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October, 2007

400 pages

ISBN: 978-0-231-13130-8

Columbia University Press

New Book Bulletins

The Columbia World Dictionary of Islamism

Olivier Roy and Antoine Sfeir
Translated by John King

"[The Columbia World Dictionary of Islamism] not only documents people, organizations, and their links throughout the world, country by country, but also answers questions surrounding September 11, 2001. . . . The picture drawn of Islamism is precise and comprehensively based in geopolitics."

"An essential resource for anyone interested in this extremely relevant issue."
La Tribune

"An antidote to confusion . . . Antoine Sfeir emphasizes that 15 million Arabs are not all Muslims, that all Muslims are not Islamists, and that every Islamist is not a terrorist."
Le Figaro

"This colossal project . . . attempts for the first time to gather together all the people, places, and religious terms connected with the emergence of Islamism, fully linked to the latest developments, with the objective of explaining current events."
Le Temps

Olivier Roy and Antoine Sfeir's Columbia World Dictionary of Islamism is the leading resource on one of the world's most important ideologies. Translated for the first time from the original French, this volume features more than two thousand entries on the history of Islamism and Islamic countries. It provides a balanced account of major events and organizations, as well as philosophers, activists, militants, and other prominent figures, and captures the true magnitude of a movement that has irrevocably changed both Muslim and Western societies.

The dictionary includes detailed entries on the roots of Islamism and jihad in Africa, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, the Balkans, and the United States, among many other countries and locations. It profiles such key individuals as Louis Farrakhan; Tariq Ramadan; Abu Hamza Al-Masri; Algeria's Hassan Hattab, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood; Egypt's Hassan Al-Banna; and the leader of the Afghan Jombesh-i Melli Islami movement, Abdul Rashid Dostum; historical events such as the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole and Syria's Hama massacre; organizations and religious movements such as the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, Morocco's Justice and Development Party, and Iran's Association for the Defense of the Values of the Islamic Revolution; and groups including Tablighi Jamaat (the Society of the Message), the World Association for Muslim Youth, and Lebanon's Al-Ahbash.

The most unique aspect of this dictionary is its examination of this antimodern incarnation of Islam and its efforts to claim (or reclaim) Muslim society, families, and professional environments. The volume considers such questions as whether activist Islam is "terrorist" and if it can coexist with Western societies; whether terrorism can be justified by the Koran and what are the components of an international Islam. Roy and Sfeir, internationally renowned for their scholarship and expertise on this subject, remain sensitive to the differences between Islam and Islamism and approach the ideology from geopolitical, sociological, and historical standpoints. An unprecedented accomplishment, The Columbia World Dictionary of Islamism is a truly original and long-overdue resource.

About the Author

Olivier Roy is research director at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). A world authority on Islam and politics, he currently lectures at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (IEP) in Paris and has acted as consultant to the French Foreign Ministry since 1984. His books with Columbia University Press are Secularism Confronts Islam, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah; and, with Mariam Abou Zahab, Islamist Networks: The Afghan-Pakistan Connection.

Antoine Sfeir is the editor in chief of Les Cahiers de l'Orient, a review of studies and reflections on the Arab and Islamic world. He is the president of CERPO, the Center for Studies and Research on the Middle East, and the author of several books, including The Networks of Allah: the Islamic Channels in France and Europe and Islam.

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