The Iranian revolution greatly aroused outsiders' curiosity and misunderstanding of Islam. The relatively easy overthrow of the Shah and the pronouncements of the new Iranian regime brought to the forefront an image of 'militant Islam' which has survived in one form or another since the Crusades. At the time, there was the assumption in the West that Islam was inevitably revolutionary, militant, or at least anti-Western and that the Iranian example was likely to be repeated in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and other countries where Muslims predominated. Originally published in paperback in 1983, this book was designed to examine such assumptions and to analyse the complex roles which Islam plays in the political process of several countries. Although the authors called upon the insights of various disciplines, and chose different approaches, they all shared the conviction that the idea of 'Islamic politics' needed to be made specific if crude stereotypes about Islam were to be avoided.