Malise Ruthven's acclaimed book is an essential introduction to the Islamic world - past and present - and to the challenges it presents to Western society. Fully revised for this second edition, it includes chapters on the spiritual richness of the religion, the law and how it reflects attitudes to society and to women in particular, as well as an incisive analysis of various Muslim sects, their links and conflicts. A substantial new chapter discusses such issues as the Rushdie affair, the reinterpretation of the doctrine of Jihad to encompass terrorism, and the internal strife that countries such as Algeria, Iran, Israel and Egypt are experiencing, bringing this stimulating analysis up to the present day.
'An unusual book, full of original ideas and judgements based upon wide reading and personal observation.'
Albert Hourani, author of A History of the Arab Peoples