Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

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Location: London, United Kingdom

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The War For Muslim Minds

For anyone with an interest in the development of Political Islam and the crucial battlegrounds for the future there is no better introduction than Gilles Kepel's, 'The War for Muslim Minds'.

I read it a while back so this is not a complete review, but of particular interest was the comparison drawn between the development of the philosophies of Saeed Qutb and Leo Strauss (I think Kepel served as an adviser on Adam Curtis' 'The Power of Nightmares')

Another especially fascinating analysis is of the complex theological and political situation in pre and post-war Iraq with a discussion of the interaction of all the main characters such as Ayatollah Sistani and Moqtada Al-Sadr as well as some of the less familiar ones.

There is no ideological bent in Kepel's writing and perhaps The Economist said it best in its review when it said that in an already saturated market this book manages to present a surprisingly fresh and new perspective.

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