To some, Islamic Fundamentalism means the restoration of a true religion. To others, it is a politics that stands apart from capitalism and socialism. To many Westerners, particularly in the past decade, it has come to constitute a threat to established order and international security. There can be no disputing the phenomenal importance of Islamic Fundamentalism today. Holy Wars, first published in 1989, comprises a non-partisan narrative that takes account of both the socio-cultural values expressed in Fundamentalism, and its political consequences. Dilip Hiro’s starting point is that fundamentalist forces have been active Islam since the death of the Prophet Muhammad. He presents the two major sects, Sunnis and Shias, in this light. Clearly and concisely, Hiro provides the background for an understanding of what was taking place in Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan, Libya Egypt and Syria at the end of the 1980s. This is a comprehensive and readable work, of great relevance and value to those with an interest in Middle Eastern politics and history, and the growth of Islamic Fundamentalism.
"Dilip Hiro does a good historian’s job of placing fundemantalism in context… A well-researched chronicle of its subject and a valuable insight into the movement's impact" - Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times
"Highly readable ….bridges the gap between academic works and daily newspaper reports … It is both a beginner's guide and a highly intelligent wrap-up for the specialist" - Ahmed Rashid, The Independent
"Dilip Hiro’s splendidly lucid beginner’s guide…brought up to date with an epilogue. Hiro criss-crosses first history,and then Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iran for the origins of modern [Islamic] fundamentalism" - Douglas Graham, The Guardian
"Does an excellent job of mapping out the territory of the subject… Mr Hiro is refreshingly practical" - Graham Benton, The Middle East
"Mr Hiro’s study is an excellent and non-paritsan analysis" - George Joffe, Middle East International
"Well-written, comprehensive, inforemed and, most important, carefully balanced and objectivel presented" -James A. Bill, The Washington Post
"Eminently useful history and classification of the Moslem world" – Kirkus Reviews
"This clearly written book is an excellent introduction to Islamic political assertiveness… Hiro is a masterat description" - Joseph A. Kechichian, Library Journal
"This book will be a welcome companion for those watching Islam’s struggle for balance between authenticity and modernity, which now affects us all" – Publishers Weekly
Maps; A Note on the Islamic Calendar; Glossary of Arabic and Persian Words; Introduction; 1. The Rise of Islam: Sunnism and Shiaism 2. Orthodox Islam and Sufism 3. Islam in Modern Times 4. The Muslim Brotherhoods in Egypt and Syria 5. Saudi Arabia: the Oldest Fundamentalist State 6. Iran Revolutionary Fundamentalism in Power 7. Afghanistan: Changing Fortunes of Fundamentalism; Conclusion; Epilogue; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index.
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