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The Broken Crescent
The "Threat" of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism

By Fereydoun Hoveyda
A National Committee on American Foreign Policy Study
Praeger Publishers. Westport, Conn. 1998. 256 pages
LC 97-40886. ISBN 0-275-95837-X. C5837 $39.95
Available (Status Information Updated 1/11/1999)

** Description **

Militant Islamic fundamentalists blame the ills of their societies on the West and call for the overthrow of local governments and the resumption of Jihad against the "Infidels". Ambassador Hoveyda explores the historical and contemporary causes of the current wave of militant Islamic fundamentalism. Despite their terrorist attacks in the West, he also shows why fundamentalists are even more dangerous for Muslim countries that are desperately trying to catch up with the incipient global economy and alleviate their accumulated social and economic problems.

If Western colonization and economic domination of the 19th and 20th centuries are to be blamed for the predicament of Muslim countries, Hoveyda points out that Muslims also bear a great responsibility for their situation. He shows how the triumph of fundamentalist interpretations of the Koran in the 12th century triggered the gradual decline of Islamic civilization. He also chronicles the history of militant Islamic movements of the past and present from the "Assassins" of the late 11th century to Ayatollah Khomeini. Having met his first militant Islamic fundamentalist at the age of four in Syria, where his father was serving as Persian Consul-general, Hoveyda draws upon a lifetime of personal experience as well as scholarship and experiences of others to provide an important insider/outsider examination of a worldwide concern.

** Contents **

-- Introduction
-- First Encounter with a Militant
-- The Iranian Connection
-- The Community of Devoted Fighters
-- The Beads and the Bullets
-- Some Precursors
-- The Turning Point
-- Fundamentalism Forever
-- The Islamic State
-- Fundamentalist Agendas
-- Enter Khomeini
-- Theologian and Tactician
-- The Kindling of the Revolution
-- The Party of God
-- The Stretching Shadow
-- Causes of Militant Fundamentalism
-- The Broken Crescent
-- The Case Against the West
-- The "Great Satan"
-- A Global Danger?
-- Holy War (Jihad)
-- A Clash of Civilizations?
-- Preparing for the "Final Round"
-- Can Militant Islamic Fundamentalism Succeed?
-- A Challenge to the West and the World?
-- Conclusion: The "Past Shock"
-- Bibliography
-- Index

** Author **

FEREYDOUN HOVEYDA is Senior Fellow with the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.

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