Islamism What it Means for the Middle East and the World Tarek Osman

Publication date:
28 Jan 2016
Yale University Press
328 pages: 235 x 156mm
8 pp. b-w
Sales territories:


Buy this eBook

Yale eBooks are available in a variety of formats, including Kindle, ePub and ePDF. You can purchase this title from a number of online retailers (see below).

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.

More about this title

The Two Futures of the Arab World, An Essay by Tarek Osman on the YaleBooks blog

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.

“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 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