Not since the Crusades of the Middle Ages has Islam evoked the degree of fear, hostility, and ethnic and religious stereotyping that is evident throughout Western culture today. As conflicts continue to proliferate around the globe, the perception of a colossal, unyielding, and unavoidable struggle between Islam and the West has intensified. These numerous conflicts, both actual and ideological, have revived fears of an ongoing "clash of civilizations" -- an intractable and irreconcilable conflict of values between Western cultures and an Islam that is portrayed as hostile and alien.
"The New Crusades" takes head-on the idea of an emergent "Cold War" between Islam and the West. It explores the historical, political, and institutional forces that have raised the specter of a threatening and monolithic Muslim enemy and provides a nuanced critique of much received wisdom on the topic, particularly the "clash of civilizations" theory. Bringing together twelve of the most influential thinkers in Middle Eastern and religious studies -- including Edward Said, Roy Mottahedeh, and Fatema Mernissi -- this timely collection confronts such depictions of the Arab-Islamic world, showing their inner workings and how they both empower and shield from scrutiny Islamic radicals who operate from similar paradigms of inevitable and absolute conflict.
A book of major importance... Essential. Choice Sophisticated, subtle, richly documented, and wide-ranging. -- L. Carl Brown Foreign Affairs This is an important book... for those engaged in challenging the assumptions that lie behind this current 'war on terror'. The Muslim World Book Review The New Crusades assmbles expert knowledges of some tangled historical roots... this work deserves as wide a readership as possible. -- Max Weiss Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism An insightful work. -- Roxanne D. Marcotte Studies in Religion An important book at an important time in American social thought. -- Daniel L. Smith-Christopher Studies in Contemporary Islam