Allah in the West: Islamic Movements in America and Europe
Gilles Kepel is one of Europe's leading authorities on contemporary Islam. This new book is an outstanding account of the ways in which Islam is ... Show synopsis Gilles Kepel is one of Europe's leading authorities on contemporary Islam. This new book is an outstanding account of the ways in which Islam is asserting its identity in the West today. Kepel discusses the most spectacular and controversial manifestations of this phenomenon: the Rushdie affair, the 'veil' incident in France (when the French debated whether to allow three Muslim girls to wear an Islamic veil to attend state school) and the 'Islamization' of American black ghettos under the banner of the Black Muslims. However, Kepel goes behind these headline events, arguing that new social, cultural, political and religious 'fault lines' have emerged, centred around a particular brand of Islamic activism which operates at the very heart of post-industrial society. The Islamic movements of Europe and America, he suggests, are establishing themselves outside the areas where Islam has traditionally been present: using universal western languages, having ready access to the broadcast media, and evolving in a democratic political system, they form the avant-garde of the faith's expansion across the world. From the streets of Los Angeles to Britain's inner cities and France's run-down suburbs, Kepel observes the work of Islamic activists who put forward an alternative lifestyle and beliefs to those of the now disoriented West. Lucid and penetrating, Allah in the West will be welcomed by students and researchers in sociology, politics and religious studies, and by anyone interested in Islamic society.