FORCES OF FORTUNE VALI NASR PDF

During that time of remarkable upheaval the forces of Islamic revolution seized Iran; Pakistan proclaimed itself an Islamic state; the Soviet Union touched off a jihad by invading Afghanistan; and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat was assassinated by radical fundamentalists. Since those fateful years, many more violent revolts, deadly clashes, terror attacks, and bloody suppressions have followed, along with deepening conservative Islamic attitudes and anti-Americanism across a vast swath of countries from North Africa to Southeast Asia. Extremism has come of age in this cauldron, giving rise to al-Qaeda, and its cult of violence and dark vision of the future. That object has determined how America sorts its allies from its adversaries, which fights it has taken on, and whether in pursuing its interests it will champion reform, promote democracy, or look to dictators and military solutions. It has also led America perilously close to reducing everything in the Middle East to the fight against fundamentalism, and to seeing every expression of Islam as a threat.

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Shelves: nonfiction , middleeast , politics Forces of Fortune is a pretty good book, but I feel a little like a victim of a bait-and-switch. The subtitle is The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What it Will Mean for Our World, which I took to mean that the book would be heavily focused on economics, but the book is very much focused on cultural, religious, and historical issues. I was disappointed that there wasnt more of an economic focus.

Its also shoddily written in places. That said, I still learned a good deal. As I understand him, Nasr is defining Islamic fundamentalism broadly, as a movement by individuals to make Islam a more central focus of their lives. Fundamentalism is not necessarily corroborated with poor economics—even Turkey, the bright beacon of the Middle East, is becoming more fundamentalist even as its economy and European integration continue to boom.

Nasr divorces fundamentalism from theocracy. He says that the harsh, politicized interpretation of Islam had its zenith in the Iranian Revolution, and while the Iranian clerics expected the revolution to spread, it never did. The interpretations of Islam vary widely all over the Muslim world. Kemalism as Nasr explains it is a strong centralized government which is secular in nature and directs the economy from the top-down.

The worst thing about Kemalism is that it has prevented the rise of an entrepreneurial middle class across the Middle East. While economic liberation has lead to more political liberation in other countries, there is much more to it than that. However, putting our main focus on economic ties in Iran and the wider Middle East may be worth a try, as our track record so far is less than stellar. After reading the book, I was also struck by how much has changed since its publication.

Still, Iran has serious economic issues and Pakistan is a political and cultural nightmare. Jul 20, Stan Murai rated it really liked it The author Vali Nasr describes the Middle East as a place where struggling and thriving economies are being developed by new classes of business elites who are finding their way in the power structure of many countries and changing the religious, social, and political structure of their societies as part of the process of change. He argues that it is time to look beyond the rhetoric of so-called muslim fundamentalism and recognize that the rising business class often associated with Islamic The author Vali Nasr describes the Middle East as a place where struggling and thriving economies are being developed by new classes of business elites who are finding their way in the power structure of many countries and changing the religious, social, and political structure of their societies as part of the process of change.

He argues that it is time to look beyond the rhetoric of so-called muslim fundamentalism and recognize that the rising business class often associated with Islamic finance, i.

He argues that historically what is good for business is good for Islam. Those who have studied the rise of democratic institutions in the West have often placed emphasis on the role of the bourgeoisie. The eminent Harvard sociologist Barrington Moore famously wrote: "No bourgeois, no democracy. Both Turkey and Iran relied on large scale state-run industrial projects, which transformed their economies, but failed to take hold and generate loyalty, even among the middle class, because they were top-down and directed from above.

The Shah could not take credit for the prosperity that his policies may have produced because he lost the support of the the secular middle class through his imperial authoritarianism. Accordingly, Nasr concludes that the universal values of peace, security, democracy, freedom, human rights, moderation, and religious tolerance have not taken hold in muslim countries not because of the fundamental nature of Islam but because the propagation of these values must be the result of an empowered commercial class that initiate the process of change from the bottom-up and from below.

Helping this critical middle class grow is the best and surest way to guarantee that democracy will develop and allow universal values to take root in muslim societies.

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‘Forces of Fortune’

Much of the economic and democratic developments in the West owe themselves to the rise of the bourgeois. For instance, Islamic finance has moved beyond a niche market, growing at percent a year. Read more Read less. Inside the Doomsday Machine.

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FORCES OF FORTUNE VALI NASR PDF

Shelves: nonfiction , middleeast , politics Forces of Fortune is a pretty good book, but I feel a little like a victim of a bait-and-switch. The subtitle is The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What it Will Mean for Our World, which I took to mean that the book would be heavily focused on economics, but the book is very much focused on cultural, religious, and historical issues. I was disappointed that there wasnt more of an economic focus. Its also shoddily written in places. That said, I still learned a good deal. As I understand him, Nasr is defining Islamic fundamentalism broadly, as a movement by individuals to make Islam a more central focus of their lives. Fundamentalism is not necessarily corroborated with poor economics—even Turkey, the bright beacon of the Middle East, is becoming more fundamentalist even as its economy and European integration continue to boom.

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Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World

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