Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Pick Of The Month

This book is a development of Gray’s thoughts about Al Qaeda and modernity that he voiced in a previous book ‘Straw Dogs : Thoughts on humans and other animals’ in which he analyses and critiques aspects of liberal humanism. It is a book that covers a wide range of topics and will be particularly interesting for those who have an interest in current affairs, but seek a deeper understanding of the recent political events.

His central premise is that ‘Modernity’ as we in the west like to conceptualise it (being a uniform, global good in which ‘our’ values are realised) is in fact a delusion. He further suggests that the idea that there is a single way of being modern is rooted in Enlightenment ideals, even though there are differing manifestations of this as alternatively exemplified by Karl Marx and Francis Fukuyama.

But what does Al Qaeda have to do with modernity? Gray asserts that Al Qaeda and Modernity are inextricably linked. Gray makes the case for a relationship between these two seemingly unlikely bedfellows with the following: “…the belief that a new world can be hastened by spectacular acts of destruction is nowhere found in medieval times. Al Qaeda’s closest precursors are the revolutionary anarchists of late nineteenth-century Europe.” [1] He points out that there are differences between Al Qaeda
and European revolutionary anarchism in that the latter targeted public officials as opposed to civilians.

Taken from DeenPort

Book available at Wardah Books

A must read - Ahmad


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