[PDF] Faith and Power: Religion and Politics in the Middle East

ISBN: 019514421X

Category: Tutorial


Posted on 2018-01-14, by luongquocchinh.

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Author: Bernard Lewis | Category: Religion Other | Language: English | Page: 240 | ISBN: 019514421X | ISBN13: 9780195144215 |

Description: Well-known Middle East historian and analyst Lewis collects essays and speeches in his latest book, rather incoherently organized around the titular theme of faith and power. Since the text lacks footnotes, the reader may wonder if Lewis is presenting historical fact or his own opinions, weighted toward a dark view of Islam, which could explain his appeal to neoconservatives. His assertions, for instance, that early Muslims had no respect for or understanding of Christianity and that Muhammad conquered Mecca run contrary to what many other scholars, as well as practicing Muslims, write and believe. His understanding of the Qur'an is shallow he criticizes the Muslim term khalifa, meaning caliph or leader, as showing Muslim ambition because of the term's vagueness, but the Qur'an specifically cites the term khalifa in a well-known verse enjoining Muslims to be the vice-regents or khalifas of God on Earth. In his chapter analyzing Osama bin Ladin's fatwa against the United States, he fails to mention that fatwas are not binding on Muslims, misleading the reader into believing that Muslims, on the whole, abide by them. His obstinately Eurocentric view has him criticizing Muslims for all manner of far-flung vices, such as failing to learn European languages and music. Readers looking to learn more about Islam and the Middle East should seek a less rigid text.

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