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A History of Political Islam from the Fall of the Ottoman Empire to the Rise of ISIS

Tarek Osman

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An incisive analysis of Islamist movements in the Middle East

A political, social, and cultural battle is currently raging in the Middle East. On one side are the Islamists, those who believe Islam should be the region’s primary identity. In opposition are nationalists, secularists, royal families, military establishments, and others who view Islamism as a serious threat to national security, historical identity, and a cohesive society.
This provocative, vitally important work explores the development of the largest, most influential Islamic groups in the Middle East over the past century. Tarek Osman examines why political Islam managed to win successive elections and how Islamist groups in various nations have responded after ascending to power. He dissects the alliances that have formed among Islamist factions and against them, addressing the important issues of Islamism’s compatibility with modernity, with the region’s experiences in the twentieth century, and its impact on social contracts and minorities. He explains what Salafism means, its evolution, and connections to jihadist groups in the Middle East. Osman speculates on what the Islamists’ prospects for the future will mean for the region and the rest of the world.

Tarek Osman is the author of Islamism: A History of Political Islam from the Fall of the Ottoman Empire to the Rise of ISIS and Egypt on the Brink. He wrote and presented several BBC documentary series including "The Making of the Modern Arab World" and "Islam Divided: Sunni-Shia". Tarek has spent two decades researching Middle Eastern politics and societies, and is a regular contributor on the Arab and Islamic worlds at leading newspapers worldwide.

"Osman paints a colourful and convinging picture of the decline of Mubarak's rule . . . A compelling account of how the various combustible ingredients of revolution came together, awaiting the final spark."—Times Literary Supplement on Egypt on the Brink

"This exceptional book lucidly explains Islamism, not from Western perspectives, but as seen by Muslims themselves. By doing so Osman provides fresh insights into what has unleashed the religious ferment in the Middle East and the profound challenges Islamists face in trying to reconcile the Muslim faith with the realities of a rapidly changing world."—Gordon Barrass, author of The Great Cold War: A Journey Through the Hall of Mirrors

"Tarek Osman is a writer of impressive scope, reporting on politics from Morocco to Iran with a deep understanding of history, an enviable ability to interpret contemporary dynamics, and above all a profound respect for common humanity. Especially in a time of dangerous misunderstanding about the place of Islam in the world, Islamism is essential reading."—Scott MacLeod, Managing Editor, Cairo Review of Global Affairs

"Tarek Osman presents a grounded and well-crafted account of Middle Eastern Islamism in its myriad forms. He masterfully demonstrates the intersecting social and political processes whereby Islamist movements, Muslim dissent, and outside reactions ramify and shape each other. In doing so, he trenchantly identifies what many have overlooked – the social and ideological challenges that Islamist success has ironically created. The need for such a serious and balanced study has obviously never been greater, and the accessible insight it offers to the current and future turmoil of the Muslim world will have an enduring relevance."—James Piscatori, co-author of Monarchies and Nations: Globalisation and Identity in the Arab States of the Gulf

“The book provides useful context as it strives to be comprehensive, considering perspectives from Turkey, Iran, Gulf countries, secularists, and non-Muslim minorities; this analysis of the interplay among various countries in the region is truly fascinating . . . A helpful and clear introduction.”—Publishers Weekly

"Writing as a reporter-historian of the highest order, Osman provides a masterly overview one of the most important political currents in the world today."—Booklist, Starred Review

“Osman’s book is essentially the antithesis to the reductive worldview typically imposed by Western thinking. Instead it traces the trajectory of Islamism — that is, Islam as an ideology which is a political, economic, cultural, and social tool, as well as a religious and moral one — all the way back to the prophet Mohammed in the seventh century, right up to the present day… extremely well-researched and written in lucid, crystal clear prose.”—JP O’Malley, Irish Examiner

"Osman admirably captures how the gap between the vision of Islamic supremacy and the reality of Muslim subjugation has fueled in Islamist circles a mixture of anger, nostalgia, and disen¬chantment."—Foreign Affairs
ISBN: 9780300230963
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
328 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
8 pp. b/w
Egypt on the Brink

From Nasser to the Muslim Brotherhood, Revised and Updated
Third Edition

Tarek Osman

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