Description: For a Western world anxious to understand Islam and, in particular, Shi’ism, this book arrives with urgently needed information and critical analysis. Hamid Dabashi exposes the soul of Shi’ism as a religion of protest—successful only when in a warring position, and losing its legitimacy when in power.
Dabashi makes his case through a detailed discussion of the Shi’i doctrinal foundations, a panoramic view of its historical unfolding, a varied investigation into its visual and performing arts, and finally a focus on the three major sites of its contemporary contestations: Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon. In these states, Shi’ism seems to have ceased to be a sect within the larger context of Islam and has instead emerged to claim global political attention. Here we see Shi’ism in its combative mode—reminiscent of its traumatic birth in early Islamic history. Hezbollah in Lebanon claims Shi’ism, as do the militant insurgents in Iraq, the ruling Ayatollahs in Iran, and the masses of youthful demonstrators rebelling against their reign. All declare their active loyalties to a religion of protest that has defined them and their ancestry for almost fourteen hundred years.
Shi’sm: A Religion of Protest attends to the explosive conflicts in the Middle East with an abiding attention to historical facts, cultural forces, religious convictions, literary and artistic nuances, and metaphysical details. This timely book offers readers a bravely intelligent history of a world religion.
Description: Islam, Muslims and America gives a sound introduction to the history of Islam’s experiences with the West, and the principles of Islamic teachings; and in that context identifies and discusses the reasons for Muslim-West alienation. It highlights both the disconnect between true Islamic beliefs and extremist actions, and the failure of Americans to seek the root causes of the current anti-American trend.
Description: For thousands of years, Palestine and the East Mediterranean have been subject to constant colonial interference which has denied the indigenous population an independent, authentic historical narrative. Basem L. Ra’ad uncovers this history and begins the process of reconnecting it to contemporary peoples. Perceptions of the region have been influenced by the operation of “Western civilization” and by many other inherited cultural-religious preconceptions. The region itself has been disenfranchised and prevented from developing its own comprehensive cultural history. Ra’ad’s findings are an important step towards reconstructing an alternative history, one which dispels many of the myths and traps relating to religions, languages, peoples and sites. This highly original work is an essential text for students of Middle Eastern history, politics and culture.
Description: This book presents a historical study of the phenomenon of Holy Land tourism among American Protestants during the second half of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. During this period, overseas travel was newly available to the Protestant middle class due to the invention and steady popularization of steamship travel. Protestants “at home” in America consumed vast quantities of printed literature via the popular medium of Holy Land pilgrimage narratives. A new mental geography resulted, in which Americans forged a fresh awareness of the Middle East and began to focus millennial hopes upon the political and social concept of a Jewish remnant of the last days in a Protestant theological and historical framework. Protestant support for Zionism was born.
What surfaces from the study of hundreds of pilgrimage narratives from this period is the emergence of Palestine as an iconic place for American Protestants. Through pilgrimage narratives, American Protestant’s understanding of Palestinians, biblical authority, the power of the Protestant press, the historicity of the Christian faith, an millennial expectations were formed as the meaning of the Holy Land was constructed. Findings from the pilgrimage narratives also indicate the importance of Palestine among Protestants as a “fifth gospel written in stone.” The pilgrim’s eastward gaze drew a distant biblical past into sharper focus and fueled the fires of premillenialism, a movement that would leave an enduring stamp upon American religion and politics.
Description: Case Studies in Islamic Banking and Financeis a pioneering resource that provides practical insights into the real world of Islamic financial transactions, and illustrates the complexities of this rapidly growing mode of modern finance.
Based around 12 individual cases, the book stimulates discussion and develops the reader’s understanding of Islamic finance by contrasting the theoretical concepts discussed in the author’s companion text Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance with practical real world situations. The cases cover core Islamic banking and finance topics including the Ijara, Mudaraba and Musharaka contracts; Islamic mortgages for home finance; leverage; and issues involved in opening an Islamic bank. Financial statement analysis for Islamic banks, the implications for fund management for equity investing and the impact of loan defaults on Islamic and conventional banks are also included. Each chapter concludes with a set of questions designed to test the reader’s understanding of each case, with suggested solutions at the end of the book.
This book is a must have resource for those wishing to apply their understanding of this complex subject and is an essential read for anyone seeking practical examples of how to apply the concepts in a real world environment.
Description: At the very heart of the modern world is the idea that all people are born equal. Yet the Jewish religion teaches that people of Jewish faith are special before God, and Jewish fundamentalism passionately defends this belief. This book considers the consequences of this belief in the light of the considerable political influence and power of Jewish fundamentalism. The authors make a clear distinction between the fundamentalist ideology of Israel’s Ashkenazi Jews and that of the Sephardic Jews, examining the growing impact of these two movements on Israel’s political processes and their effects at a grassroots level through the armed forces’ relations with the Palestinian population. Shahak and Mezvinsky argue that Israeli Jewish fundamentalism is closely associated with a new form of national religious Messianism which has its origins in the settling of the conquered territories during the war of 1967 and which vehemently opposes the peace process. Focusing on the consequences for Israel of these ideologies, the authors examine in particular the activities of fundamentalist groups and individuals. Shahak and Mezvinsky conclude by analyzing the possible scenario of civil war in Israel between religious fundamentalists and secularists.
Description: Israel Shahak was a remarkable man. Born in the Warsaw ghetto and a survivor of Belsen, Shahak arrived in Israel in 1945. Brought up under Jewish Orthodoxy and Hebrew culture, he consistently opposed the expansion of the borders of Israel from 1967. In this extraordinary and highly acclaimed book, Shahak embarks on a provocative study of the extent to which the secular state of Israel has been shaped by religious orthodoxies of an invidious and potentially lethal nature. Drawing on the Talmud and rabbinical laws, Shahak argues that the roots of Jewish chauvinism and religious fanaticism must be understood before it is too late. Written from a humanitarian viewpoint by a Jewish scholar, this is a rare and highly controversial criticism of Israel that will both excite and disturb readers worldwide.
Description: Iran is a land of contradictions. It is an Islamic republic, but one in which only 1.4 percent of the population attend Friday prayers. Iran’s religious culture encompasses the most censorious and dogmatic Shi’a Muslim clerics in the world, and yet its poetry insistently dwells on the joys of life-wine, beauty, sex. Iranian women are subject to one of the most restrictive dress codes in the Islamic world, but make up nearly 60 percent of the university student population. In A History of Iran, a leading expert on Iran chronicles the rich history of this complex nation from the Achaemenid Empire of sixth century B.C. to the present-day Islamic Republic. In accessible prose, Michael Axworthy explains the military, political, religious, and cultural forces that have shaped one of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world. Concluding with an assessment of the immense changes the nation has undergone since the revolution in 1979, A History of Iran offers general readers an essential point of entry into a troubled region.