The Many Faces of Islam:
Perspectives on a Resurgent Civilization

Nissim Rejwan

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"An evenhanded introduction to the questions and dilemmas facing Islam in the modern world. A wealth of source-texts by the best writers on the subject, Moslem and Western alike."--Sasson Somekh, Tel Aviv University

Written in a style easily accessible to both students and general readers, The Many Faces of Islam offers a wide range of perspectives on modern Islamic culture and religious practice. Seeking to dispel the perception that Islamic fundamentalism and extremism represent Islam in its entirety, Nissim Rejwan surveys the issues and provides numerous excerpts from modern writers and scholars, Muslim and non-Muslim, summarizing the many problems and dilemmas facing contemporary Muslims.

Rejwan argues that to view Islam as uniform and all of a piece invites confusion and miscomprehension. The rich sampling of readings amplifies the summary discussion and demonstrates the surprising variety of Islamic concepts and practices. Issues include the uniqueness of Islam, the decline of the Islamic establishment, the impact of modernity, misunderstandings of Islam, Islam and the Dhimmis, the fundamentalist revival, and more.

With a novel, topical approach to his subject, Rejwan widens the view of Islam from radicalism to the culture as a whole. His combination of topical summary and illuminating, balanced texts will provide a useful resource for students of Islamic culture and, for general readers, an insightful, balanced, and engaging introduction to a poorly understood but increasingly important civilization.

Nissim Rejwan is a Research Fellow at the Harry S Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Among his nine previous books are Arabs Face the Modern World: Religious, Cultural, and Political Responses to the West (UPF, 1998) and Israel’s Place in the Middle East: A Pluralist Perspective (UPF, 1998), winner of the 1998 National Jewish Book Award in Israel studies. He is currently writing his memoirs of Baghdad, where he was born and grew up.

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