The Inevitable Caliphate?: A History of the Struggle for Global Islamic Union, 1924 to the Present, by Reza Pankhurst


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The Inevitable Caliphate?: A History of the Struggle for Global Islamic Union, 1924 to the Present, by Reza Pankhurst

The Inevitable Caliphate?: A History of the Struggle for Global Islamic Union, 1924 to the Present, by Reza Pankhurst

The Inevitable Caliphate?: A History of the Struggle for Global Islamic Union, 1924 to the Present, by Reza Pankhurst

Download Ebook The Inevitable Caliphate?: A History of the Struggle for Global Islamic Union, 1924 to the Present, by Reza Pankhurst

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The Inevitable Caliphate?: A History of the Struggle for Global Islamic Union, 1924 to the Present, by Reza Pankhurst

While in the West ‘the Caliphate” evokes overwhelmingly negative images, throughout Islamic history it has been regarded as the ideal Islamic polity. In the wake of the “Arab Spring” and the removal of long-standing dictators in the Middle East, in which the dominant discourse appears to be one of the compatibility of Islam and democracy, reviving the Caliphate has continued to exercise the minds of its opponents and advocates. Reza Pankhurst’s book contributes to our understanding of Islam in politics, the path of Islamic revival across the last century and how the popularity of the Caliphate in Muslim discourse waned and later re-emerged. Beginning with the abolition of the Caliphate, the ideas and discourse of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb ut-Tahrir, al-Qaeda and other smaller groups are then examined. A comparative analysis highlights the core commonalities as well as differences between the various movements and individuals, and suggests that as movements struggle to re-establish a polity which expresses the unity of the ummah (or global Islamic community), the Caliphate has alternatively been ignored, had its significance minimised or denied, reclaimed and promoted as a theory and symbol in different ways, yet still serves as a political ideal for many.

  • Sales Rank: #2238158 in Books
  • Published on: 2013-12-04
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 5.70″ h x 1.00″ w x 8.60″ l, .0 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 256 pages

Review

“Reza Pankhurst provides a unique and probing examination of modern thinking on the caliphate….This detailed analysis of the ways in which the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and al-Qaeda as well as smaller groups reformulate and use the concept today is both judicious and informed. It provides the most reliable guide available to an idea and political symbol that holds attraction for many Sunni Muslims while inciting anxiety, even fear, among others, including many non-Muslims and Shi’a.”–Professor James Piscatori, Durham University

“…a refreshingly original contribution to this misunderstood subject… [providing] a detailed and clear-sighted description and analysis of the origins of the three major Islamic movements, their ideological development and political posturing.” — Mahan Abedin, Visiting Fellow at the New Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, relgion.info

“Anyone trying to understand the current happenings in the Middle East could do worse than refer to the work. What they will find is a narrative that does not use western liberal democracy as the yardstick.” — Huffington Post

About the Author

Reza Pankhurst is a political scientist and historian, specialising in the Middle East and Islamic movements. He has a doctorate from the London School of Economics, where he previously completed his masters degree in the history of international relations.

Most helpful customer reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful.
A Must Read – A Major Contribution to the Study of Islamic Politics.
By Ali Harfouch
This book is a must read for any analyst, student, or professor of Middle Eastern Studies and/or Islamic studies. It provides a coherent overview of the various discourses regarding the Caliphate and the concept of ‘State’ in Islam. But most importantly it does so without retorting to a “liberal yardstick” as the author put it and avoids the debilitating analytical categories (“Extremist/Fundamentalist v. “Traditionalist” v. “Modernist”). This provides readers with a radically more appropriate analytical framework which goes beyond Modern and Post-Modern assumptions. Dr. Reza Pankhurst draws out the general blueprint for this normative-framework, which is without doubt a major contribution to the academic study of Islam and “Political Islam”.

Through this normative-framework, Dr. Pankhurst examines the concept of State and the Caliphate in the discourse of:

The Muslim Brotherhood
Hizb ut-Tahrir
Al-Qaeda
Tanzeem al-Islami
Jama’atul Muslimeen
And al-Murabitun

In doing so he provides insight into the method-of-thinking and the conceptual frameworks employed by these movements as opposed to arbitrarily putting them into pre-constructed Euro-centric labels. More so, by providing us with insight into the method-of-thinking and the conceptual frameworks employed by these movements the author gives us the tools needed to contextualize and of course analyze the policies of these movements.

Lastly, it is quite a relief that there is finally a reference that I can point to when asked for a book on “Political Islam” or “Islamic Politics”. A reference which is both objective and enlightening.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
It is a must read for those who have only heard of the caliphate from the media or terrorists.
By Shoaib Ali
A nice read and as others have pointed out does a good job of introducing the post-caliphate movements without resorting to apologia. However, personally, I think he could have dedicated some more ink to, at least, Tanzeem-e-Islami. For example, the concept of “theo-democracy” that is so pivotal to Tanzeem – and probably an important viewpoint in the grand picture – leaves the reader un-satiated.

Overall the author has done a good job of explaining the different connotations of caliphate especially as espoused by the Muslims, and how while it is a unifying concept but at the same time very diverse understandings of it exist in differing socio-political environments. It is a must read for those who have only heard of the caliphate from the media or terrorists.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
Five Stars
By roshan enam
the case of caliphate is put forward on very strong & valid evidences, kind of must read book.

See all 4 customer reviews…

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