The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity

The Clash of Fundamentalisms Crusades Jihads and Modernity The aerial attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center a global spectacle of unprecedented dimensions generated an enormous volume of commentary The inviolability of the American mainland br

  • Title: The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity
  • Author: Tariq Ali
  • ISBN: 9781859844571
  • Page: 231
  • Format: Paperback
  • The aerial attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, a global spectacle of unprecedented dimensions, generated an enormous volume of commentary The inviolability of the American mainland, breached for the first time since 1812, led to extravagant proclamations by the pundits It was a new world historical turning point The 21st century, once greeted triumphantlThe aerial attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, a global spectacle of unprecedented dimensions, generated an enormous volume of commentary The inviolability of the American mainland, breached for the first time since 1812, led to extravagant proclamations by the pundits It was a new world historical turning point The 21st century, once greeted triumphantly as marking the dawn of a worldwide neo liberal civilization, suddenly became menaced The choice presented from the White House and its supporters was to stand shoulder to shoulder against terrorism or be damned.Tariq Ali challenges these assumptions, arguing instead that what we have experienced is the return of History in a horrific form, with religious symbols playing a part on both sides Allah s revenge, God is on Our Side and God Bless America The visible violence of September 11 was the response to the invisible violence that has been inflicted on countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Palestine and Chechnya Some of this has been the direct responsibility of the United States and Russia In this wide ranging book that provides an explanation for both the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and new forms of Western colonialism, Tariq Ali argues that many of the values proclaimed by the Enlightenment retain their relevance, while portrayals of the American Empire as a new emancipatory project are misguided.

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    About "Tariq Ali"

    1. Tariq Ali

      Tariq Ali Punjabi, Urdu born 21 October 1943 is a British Pakistani historian, novelist, filmmaker, political campaigner, and commentator He is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso, and regularly contributes to The Guardian, CounterPunch, and the London Review of Books.He is the author of several books, including Can Pakistan Survive The Death of a State 1991 , Pirates Of The Caribbean Axis Of Hope 2006 , Conversations with Edward Said 2005 , Bush in Babylon 2003 , and Clash of Fundamentalisms Crusades, Jihads and Modernity 2002 , A Banker for All Seasons 2007 and the recently published The Duel 2008.


    1. It doesn't get much harder than writing about present-day politics, a difficulty that Tariq Ali doesn't fully overcome. This is the most in-depth book I have read about Islamic fundamentalism and its relation to terrorism and American imperialism. Ali puts Marxist theory to work in understanding the landscape of today's world politics. American, Western European, and Arab public would be well-served by understanding Ali's conception of American imperialism within the context of neo-colonialism g [...]

    2. Tariq Ali is a prominent leftist intellectual in Britain who is originally from Pakistan. His book, “The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity” serves as a strong counter to the dominant scholarly understandings of the conflict between Islam and the West and of world history in general. He seeks to explain the historical roots of the attack on September 11th, as well as provide a background to India-Pakistan relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict and additional topics that r [...]

    3. It got four stars only because I found the book lacking some overall cohesion and focus.Otherwise, it is a great (Marxist) introduction into religious and imperial fundamentalism and associated political meddlings and revolutions. The author doesn't really take sides insofar as his critiques extend in all possible directions. He never gets preachy or moralistic, even when discussing the greatest of tragedies.By the end I felt 600 pages merely scratched the surface. The book remains as relevant t [...]

    4. An excellent dissection of the history of Islam and its collision with Western Imperialism, providing direly needed context to the extremism and terrorism plaguing the world today. After reading this book there is no further need to ask "why" with regards to these attacks, because the historical context makes them self-evident. Instead, the reader is left able to focus on how such things might be prevented in future.Unfortunately the book becomes somewhat mired in specifics throughout the second [...]

    5. I picked this book up in order to try to understand a little more about the views of the author behind 'The Islam Qintet'. While my primary regional interest is South Asia, I'm interested in what Ali has to say about 'fundamentalisms' more generally.I'd highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in understanding some of the historical factos behind the increase in fundamentalism. I don't agree with all of Ali's views, but I consider that I am better informed for having read them.A ful [...]

    6. Would've given it 4/5 if I didn't find the lack of references disturbing. Book can get a bit pathetic at times. However, the philosophy is sound and interesting.

    7. A good book with good information about historical developments that took place in the region. I think it is designed to make westerns more familiar with the history of Islamic empire, but for people who live in the MENA region they already know these things, also some fundamentalists may find it offensive to Islamic religion

    8. There is a lot of important information in this book, but you have to dig through long-winded histories and unnecessary tangents, to find it. Tariq Ali doesn’t seem to have figured out what he wanted it to be about until the last 100 pages or so (I recommend saving yourself some time and just reading “Part IV: A Clash of Fundamentalisms”). This book lacks a clear focus and information is heavily under-cited (major pet peeve of mine): The first section provides a secular, and at times conde [...]

