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The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Futureby Vali Nasr
Synopses & Reviews
The critical struggle between Shia and Sunni for the future of the Middle East.
To most Western eyes, all Islamic movements look alike, and the central conflict in the Middle East is one between religion and secularism. Shockingly little has been written about the bitter divide between Shia and Sunni. Yet without understanding their ancient conflict--and its modern embodiment in the power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia for political and spiritual leadership of the Muslim world--it is impossible to comprehend events across the so-called Shia Crescent, from East Africa through Iraq and Pakistan to India.
The provocative rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the Saudi pressure on the United States not to unseat Saddam Hussein in 1991, the critical role of the Ayatollah Sistani and the religious establishment in Najaf (Iraq), the volatility of Pakistan today, and the consequences of the shift toward Shia power through American intervention--all this and more is explained in the light of the Shia/Sunni divide.
'"Wonderfully written...as in the slave narratives that inspired it, language is power."'"Nancy Kline, New York Times Book Review n
"Historically incisive, geographically broad-reaching, and brimming with illuminating anecdotes."--Max Rodenbeck,
Iranian-born scholar Vali Nasr has become one of America's leading commentators on current events in the Middle East, admired and welcomed by both media and government for his "concise and coherent" analysis (, front-page profile). In this "remarkable work" (Anderson Cooper), Nasr brilliantly dissects the political and theological antagonisms within Islam, providing a unique and objective understanding of the 1,400-year bitter struggle between Shias and Sunnis and shedding crucial light on its modern-day consequences.
The New York Times Bestseller
About the Author
Vali Nasr is a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School and Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Born in Iran, he now lives in La Jolla, California.
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