West, Islam & Islamism

Is Ideological Islam Compatible with Liberal Democracy?
2nd Edition

By Caroline Cox & John Marks
December 2006
Distributed By Coronet Books
ISBN: 1903386543                      
253 pages, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
$26.50 Paper Original


The aim of this book is to encourage mutual understanding between the Islamic and Western worlds.  The majority of Muslims are peaceable, law-abiding citizens.  However, Muslim fundamentalists, described here as Islamists, present a challenge to the values of Western democracies.  With many lapses, modern Western societies strive to uphold values such as tolerance, pluralism and individual freedom. 

Islamism is monolithic, intolerant of dissent and hostile to individual liberty.  ‘Islamic’ societies and militant ‘Islamism’ need to be distinguished.  Islamism is not compatible with liberal democracy, but it is the hope and intention of the authors that through this book non-Muslims may develop a better understanding of Islam and better relationships with moderate, peaceable Muslims. 

Since the first edition of this book was published there have been several serious manifestations of Islamist extremism, including bomb attacks on London in July 2005 and the storm of protest surrounding the Danish cartoons.  This second edition considers these worrying developments, and examines the way in which extremists have been able to organize campaigns of terrorism from a relatively secure position in Britain.  The authors ask to what extent a free and tolerant society can accommodate those who would use its freedoms to destroy it.

Political Science

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