Taking Exception to Shadi Hamid’s Islamic Exceptionalism

Is there a Mono-Modernity or are there Multiple Modernities? Establishing this first will then lead us to ask further questions…

Faheem A. Hussain

Published at MENA etc. on 09/12/2016.

It takes a brave person to comment on the Middle East, one never knows when a crisis will erupt that threaten to render one’s judgment obsolete. Since first reading Shadi Hamid’s Islamic Exceptionalism [1], Turkey’s AK Party have suffered an attempted failed coup orchestrated by parts of Turkey’s military, and Tunisian Islamists rebranded as Muslim Democrats, events dramatic enough to render chapters from the book out of date. However because Shadi Hamid, Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution and author of the Temptations of Power, is one of the most thoughtful commentators on the Middle East one can be confident that his new book Islamic Exceptionalism[2] will remain relevant longer than most.

The book principally examines four manifestations of Islamism in the Middle East: the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood after the coup, An-Nahda party in Tunisia, the AK Party…

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