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Book Reviews: Islam in Egypt
Book Reviews: Islam in Egypt
Francois Burgat’s Face to Face with Political Islam (2003) has a heavy focus on Egypt and is one of the best books on Political Islam.
Wednesday, May 7,2008 16:34
by GrandMasta Splash Arabicsource.Wordpress.com

Francois Burgat’s Face to Face with Political Islam (2003) has a heavy focus on Egypt and is one of the best books on Political Islam. Burgat is an Arabic-speaking French scholar who has spent extensive time in Egypt and Yemen and thus understands the regional context of the Islamists movement. Face to Face covers the Islamic movement as a whole, but Chapters 6 and 7 which focus on Egypt are great.

Learning Usefullness Rating: 5/5

Genvieve Abdu’s No God But God; Egypt and the Triumph of Islam (2002, Oxford U) makes two central arguments: 1. There is no relationship between economics and Islamic religiosity 2. Egypt has created a model for non-violent peaceful change. She based these claims on extensive research and relied heavily on Arabic sources. Despite not being convinved of her first arguement, No God But God is still an important book Splash strongly recommends for anyone interested in Egyptian politics/society, political Islam, and militant Islam.

LUR: 3.5/5

Carlyn Murphy’s Passion for Islam: Shaping the Modern Middle East; The Egyptian Experience (2002) is similar to the Abdu book but better because it has more analysis and is better at putting the subjects of her research in their proper context.

LUR: 3.5/5

Mary Ann Weaver’s Portrait of Egypt: A Jorney Through the World of Militant Islam is the least useful of these four books. Weaver makes the case that Egyptian society is on the verge of a radical Islamic takeover but the evidence she uses to back this statement up is full of holes. A sentence from this review sums it up best: "Weaver has produced a fundamentally journalistic work that does not come close to telling the whole story of Egypt’s Islamist movement or where it stands in Egypt’s complex society. "

LUR: 2.5/5


Posted in Political Islam Studies , Islamic Movements  
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