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The Empire and the Crescent: Global Implications for a New American Century [Paperback]

Aftab Ahmad Malik
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Sep 2003
A Unique collection of powerful essays drawn from both Muslim and non-Muslims academics, scholars, political scientists and journalists, dissecting an issue which effects every living person this planet.

The Empire and the Crescent sheds important light on the media discourse, which is rarely critical of American foreign policy. The 9/11 tragedy has not promoted any significant public debate about American foreign policy, how people overseas view American power and society, and why so many are angry with the United States.

Instead of leading to a critical public debate, the 9/11 tragedy has given the neo-conservative ruling elite their golden opportunity to expand American hegemony overseas and contain dissent at home. The recent events in Iraq attest to this. In spite of the mass protest, both in the world and America, against the United States’ attack on Iraq, the ruling elite did not heed any call for restraint or patience.

Now that the war is over and Iraq is occupied by American troops, what is the next step in expanding American hegemony? Syria is already under attack and it would not be surprising if by the end of the year, the US demands a regime change in Syria, as it did in Iraq. All of this goes on while the United States continues in its failure to find a concrete solution to the Palestine/Israel question, the most unsettling and wide-reaching problem in the region.

Then there is the subject of Empire, which mainstream historiography of the United States refuses to address critically, as mentioned above. America has imposed many of its doctrines on others over the past several decades, in order to ensure its military and political preeminence.

William Blum takes us through the steps of the evolution of the American doctrine of military preparedness from the end of the 1991 Gulf War to the present. The White House’s "National Security Strategy," published in 2002, stipulates that the United States must deter and defend against any threat before it is unleashed. What comes to mind is the unprecedented amount of money spent on defense and whether military might is the most effective way to ensure the safety of the world! Arguably, the world would have been better off had these trillions of dollars been spent on improving health and educational systems.

Pepe Escobar continues the theme of Empire by discussing the ideological masterminds behind the Project for a New American Century, a think tank established in Washington, D.C. in 1997. Until a few years ago, the people behind this Project were relatively unknown in American foreign policy making. Recently, they have emerged as the most powerful ideological group on earth. This assembly of hawkish men includes such people as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Donald Kagan, and Elliott Abrams, to mention but a few. It is composed of men who are bent on the shaping the map of the world on behalf of American interests. Arab oil is major target of this group and the security of Israel is another.

Edward Herman takes the question of Empire in a new direction: his thesis is that America is the most dangerous rogue state in the world because of the danger it poses to world security. This certainly reflects the feeling of most people in the Arab and Muslim worlds at the moment.

The next sets of articles are written by a number of Muslim and American scholars, who bring different perspectives and treat different topics.

Hamza Yusuf and John Esposito are more or less interested in the subject of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue between Islam and the West. Leading American Muslim thinker Zaid Shakir is concerned with finding a theological solution to or interpretation of some of the challenges facing Muslim communities worldwide.

He offers an enlightening discussion of the Islamic meaning of jihâd, an overused term that has elicited heated debate in Western intellectual circles. Shakir argues that "even in its classical formulation, jihâd does not present a scheme of perpetual warfare."

Product details

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Amal Press (29 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 095405444X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954054441
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 652,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


This is one of the most important books to appear since September 11th -- Mark Curtis, Author of: Web of Deceit: Britain's Real Role in the World

compelling and authoritative -- BBC Religion and Ethics

ideal for the general reader and highly recommended for academic courses in world politics -- Dr. Eric Herring, Senior Lecturer in International Politics, University of Bristol

offers a chilling insight into the neo-conservative worldview and impact their proliferating think tanks have on present US policy -- Dr Philip Lewis, Author of, Islamic Britain: Religion, Politics and Identity Among British Muslims. Inter-faith Adviser to the Bishop of Bradford and lecturer in Bradford University Department of Peace Studies

this collection is an indispensable resource -- Wendy Brown, Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

From the Inside Flap

Within nine days of 9/11, a group of neoconservatives had written a letter to Bush informing him on how "the war on terrorism" should proceed. It stated that Saddam Hussein needed to be overthrown, and that Syria and Iran should be targeted. In short, Bush was instructed to "exploit the attacks of 9/11 to launch a series of wars on Arab regimes," none of which had attacked the US.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a total eclipse 5 May 2010
A collection of essays aimed at contextualising the post 911 American global ambitions. The aim on the whole hits the bull's eye. However like most collections of this type, there are misses too. It is inevitable that some of the writers aren't possessed of the same wit, eloquence, insight or indeed the flamboyance that others are. The better essays are by the big three Muslim scholars (Yusuf, Murad and Shakir), the left leaning usual suspects are also here as are `liberal moderate' Muslims (that perhaps traditional Muslims may have a bone or three of contention with). A major flaw is the repetition of facts and scenarios (at times almost word for word) across the various essays that become glaringly tedious as the book progresses; especially if the book is read from beginning to end as opposed to being dipped in. Overall this flaw rests with the editor rather than any of the individual writers; the editing should have been tighter. Worth buying if you can't find the essays by the big guns anywhere else.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By H. Ali
This book is GREAT. The author/editor (Aftab Malik) has done a superb job by presenting information in a clear and unbiased way, putting forward the facts, citing sources and making a clear argument. Well written and and easy read this book is a great starting point for those interested in learning about intrenational relations and the reason behind why the world is in the state it is in. Read it with "A peace to end all peace" and thats all the history you need to start with.
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