Customer Reviews: Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from al-Banna to Bin Laden (Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics)
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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.
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on April 24, 2015
I absolutely loved this book. It is primarily a collection of translated works written by influential Islamists. the book itself, and every section is introduced by the two editors of the book and is heavily sourced and footnoted and detailed in its analysis making the book an excellent reference resource. I only really had two "complaints": the first was that, despite its already considerable length, I would have liked it to be longer and more encompassing. The second is that I would love to see an updated edition now that Osama bin Laden has been killed and Zawahiri is at the helm of Al Qaeda. It would also be great to see works on Al-Baghdadi, and Muhammad Yusuf, as well as the new wave of internet Islamists. The book does much to showcase the differences in the roots of modern Islamist discourse relative to traditional Islamic practices and discourse, with a particular emphasis on the seemingly anti-scholar rhetoric that many Islamists have come to utilize and come to rely upon to justify their own lack of formal religious education.
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on February 29, 2016
Having little background in Islamic beliefs, this book was of great help understanding the diversity within the religion. It served as a good primer for the breadth of Islamic beliefs with excellent introductions to each thinker without the polemics I've seen in other texts.
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on February 3, 2015
In my mind, required reading in this day and age. Especially via reading Qutb and Al Banai it is clear that an influential number of thinkers believe:
1.The west is morally corrupt
2. It is time to move from defense militarily to offense militarily
3. All man made institutions must be "destroyed" for Allah to rule.
It is not an exaggeration to say: This is Mein Kampf for the present day. It is impossible to say we did not know, we did not hear. High time the Western World ceased behaving like ostriches.
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on March 25, 2013
If you are interested in the Islamists phenomnona, you should really read this. This book has a lot of works from Radical Extreme Muslims; however, it also has works from the founders of the Islamist movement. It is a great and informative book. My only complaint is the introduction was very dry and it wasn't really needed. Other then that though this book is great for an inside perspective of an Islamists.
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on August 28, 2016
Nice starting book for people interested in modern Islamism. The selection of articles are quite comprehensive.
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on March 7, 2015
Very informative set of articles on the key individuals who are driving the minds of many young Muslims and the ideologies of those key individuals. Easy to read and author arrive and educational.
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"Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought", ed. By Roxnne Euben and Muhammad Q. Zaman (2009), 516 pgs. If the "Look Inside Me" feature is not available, please note that reading excerpts include works by: al-Banna (Toward the Light), Abul-Ala Mawdudi (The Islamic Law), Ali Ndawi (Muslim Decadence and Revival), Qutb (Singposts; In the Shade), Khomeini (Islamic Government), M.B. al-Sadr (The General Framework of the Islamic Economy), H. al-Turabi (The Islamic State), Y. al-Qaradawi (Islam and Democracy). M. Mutahhari (The Human Status of Woman in the Quran), Z. al-Ghazali (An Islamist Activists), N. Yassine (Modernity, Muslim Women, and Politics in the Mediterranean), al-Salam Faraj (The Neglected Duty), U. A. al-Rahman (The Present Rulers and Islam: Are They Muslims or Not?), Hamas (Charter of the Islamic Resistance Movement of Palestine), M. H. Fadlallah (Islamic Unity and Political change; September 11th), The Taliban (A New Layeha for the Mujahidin), Usama bin Laden (Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places), M. Ata al-Sayyid (Final Instructions), glossary. Also recommended: "The Al Qaeda Reader" by Raymond Ibrahim (2007).
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on April 9, 2016
Another desperate attempt to convince civilized people that Islam is a religion of peace when in truth it is an ideology of death fit only for those that, due to their utter lack of education or perverse desire to feel different from all others, insist in claiming that they belong to the human race.
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on August 15, 2010
If you want to know what contemporary thinkers in Islam are saying, this book is absolutely mandatory reading. It is worth the work to get through the academic style reasoning of each of the authors. It gives a perspective to modern Islam showing the roots of the anger of many Muslims and their devotion to Islam and law.
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