One Islam, Many Muslim Worlds: Spirituality, Identity, and Resistance across Islamic Lands

Hardcover | August 13, 2015

byRaymond William Baker

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By all measures, the late twentieth century was a time of dramatic decline for the Islamic world, the Ummah, particularly its Arab heartland. Sober Muslim voices regularly describe their current state as the worst in the 1,400-year history of Islam. Yet, precisely at this time of unprecedentedmaterial vulnerability, Islam has emerged as a civilizational force strong enough to challenge the imposition of Western, particularly American, homogenizing power on Muslim peoples. This is the central paradox of Islam today: at a time of such unprecedented weakness in one sense, how has theIslamic Awakening, a broad and diverse movement of contemporary Islamic renewal, emerged as such a resilient and powerful transnational force and what implications does it have for the West? In One Islam, Many Worlds of Muslims Raymond W. Baker addresses this question.Two things are clear, Baker argues: Islam's unexpected strength in recent decades does not originate from official political, economic, or religious institutions, nor can it be explained by focusing exclusively on the often-criminal assertions of violent, marginal groups. While extremists monopolizethe international press and the scholarly journals, those who live and work in the Islamic world know that the vast majority of Muslims reject their reckless calls to violence and look elsewhere for guidance. Baker shows that extremists draw their energy and support not from contributions to thereinterpretation and revival of Islamic beliefs and practices, but from the hatreds engendered by misguided Western policies in Islamic lands. His persuasive analysis of the Islamic world identifies centrists as the revitalizing force of Islam, saying that they are responsible for constructing amodern, cohesive Islamic identity that is a force to be reckoned with.

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By all measures, the late twentieth century was a time of dramatic decline for the Islamic world, the Ummah, particularly its Arab heartland. Sober Muslim voices regularly describe their current state as the worst in the 1,400-year history of Islam. Yet, precisely at this time of unprecedentedmaterial vulnerability, Islam has emerged a...

Raymond W. Baker is Professor of International Politics at Trinity College.

other books by Raymond William Baker

Islam without Fear: Egypt and the New Islamists
Islam without Fear: Egypt and the New Islamists

Paperback|Mar 31 2006

$33.31 online$34.50list price
Format:HardcoverDimensions:392 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:August 13, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199846472

ISBN - 13:9780199846474

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsNote on Style and Conventions1. The Mystery of Islam's Strength2. Oases of Resistance and Reform3. Guidance from the Center4. Heralds of Renewal5. Ibn Battuta and Medieval Pathways6. Fahmi Huwaidi and Contemporary Networks7. God's Signs for Democracy in Islam8. The Islamist Imaginary9. The Epochal Story of Islam and the Common People10. The "River of Life"GlossaryNotesIndex