The Muslim Revolt
A Journey Through Political Islam
”The Muslim Revolt’ is a valuable handbook for anyone who seeks to understand the Islamic world.’ — The Times
‘We fail to understand Islam’, writes Roger Hardy in the introduction to this book, ‘and we are paying a high price for our failure’. The Muslim Revolt explains, in layman’s language, a phenomenon that still seems to madden and perplex both the public and the policy-makers. In setting out to demystify Islamism and the forces that drive it, Hardy suggests that for the last two hundred years Muslims have been in revolt against Western domination — and against the failures and disappointments of modernisation. The book takes the form of a journey. Drawing on his travels and encounters as a journalist over the last thirty years, the author explains the political role of Islam in particular countries and regions — Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, south-east Asia, Europe — while at the same time telling the story of Islamism from its origins in the era of European colonialism to the emergence of Al-Qaeda and the global jihadists of today. In a challenging conclusion, Hardy warns that without a subtler grasp of Islamism and its discontents, the West will lose its much-vaunted battle for Muslim ‘hearts and minds’.
‘No journalist has studied the Islamic world more widely, for longer, or more thoughtfully than Roger Hardy. And no author has packed more wisdom into such a short, clear and readable book.’ — Edward Mortimer, author, journalist and Fellow of All Souls, Oxford University
‘A sensitive, well-informed and subtle reading of the Islamic revival.’ — Bernard Haykel, Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University
‘Accessible and authoritative. It is hard to imagine a more reliable guide across the varied and complex terrains of political Islam.’ — Peter Mandaville, Professor at George Mason University and author of Global Political Islam
‘The Muslim Revolt is the first book you should read if you want to discover and decipher the implications of political Islam. Roger Hardy’s firm grasp of history and his long experience on the ground in the Middle East have given him the perspective essential to understanding what is happening today and is likely to happen tomorrow. His clear, concise writing makes it possible for the layman or, indeed, the expert to better comprehend, analyse and even empathise with these complex societies.’ — Christopher Dickey, Newsweek Paris Bureau Chief
‘This admirably concise book by an experienced journalist takes us on a vivid and well-informed journey through various strands of political Islam in their different national and regional contexts — from Indonesia to Europe — and considers how less hostile relations between the West and Islam might be achieved. The Muslim Revolt successfully avoids the superficial and stereotypical renderings common in the mainstream media and makes effective and informative use of direct quotations by political Islamists — a rare and difficult feat.’ — Dr John Chalcraft, London School of Economics
‘Roger Hardy is a BBC Overseas Service journalist who has worked on the Islamic world for more than 30 years. This familiarity seems to have affected his judgement or sense of proportion scarcely at all. He ranges from Egypt to Indonesia and from the founders of Islam to its interpreters today. Everywhere he finds the right man or woman to interview, follows up with a crystal-clear summary of the relevant background and rounds off with a shrewd conclusion. The result is scholarly, but scholarship without obfuscation. The Muslim Revolt is a valuable handbook for anyone who seeks to understand the Islamic world.’ — The Times
‘Offers a good “beginners guide” to the complex issues, most suited to the general reader. — International Affairs
‘Especially compelling is his separate chapter on Muslims in Europe. Succinct and readable, this account demonstrates the regional and ideological diversity of political Islam even while explaining Muslims’ malaise vis-à-vis the West.’ — Foreign Affairs
Roger Hardy worked for more than twenty years as a Middle East analyst with the BBC World Service. He is the author of The Muslim Revolt: A Journey through Political Islam (2010) and is a Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies in Oxford.