New Internationalist

Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution

September 2010

By Alastair Crooke

Alastair Crooke’s elegant and measured book is a much-needed response to the viewpoint that equates Islam with mindless violence and terrorism, encapsulated in the lazy neologism ‘Islamofascism’. The task Crooke sets himself is audaciously ambitious: to tease out the roots of Islamist revolution, from its inception in Egypt with the agitator and pamphleteer Sayyid Qutub, through the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the tumultuous events of the Iranian Revolution up to the present-day Hezballah and Hamas movements. Any doubts that Crooke is equal to the task of addressing such a vast and contentious subject are dismissed by his opening chapter. In a magisterial overview of his project, he traces the development of the Western mindset in which the West stands for enlightenment and progress, and its enemies are unarguably and irredeemably evil.

In examining the Islamic world’s response to this Manichean world view, Crooke explores some surprising byways. Using South African writer JM Coetzee’s novel Waiting for the Barbarians as an example, he shows how fear of ‘the other’ shapes both individual thought and public policy. There is also a fascinating disquisition on Islamic economics and its use as a bulwark against human excess and avarice.

Resistance is the product of a subtle and informed mind, unafraid to range widely in search of answers and, just as important, more probing questions. It is recommended reading for anyone interested in how the interface between ‘Western’ values and Islamic thought came about and, crucially, how it may develop in the future.

This column was published in the September 2010 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Comments on Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution Fact File
Product information Pluto Press, ISBN 9780745328850
Star rating5

Get our free fortnightly eNews


Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Books

All Books

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 435

New Internationalist Magazine issue 435
Issue 435

More articles from this issue

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.