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Islam Through Western Eyes: From the Crusades to the War on Terrorism
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Islam Through Western Eyes: From the Crusades to the War on Terrorism

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  16 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Despite the West's growing involvement in Muslim societies, conflicts, and cultures, its inability to understand or analyze the Islamic world threatens any prospect for East-West rapprochement. Impelled by one thousand years of anti-Muslim ideas and images, the West has failed to engage in any meaningful or productive way with the world of Islam. Formulated in the medieval ...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Columbia University Press (first published January 5th 2012)
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Jonathan Lyons
This book, more theoretical than my others, explains why it is that the West cannot understand Islam and instead concerns itself with its own 'idea' of the faith, its followers, and the associated civilization that it produced.

After a detailed discussion of the epistemological, social, and political barriers to our understanding, it focuses on three 'hot-button' issues: Islam and modernity; Islam and violence; and Islam and women. In each case, Islam is deprived of its own, independent existence
...more
Murtaza
A look at the discourse that has been created regarding Islam, which the offer contends was first given shape during the Crusades and has not changes much since. Employs Foucault's theories about discursive knowledge and our inclination to discount objective facts which we deem "outside the true".

This is a slim volume, the Foucault was all new to me but I appreciated the insight into the manufacture of knowledge. Essentially the West first crafted a discourse about Islam before it knew any Musli
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Steve
I had previously read this author's "House of Wisdom" which focused on the transmission of medieval Islamic science to Europe. That book was written by the author wearing his reporter's hat, and was an easy and interesting read. This book seems to be an outgrowth of his sociology PhD dissertation, is full of academic methodological discussion, and is accordingly a harder read. Lyons draws on the methodology of Michel Foucault to posit--and I feel convincingly demonstrate--a Western "anti-Islam d ...more
Diane


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Jonathan Lyons spent twenty years as a foreign correspondent and editor for Reuters, much of it in the Islamic world. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Monash University and lives in Portland, Oregon. His publications include The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization and (with Geneive Abdo) Answering Only to God: Faith and Freedom in Twenty-First-Century Iran.
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