Fred Halliday is Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics. He is the author of The Making of the Cold War, Cold War, Third World and Rethinking International Relations
ISLAM AND THE MYTH OF CONFRONTATION
The collapse of communism, and the rise of militant Islamic movements in the Middle East, have raised the spectre of a future dominated by the conflict between “Islam” and “the West”. From theories such as Samuel Huntingdon’s “Clash of Civilizations” to the anti-Western rhetoric of many Muslim militants themselves, this image of confrontation has come to be widely accepted. At the same time, the many issues afflicting the Middle East itself – from the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Gulf War, to the arguments on Salman Rushdie and human rights – are widely seen as reflecting the influence of Islam on politics and society of this region.
Fred Halliday sets out to reject these interpretations. Considering the sources of Islamic militancy and analyzing the confrontational rhetoric of both Islamic and anti-Muslim demagogues, he provides an alternative, critical but cautious, reassessment. The Middle East, he argues, can be treated neither as a distinct nor as a unified region, but must be seen as a set of variant societies, facing, like much of the rest of the Third World, the problems of economic development and political change.
Publisher: I.B. TAURIS