Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World

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St. Martin's Publishing Group, Jun 7, 2016 - Social Science - 256 pages

In Islamic Exceptionalism, Brookings Institution scholar and acclaimed author Shadi Hamid offers a novel and provocative argument on how Islam is, in fact, "exceptional" in how it relates to politics, with profound implications for how we understand the future of the Middle East. Divides among citizens aren't just about power but are products of fundamental disagreements over the very nature and purpose of the modern nation state—and the vexing problem of religion’s role in public life. Hamid argues for a new understanding of how Islam and Islamism shape politics by examining different models of reckoning with the problem of religion and state, including the terrifying—and alarmingly successful—example of ISIS.

With unprecedented access to Islamist activists and leaders across the region, Hamid offers a panoramic and ambitious interpretation of the region's descent into violence. Islamic Exceptionalism is a vital contribution to our understanding of Islam's past and present, and its outsized role in modern politics. We don't have to like it, but we have to understand it—because Islam, as a religion and as an idea, will continue to be a force that shapes not just the region, but the West as well in the decades to come.

 

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Review: Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World

User Review  - Goodreads

I won this book from Good Reads. I'm very interested in the politics surrounding ISIS and Islam. This book was interesting to me because it attempted to explain to the Western Mind how Islam started ... Read full review

Review: Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World

User Review  - Goodreads

FTC Disclosure: I received this book free from Goodreads hoping I would review it Read full review

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About the author (2016)

Shadi Hamid is a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. An expert on Islamist movements, he previously served as director of research at the Brookings Doha Center. His first book Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East was named a Foreign Affairs Best Book of 2014. Hamid lives in Washington, D.C.

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