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Sayyid focuses on how demands for Muslim autonomy are debated in terms of democracy, cultural relativism, secularism and liberalism. He goes on to analyse the evasions by which the decolonization of the Muslim world continues to be deferred, before exploring attempts to speed up the decolonization of the Muslim Ummah.
What is a caliphate? Who can be caliph? And how are contemporary ideologues such as ISIS reviving - and abusing - the term today? In the first modern account of a subject of critical importance today, acclaimed historian Hugh Kennedy answers these questions by chronicling the rich history of the caliphate, from the death of Muhammad to the present. At its height, the caliphate stretched from Spain to China and was the most powerful political entity in western Eurasia. In an era when Paris and London boasted a few thousand inhabitants, Baghdad and Cairo were sophisticated centres of trade and culture, and the Ummayad and Abbasid caliphates were distinguished by extraordinary advances in science, medicine and architecture. By ending with the recent re-emergence of caliphal ideology within fundamentalist Islam, The Caliphate underscores why it is crucial that we understand this form of Islamic government before groups such as ISIS distort its practice completely.
This book examines the role of civilizations in the context of the existing and possible world orders from a cross-cultural perspective. Seeking to clarify the meaning of such complex and contested notions as “civilization,” “order,” and “world order,” it takes into account political, economic, cultural, and philosophical dimensions of social life.
The fear and anxiety aroused by Islamism is not a myth, nor is it simply a consequence of terrorism or fundamentalism. Writing in 1997, before 9/11 and before the austerity that has bred a new generation of far right groups across Europe and the US, S. Sayyid warned of a spectre haunting Western civilization. This groundbreaking book, banned by the Malaysian government, is both an analysis of the conditions that have made ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ possible and a provocative account of the ways in which Muslim identities have come to play an increasingly political role throughout the world. This is a pioneering, provocative and intricately crafted study, which shows the challenge of Islamism is not only geopolitical or even cultural but also epistemological.

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