14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Surprised me - fluent and pleasurable writing,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity (Paperback)
For migrants who live in the West and whose education, especially history, has been focused only on the west, this book is a revelation.
Yes, I had vaguely heard of Ali as a communist (and I never believed in communism as workable) but I gave this book a chance.
To learn that there is a history that doesnt focus on the West, a magnificent history over 1300 years old, a tragic history made pitiful by the events of the last 100 years, but a history also full of human achievements, is a revelation.
Yes, there are other writers out there, western and arab, but none seem to me to make it so accessible.
What Tariq Ali reveals about Islam is that once upon a time, it flourished in a culture that was open and tolerant. It was influenced heavily by non-Arab cultures, and the centre of gravity moved rapidly out of Arabia towards Baghdad, Spain, Persia and India. Only after 1300 years, because the US wanted cheap oil, and did a " Oil-for-protection" deal, did the centre of gravity return to Arabia under the brutal tyranny of Ibn Saud and the Wahabi sect. Ergo, the USA and Saudi Arabia directly supported and grew islamic fundamentalism.
I never knew this, but I do now. Excellent.