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A World Without Islam

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,423 ratings  ·  197 reviews
What if Islam never existed? To some, it's a comforting thought: no clash of civilizations, no holy wars, no terrorists.

But what if that weren't the case at all? In A WORLD WITHOUT ISLAM, Graham E. Fuller guides us along an illuminating journey through history, geopolitics, and religion to investigate whether or not Islam is indeed the cause of some of today's most emotion
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 11th 2010 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2010)
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3.97  · 
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 ·  1,423 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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Aug 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
As someone who already has a general understanding of Islam, and a passion and fondness for this faith, it is so refreshing to see someone try to put things back into perspective, especially given the fact that so many are so ill-informed about Islam and what it teaches. With so many focusing on Islam as "the enemy" merely because they don't know or understand anything more than what their preachers or newscasters have told them, its so important for someone to be the voice that nudges us out of ...more
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is utterly fascinating and eye-opening. A general understanding of the basic precepts of Islam probably helps to enjoy it, but even those who begin with little knowledge of Islam will finish the book with fewer prejudices and a greater appreciation for the cultural and historical significance of Islam. Definitely recommended.

I received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
If Islam didn’t exist, would there still be conflict between the West and “another”…? This is the central theme that runs through this excellent, easy-to-read book. Today, when Islam and Muslims have become scapegoats for every problem imaginable in the world, Fuller argues that conflict is purely about religion; it’s usually about land, natural resources, national egos, spheres of influence, and balances of power. Religion is used by people to fan the flames of conflict and hatred to catastroph ...more
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
"A World Without Islam" is an eye-opener. It taught me to view the Muslim world from a different perspective. I, for one, was guilty with the "why are Muslims violent nowadays compared to the Christians" mentality. This book helped me dismiss that question as nonsense. It instead explained to me that Muslims are looked at and projected to the world unfairly by the West. Policies by the West are partly to blame for what the Muslims are facing right now, so they should share the responsibility of ...more
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
At times it’s a challenge to distinguish whether an account of history is factual, contextualized accurately and at a very basic level, genuine, or in contrast imbued either subtly or manifestly with a degree of partiality. I sense that in the case of ‘A World Without Islam’ there is a penchant for the latter.

According to the author, the entire essence of Western Civilization is the root cause for all of the unrest and suffering we see in the Middle East, today (and throughout history), a direct
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
A must read for all, including me, who unknowingly link terrorism to Islam. The book explains the reasons behind growing unrest across the globe with the help of facts. Great job done by Fuller.
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fuller offer great insight into a troubling issue of the 'West vs Islam'. He explores the history and theology of Christianity, Judaism and Islam and the evolution of Christianity in Europe; leadership of the Catholic church within the Roman Empire and the foundation of Eastern Orthodoxy, and subsequent Prostestant movement. In doing so, Fuller draws parrelels between history and present day events, and parrells between the religions of the book.

The main point here is Islam is seen as the sourc
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
A really interesting read about if there is no Islam to begin with, will the conflict between the West and Middle East cease to exist? Simple answer, no.

In this book, the author discuss the conflict in depth, its historical aspect and what is it that actually causes and affects the conflict. One of the main argument of the book is that Islam is only a vehicle for the conflict to ride on, not really the actual cause. Even without Islam, other notion, such as nationalism, can be the vehicle for th
Roswitha Muntiyarso
Actually this book doesn't really meet my expectation in explaining a world without Islam. It's maybe because I am a Muslim and found this book explain nothing to me but the historical view of Islam and Abrahamic faiths and current condition of Islam and other religion. Yes indeed I learn much about history of Islam in China, Russia, Western Europe and India in this book. Therefore reading this book still gives me something new about my understanding about Islam around the world.

This book would
Jul 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to innae by: Goodreads program
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Puty Puar
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read that many of geopolitics book, but for me this one is very objective, systematic, yet straight to the point. It talks not only about Islam but also how religion from time to time has always been related to politics and power without being actually about theology. This book actually talks about human and society. A very good one, even the parts about history are not too long. Might be even better if you have basic understanding about sharia, Islam history & general history know ...more
Nuruddin Azri
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very good book in answering whether the religion causes conflict in the world or the geopolitics itself.

The book is divided into three parts starting with the religion in history followed by how Islam interacts with certain countries (in this case, Fuller takes Russia, India and China for his study case) and the last part which is the crucial one is when Fuller explains the relationship between the colonialism, war and US foreign policy with Islam and which one starts the conflict in the world
Amanda Himawan
Despite a very anti-islamic title (some of my friends raised their eyebrows when they see me reading this book... and I live in Indonesia in which the majority of people are Moslems), the content of the book itself can't be further than that. For me who know so little about Abrahamic faiths, this book is very eye opening and adds a lot to my knowledge.

