THE CLASH OF FUNDAMENTALISMS
Tariq Ali, Verso (£10)
TARIQ ALI'S book is now out in paperback. 'This book would deserve a wide readership at any time,' wrote Kevin Ovenden when it was first published in hardback last year. 'With George Bush's 'war on terrorism' in full swing it is indispensable. That war frames Tariq Ali's look at the Islamic world over the last 14 centuries. The title is a riposte to arch-conservative US pundit Samuel Huntington, who wrote The Clash of Civilisations in the 1990s. Huntington's chauvinist tirade against Islamic civilisation provides intellectual gloss for every 'Mad Mullah' headline in the right wing press.
'Ali demolishes both the hysteria about Islamic fundamentalism and the wider stereotypes about Muslim societies. You get readable essays and a series of insights. This book leaves plenty of scope for argument. But it leaves no room for those who would point to the supposed civilisation of the US and its allies as justification for war.'