Synopses & Reviews
What if Islam never existed? To some, it's a comforting thought: no clash of civilizations, no holy wars, no terrorists.
But what if that weren't the case at all? In A WORLD WITHOUT ISLAM, Graham E. Fuller guides us along an illuminating journey through history, geopolitics, and religion to investigate whether or not Islam is indeed the cause of some of today's most emotional and important international crises. Fuller takes us from the birth of Islam to the fall of Rome to the rise and collapse of the Ottoman Empire. He examines and analyzes the roots of terrorism, the conflict in Israel, and the role of Islam in supporting and energizing the anti-imperial struggle. Provocatively, he finds that contrary to the claims of many politicians, thinkers, theologians, and soldiers, a world without Islam might not look vastly different from what we know today.
Filled with fascinating details and counterintuitive conclusions, A WORLD WITHOUT ISLAM is certain to inspire debate and reshape the way we think about Islam's relationship with the West.
"In this wide-ranging historical text, Fuller, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, suggests that many of the current tensions that exist between the East and the West have geopolitical rather than religious origins and that these tensions would have arisen in a 'world without Islam.' The author opens the book with a theological analysis that emphasizes the continuities among the three Abrahamic faiths. He then pivots to an extended history of the Christian world that focuses on the conflict between Latin and Byzantine Europe, pointing out that the schism between them largely motivated the Crusades. The book then covers the relationship of Islam to Russia, India, and China before turning to the Muslim world specifically, surveying its centuries-long decline from a position of cultural, political, and economic dominance. Fuller covers an extraordinary number of subjects lucidly, and whether readers are persuaded by his valorization of geopolitics above religion, he cogently lays out the complex causes of contemporary conflicts and makes bold policy recommendations that move conversations about East-West relations beyond religious and ideological divides. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Fuller, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, delivers a brilliant and provocative thought-experiment that imagines a worldin which Islam has never existed.
This extremely provocative and illuminating "what if" journey through history, geopolitics, and religion investigates whether there is something unique in Islam and its followers that breeds violence and conflict. Spanning the rise of Muhammad to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to the present day, the book examines and analyzes the roots of terrorism, the conflicts in Israel and Chechnya, and the role of Islam in supporting and energizing the anti-imperial struggle.
Fuller's startling conclusion? Contrary to the claims of many of today's most respected politicians, thinkers, theologians, and soldiers, East-West relations in a world without Islam might not look vastly different from what we see today. And, thankfully, such recognition provides a map to a more peaceful future, making A WORLD WITHOUT ISLAM both a brilliant examination of the past and a visionary look forward.
About the Author
Graham E. Fuller is a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, in charge of long-range strategic forecasting. He is an adjunct professor of history at Simon Fraser University and the author of numerous books about the Middle East.