The arguments presented in the book is very logical and easy to understand. I found myself knowing a lot more about middle east region after finis
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: punya
Mr. Graham wrote this book beautifully. Like he said, when there is problems with Islam, it also our problems. In the end, this book will give you another insight about what Islam is and the history of political, geopolitical, and economic situation that is happened between East and West, between Islam extrimist, like ISIS, and US -from the point of view non-muslim-
Jul 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This was another one won through this site's awesome giveaway system (well, it's awesome when you manage to win the draw), so thanks to goodreads, where thanks are due.

While this book doesn't say anything radically new, and isn't really a thought experiment about what the world would be like if Islam didn't exist, I still found it deeply interesting because of its unbiased look at religion as a state tool and the origin of east-west tension, which Fuller often attributes to geopolitical issues;
Suleiman Arabiat
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very strong book, with solid arguments, and a clear and ordered flow of information, while keeping it in abstract form - yet informative.

I personally enjoyed the order of topics in the book, and the author managed to examine a sequence of geopolitical, ethnic, cultural, and economic factors that were the major underlying reasons behind the conflicts that history recorded and still records.

Also, the author managed to penetrate through all the modern bubbles that were created for political reaso
Nura Yusof
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
We live in an age of labels. We need labels to simplify what is complex. The Middle East is complex. With plenty of problems. Unfortunately, all these problems are being labelled as 'Islam'. At the end of the book, The author came up with a list of possible actions that the West might adopt to solve this "Islam" problem but I think one big one is missing. Reduce dependency on oil. That's the ticket. For as long as big corporations have need for this resource to oil the machines of industry, maki ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
A very different point of view - albeit, a refreshingly different one. However, it does not come across as a completely balanced point of view. It is written with a clear American audience in mind and attempts to debunk the vilification of Islam in (what the author calls) the West.

Unfortunately, it skirts the entire issue of internecine conflict within the Islamic world (the latest one still brewing in Iraq or even the Taliban vs. Pakistan conflict). Clearly, tHere seems to be more conflict in
Sabbir Taher
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A World Without Islam
Graham E Fuller
One less desirable aspect of democracy is that it seems to require serious demonization of the enemy if the nation and public opinion are to be galvanized sufficiently to pay a serious price in blood or treasure at war.And the message as to why we are in confrontation or at war must be simplified enough to fit on a bumper sticker.In today's world,"islam"has become that bumper sticker for America.
পশচিমা বিশবের অধিকাংশ মানুষ,মেইনসটরীম মিডিয়ার বাণীতে ভরসা রাখা ম
Christan Reksa
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and enlightening book. You don't have to agree with everything he says to realize that all the problems in this world are not solely due to religion. Without the existence of Islam, of even religion in general, you will still find conflicts of power between sides, namely West and East, Allies and Soviets, Rome and Byzantine, colonials and locals, Chinese Han and Uyghur resistance movement, or India nationalists and separatists, with factors intertwined between each other, from power ...more
Orville Jenkins
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book becomes available on the public market in August 2010. In July 2010, I received a copy for review from the publisher. Fuller is former Vice Chairman of the National Intelligence Council of the CIA.

This volume provides an experienced perspective from Graham's practical experience. He also writes in a scholarly manner, but using clear, common English to provide his evaluation of the current world situation in regard to radical Islamist movements.

Fuller proves himself a competent communic
Dalton Babcock
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
First off, I really enjoyed seeing a book that laid the US with it's fair share of the blame for current events with the Middle East over the last several years happened to be written by an ex-employee of the CIA. I must admit I've never read anything by Mr. Fuller before, and honestly know very little about him, I nonetheless must say I think we could use more of him in our government. He was refreshingly moderate in his views regarding Islam and any other religion he happened to mention in his ...more
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally! This is not a beach read obviously.
I picked it up by the provocative title and wanted to see how comfortable I would be by this book's argument.

The book tries to detail Islam and its known significance to the World to everyone but carefully avoided by the West, that it is not; Us against them mentality but rather Everyone against ignorance. I for one found myself highlighting many points of enlightenment.

So I was enthralled by the short easy to read history of Islam and its existence o
Gregory Rothbard
Sep 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
A World Without Islam shows that we often view others in a similar fashion that the blind man viewed the Elephant. We may see accurately one aspect of Islam, but fall short in seeing Islam as a whole dynamic force. We need to check our assumptions at our proverbial check points. It is not good to call others names or to assume you know their position, just because that's the socially accepted answer. The book does a great deal to cover the historical context of east vs. west.

