The Crisis of Islamic Civilisation - Book Review

This is an extremely well researched and precisely argued contribution to contemporary debate on the crisis which has shaped the evolution of Islam, particularly over recent decades. Its strength lies both in the author’s prodigious and fascinating account of the cultural, historical and political factors that form the context for this crisis and the refreshingly progressive political stand he adopts.
As a democratic socialist with a keen developing interest in Islamic studies, the sophistication of Ali Allawi’s discourse is very much appreciated. Here, at last is a writer who provides a cogent argument that Islam has within it the seeds that will ensure the survival of the religion in a progressive form in the modern world, if only they are allowed to flourish. The Crisis of Islamic Civilisation is a heroic undertaking, given the breadth and depth of the subject matter, but the author retains impressive control of the material throughout the book. There is much here to be absorbed and it is set out in a way that is constantly thought provoking and intriguing. Highly recommended.

The Crisis of Islamic Civilisation by Ali A. Allawi. Published by Yale University Press, 2009.