Years of Upheaval discusses 'Axial periods' in history; years that witnessed such fundamental reversals in history as to make the world turn upside down and inaugurate a new era. Raphael Israeli sees the post-1989 period as such a period in Islam. He explores events in the Islamic world since the end of the 1980s, and during the 1990s and their aftermath, particularly following the Iranian Islamic Revolution, the Rushdie Affair, and the death of Khumeini.
Israeli posits these events signalled a new age of Islamic violence and fundamentalism. The period has seen the dissipation of state borders and the rise of transnational and trans-territorial movements, such as ISIS, that have been extraordinarily attractive to young people in the Islamic world. The hopeful Arab Spring (2010-2013) has been replaced by a threatening Islamic winter.
A number of major events shook the Muslim world on both the Asian and the African continents as well as peripheral Islamic minorities in Australia, Canada, and Latin America. Among them were the Islamic Bomb and the rise of radical Islamic movements (notably Hamas and Hezbollah) and the rift between Sunnites and Shiites. These and other momentous events in the Islamic world occasioned the 'Arab Spring' and produced unrest in a wide swath of the Muslim world. Even more importantly, these were forming trends that are characterizing the decades thereafter.
Introduction: The New Axial Era in Islamic and World Events
1. World Upheavals in the New Islamic Axial Era and Their Impact on Islam
2. The New Tripolar World - The United States, Russia, and China
3. The Politization of Islam, the Rise of Islamic Radicalism
4. Nuclear Islam: Pakistan and Iran and Its Satellites
5. The Arab Revolt and Its Islamic Antidote
6. The Islamic Axis of Change in the Midst of Conflict
7. The Islamic Watershed 2
Conclusions: Watershed toward Growth or Down to the Abyss?
Analytical Index: Names, Places, Terms, and Concepts