A Fundamental Fear: Eurocentrism and the Emergence of Islamism

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Zed Books, 2003 - History - 185 pages
This is a provocative account of the ways in which Muslim identities have come to play an increasingly political role in recent years. Theoretically innovative, it shows how Islamic movements -- despite the wide variety of their manifestations -- are best understood as a continuation of political and cultural decolonization.

The fear and anxiety aroused by the so-called Islamic threat is not a myth nor is it simply a consequence of terrorism or fundamentalism. The emergence of Islamism signals the end of the uncontested notion that ‘West is best’. As the author demonstrates, Islamism means having to rethink Western identity and its place in the world, having to come to terms with the idea that the West is just another civilization among many.

This study draws upon the full breadth of poststructuralist thought as a means of better understanding Islamism. As such, it is necessary reading for all those who are interested in the Muslim world -- in both its state and diasporic forms -- as well as academics concerned with questions of ‘race’ and place in a poststructuralist context.

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About the author (2003)

Bobby S. Sayyid is a Lecturer in Sociology, University of Salford, Manchester. He has previously taught at the Universities of East London, Manchester and Salford.

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