Kevin's Reviews > Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes

Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary
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's review
Sep 14, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-reading
Read from August 17 to September 12, 2012

Destiny Disrupted is not an academic history of the Islamic culture through the ages and Tamim Ansary doesn’t pretend to be to be Islamic Scholar. What Destiny Disrupted is, is a very readable collection of the core stories that make up the Islamic history from its earliest beginnings to right through September 11 attack and the subsequent wars. A narrative of world history that is so different from our own, but as complex and intricate as anything the west as has to offer. Any survey of world history would be incomplete without the Islamic perspective, and Ansary is able to give the Muslim people a context and explains the reasoning behind the shape of their culture without becoming distant and cold to the subject matter demanded from a scholarly work.

What Ansary argues isn’t the classic ‘clash of cultures’ that has been taught in the West dating back to the crusades, in fact for much of world history the west had so little to do with the middle world it would be hard to describe much of anything besides the 1st crusade and the current wars as a clash (at least from a wider view of World History). Instead Ansary presents a rather compelling thesis that Islamic history and Western history are two very different world histories trajectories that have only recently collided and are trying to work themselves out. Ansary doesn’t shy away from the uncomfortable implications of his thesis: "The argument between Christian and Muslim 'fundamentalists' comes down to: Is there only one God or is Jesus Christ our savior? Again, that's not a point-counterpoint; that's two people talking to themselves in separate rooms." The real disappoint with this book is that once he builds his argument to a final crescendo, he leaves it there with no satisfactory answer. An impossible task I realize and something that is going to have to play itself out on a larger stage.

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