Fuller makes a sou
Firas Ghomraoui
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I first read the title, my mind automatically jumped straight to islamophobic rhetoric, cheap, prejudiced, disgusting, but a bestseller these days. But then, as usual, I would go through the review on the back and skim through some pages, and immediately those thoughts evaporated into thin air. The book is anything but prejudiced and - at least - islamophobic.
"Complex" minds ask the simplest questions, and here the complex mind Graham E. Fuller (ex-CIA analyst) asks the simplest question of
Will Gardner
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway.

And I am glad that I did.

A World Without Islam presents an inflammatory title, and I truly wish that the editor would have reconsidered the title before publishing.

The title refers to a hypothetical question of what would the relationship between the west and the middle east be like had Islam not come into existence.

The author, Graham Fuller is the former Vice Chair of the CIA Intelligence committee, and his knowledge of the history of the region is
Handarbeni Muhammad Irfan
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is interesting to read a book about the relationship between Islam and the west, written by a western ex-CIA author who did a marvelous job in objectively addressing the real root of the problem. Fuller did a great job in explaining the background of the current clash between Islam and the west, tracing back to the early development of civilization around Europe and the Middle East.

Fuller emphasized the long clash between the west and the east for political power, influence and natural resou
Phil Mullen
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I like it that Graham Fuller was vice-chair of the Nat. Intelligence Council at the CIA (though his liberal opinions rather astonish me, given his profession).

His main thesis (that we ought to "de-Islamize our perceptions of regional issues" page 304) is
attractive to me, & moderately persuasive.

Some of the history at the beginning was a bit tedious (esp. the religious parts, which I knew already); but I grant him the necessity of setting the historical stage.

My socks were knocked quite off b
Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
While it is a bit academic in writing, Graham Fuller provides an excellent history lesson as well as a perspective which was refreshing to read. I was fortunate to hear the author speak on the book just after finishing my read and much enjoyed the conversation he had with a rabbi and Islamic expert. My hope is that this book sparks more conversations. Graham Fuller should be commended for having the courage to voice these ideas.

I do believe that including maps and a timeline in the book to enhan
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
For those who think Islam is the source of today's world problems, this book will dismantle that notion. This book will also probably help to dismantle prejudice toward Islam. Many would think that religion is the problem, sure, many would see that way, but religion only acts as the vehicle, not the source or motivation.
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Act of War vs Terrorism? 1 17 Oct 13, 2011 11:09AM  
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Graham Fuller is an author and a political analyst. He has worked for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, the National Intelligence Council, and Rand Corporation.
“❝Washington — perhaps as many global powers have done in the past — uses what I might call the “immaculate conception” theory of crises abroad. That is, we believe we are essentially out there, just minding our own business, trying to help make the world right, only to be endlessly faced with a series of spontaneous, nasty challenges from abroad to which we must react. There is not the slightest consideration that perhaps US policies themselves may have at least contributed to a series of unfolding events. This presents a huge paradox: how can America on the one hand pride itself on being the world’s sole global superpower, with over seven hundred military bases abroad and the Pentagon’s huge global footprint, and yet, on the other hand, be oblivious to and unacknowledging of the magnitude of its own role — for better or for worse — as the dominant force charting the course of world events? This Alice-in-Wonderland delusion affects not just policy makers, but even the glut of think tanks that abound in Washington. In what may otherwise often be intelligent analysis of a foreign situation, the focus of each study is invariably the other country, the other culture, the negative intentions of other players; the impact of US actions and perceptions are quite absent from the equation. It is hard to point to serious analysis from mainstream publications or think tanks that address the role of the United States itself in helping create current problems or crises, through policies of omission or commission. We’re not even talking about blame here; we’re addressing the logical and self-evident fact that the actions of the world’s sole global superpower have huge consequences in the unfolding of international politics. They require examination.” 7 likes
“The west, and especially the United States, has shown no serious or sustained interest in the Middle East until the last half century. We tend to be comfortably ignorant of the history of Western interventionism in the region over centuries — or even over a millennium. We are only superficially aware of Middle Eastern critiques of Western policies that touch on oil, finances, political intervention, Western-sponsored coups, Western support for pro-Western dictators, and carte blanche American support for Israel in the complex Palestinian problem — which, after all, had its roots not in Islam, but in Western persecution and butchery of European Jews. European powers have also exported their local quarrels and parleyed them into two world wars that were fought out partly on Middle Eastern soil, as was much of the Cold War as well. All this suggests that many other causative factors are at work that have at least as much explanatory power for the current turmoil as does “Islam.”

It is not simply a matter of “blaming the West” as some readers might rush to suggest here. I argue that deeper geopolitical factors have created numerous confrontational factors between the East and the West that predate Islam, continued with Islam and around Islam, and may be inherent in the territorial imperatives and geopolitical outlook of any states that occupy those areas, regardless of religion.”
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