Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Shadi Hamid
- Publish Date: 2016-06-07
Shortlisted for the 2017 Lionel Gelber Prize
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 stateâand the vexing problem of religionâs 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 terrifyingâand alarmingly successfulâexample 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 itâbecause 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.