"We pay a high price when we fail to understand Islam," writes Roger Hardy in this timely guide. Designed for readers of all backgrounds, this book demystifies the phenomenon of Islamism and the forces that drive it, situating the movement within a clarifying history that views Islamism, for the last two hundred years, as the product of a war against Western domination and as a consequence of the disappointments of modernization.
Roger Hardy builds his narrative around personal travels and his encounters as a journalist covering Mideast and Islamic issues for more than three decades. He illuminates the political role of Islam in several distinct countries and regions: Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Southeast Asia, and Europe. At the same time, he unravels a history of Islamism from its origins in colonialism to its present manifestation in Al-Qaeda and global jihad. In a provocative conclusion, Hardy warns that without a more comprehensive understanding of Islamism, the West will forfeit its peace-brokering advantage and indeed lose the "hearts and minds" of Muslims.