A Fundamental Fear

A Fundamental Fear : Eurocentrism and the Emergence of Islamism

4.29 (31 ratings by Goodreads)
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The fear and anxiety aroused by Islamism is not a myth, nor is it simply a consequence of terrorism or fundamentalism.

Writing in 1997, before 9/11 and before the austerity that has bred a new generation of far right groups across Europe and the US, S. Sayyid warned of a spectre haunting Western civilization. This groundbreaking book, banned by the Malaysian government, is both an analysis of the conditions that have made `Islamic fundamentalism' possible and a provocative account of the ways in which Muslim identities have come to play an increasingly political role throughout the world.

This is a pioneering, provocative and intricately crafted study, which shows the challenge of Islamism is not only geopolitical or even cultural but also epistemological.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 12.7mm | 272.16g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 3rd edition
  • 1783601914
  • 9781783601912
  • 518,673

Table of contents

Foreword by Hamid Dabashi
Preface to the Critique Influence Change Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Prologue: The Return of the Repressed
1. Framing Fundamentalism
2. Thinking Islamism, (Re)thinking Islamism
3. Kemalism and Politicization of Islam
4. Islam, Modernity and the West
5. Islamism and the Limits of the Invisible Empire
Epiloque: Islamism/Eurocentrism
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Review quote

'Sayyid's book has considerable intellectual and personal drive, showing how the adoption of a poststructuralist perspective can alter our perception of important matters of cultural politics' - Nations and Nationalism

'A theoretically sophisticated attempt to read contemporary Muslim political identities as a symptom of Eurocentrism's decline' - Global Society

'A welcome change ... should be of great interest to those who wish to look at the phenomenon of political Islam and the divination of the clash between the West and the rest from a more sophisticated and theoretical angle ... a worthy contribution.' - Impact International

'Sayyid, with this dense and seminal work, has made a welcome attempt to reframe the uses of the term Islam within intellectual discourses without resort to populist terminology. The book is a broad treatment of the state of Islam and its relationship with the West and the West's relationship with the East ... takes a fresh look at how Islam has reached its much-maligned status ... Not only is [Sayyid] polemical, incisive and engaging, he is at times poetical. His use of metaphor and analogy serves to illustrate the complexity of the issues that he is putting across' - Sociology

'If we were to take up the suggestion of Norberto Bobbio that classics are those works able to speak to us in any time and any space, then this book should almost certainly be included in a list of contemporary classics ... Although both Islamists and Orientalists have constructed an opposition between the West and Islam, this myth is convincingly deconstructed by Sayyid's argument - and the book leaves us with little doubt this dichotomy is a major simplification of the historical processes of the last century.' - Contemporary South Asia
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About S. Sayyid

S. Sayyid is a reader in rhetoric at the University of Leeds. He is the founding editor of ReOrient: The Journal of Critical Muslim Studies. His publications include Recalling the Caliphate and the volume (co-edited with AbdoolKarim Vakil) Thinking through Islamophobia.
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Rating details

31 ratings
4.29 out of 5 stars
5 45% (14)
4 39% (12)
3 16% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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