    9. Background on the political situation in the Islamic majority countries, and the role the Western nations (first Britain and France, and today the United States) have played in bringing it about. The book begins with a brief history of Islam from the time of Mohammed to the First World War, then deals with the individual countries from that time through World War II, the founding of Israel and the partition of India and Pakistan, up to September 11 and the US invasion of Afghanistan. It was writ [...]

    10. "People must broaden their understanding and accept the fact that politics, not political parties, is tied in with anything and everything that is related to power. As long as man is a social animal, he will participate in political activity." So speaks Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer, in an excerpt from an interview in Tariq Ali's 2003 book 'The Clash of Fundamentalisms'. It beholds us to understand that in which we are politically engaged, whether it is the neo-liberal empire that ha [...]

    11. Tariq Ali puts forth a history of Islamic fundamentalism through the emergence of Wahhabism (Saudi Arabia state religion, once Afghanistan) from its inspirer Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab in the 18th century under Ottoman rule, through the present In between Ali sandwiches a discussion of Islamic heresy, including the Islamic world's most prominent medieval intellectuals What more he also takes on American imperialism as another form of religious fundamentalism, with its history of domination, manip [...]

    12. A very interesting perspective on the post-war history of South Asia, primarily Pakistan, juxtaposed with Western foreign policy and attitudes. While clearly polemic the strength of the book is its lively historical narrative contrasted with the conventional wisdom of Western punditry. This is a worthwhile journey, however, and the author is equally balanced in his disdain for the leadership and motives of all concerned, with a few significant exceptions. He also attempts to provide an understan [...]

    13. I have always been an admirer of Tariq Ali's work so the review might be a little biased. The book is very detailed he covers many different topics from Islamic history to American interventions in different parts of the world. The book is not very well organised and often feels like Ali could have worked on structuring it better. It is still very informative and even though it was written in 2003 it still fits perfectly well in the current political climate climate. Tariq Ali's writing style is [...]

    14. Mostly interesting, especially the historical narrative, but gets bogged down in its own language, which is sometimes poetic and elegant but sometimes just oblique. Ali's book contains much vivid detail, but while the flow of his discourse is vividly literary, his sentences somehow fail to explain clearly. Many passages left me scratching my head. He does succeeded in nicely deconstructing Middle Eastern and Western fundamentalisms, but it would have been nice to see more constructed in its wake [...]

    15. An interesting book, conceptually, but hamstrung by poor timelines and a polemical tone which undercut the author's message. A better chronology would have served him well, and a more balanced discussion throughout. Still the message is quite strong, which is to say that the "fundamentalisms" on both sides feed each other, allowing the margins to dictate how the rest of us live our lives. Not sure how all the Marxist analysis he does is relevant in this post-Marxist world, but overall cogent and [...]

    16. بالتأكيد لن أكمله. ليس لدي مشكلة أن يكون الرجل ملحدًا وأن يعبر عن ذلك قدر استطاعته لكن أن يقوده تحيزه الأعمى لاعتماد ترجمات مشوهة لآيات قرآنية حتى دون ذكر للمصدر، واعتماده لروايات مهلهلة لاثبات أن القرآن ليس من عند الله (وهو في موضع ينكر وجود كائن كالشيطان ثم يعتمد رواية آيات [...]

    17. I don't recall the specific arguments very well, except that they are consistent with the arguments of the far left at the time it was published. Some indication that the US was responsible for the assassination of Indira Gandhi, though the argument is deductive rather than inductive.Text is most memorable for its original tasteful cover of Bush the Younger in Taliban gear.

    18. Marty had me read this book. It was hard to get through but it was thought provoking. The end is the most interesting. The first half is history on the Middle East and the different view for Isreal, Palestine, Pakistan, Egypt, etc. The second half was more on how the Middle East views America and why.

    19. A very educational book to learn about a part of history and the world and its profound impact on what is happening today. Pakistan is an essential and core state to world peace if the great power of the world( the United States of America)can rapidly understand how Islam needs to be understood by all.

    20. While critical of Huntington and Fukuyama, Ali falls into the same trap, supporting his worldview at the expense of historical accuracy. His darting approach to history reads more like a string of easy applause lines for those predisposed to stick their thumbs at 'the west'. Even as one of those folks, I found it tiresome.For a more insightful approach, tryThe Last Great Revolution

    21. An great work that gives insights into hardline idealogues of neo-conservatives and politiical Islam. Both movements are humourless, dogmatic, see the worldview in black and white, with us or against us mentality. MUST book.

    22. a series of books which were publihed in flurry after 9/11 by persons who wanted to explain Islam to the than bewildered westernerthis book makes a mess of it tariq ali indulges in a nostalgia for a golden age of Islam in Andaluss spain and that sometimes makes him sound a racist

    23. A very wellwritten book, I met Tarik Alik some years ago in a conference in Stockholm and was impressed by his deep knowledge about the conflicts in the Middle East. Besides Chomsky and Juan Cole he is one of the voices I listen on these topic.

    24. It was very one sided and pointed. I never finished the entire thing because I was upset at the lack of objectivity.

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