevant topic.
I would assume that this book is not for the casual reader. It is a treasure of original sources translated into English and would be best utilized by those with a moderate background, and appreciation of, Islamic thought. I found the introductions in each of the segments to be invaluable and elucidating. While remaining short, they will walk the reader through the necessary historical background of the relevant author, and give you the requisite information needed to properly frame the proceeding material.
Overall this book is a real gem to the researcher and scholar of Islamic thought, an invaluable reference for those of us who do not at present understand the Arabic language.