"Myth or reality" by John l. Esposito

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In the world many people in America see Islamic and western

governments as opposite sides of a political collision course. The book Islamic Threat,

Myth or reality by, written by John l. Esposito, and published in 1992 by The Oxford

University Press, mainly discussed Middle Eastern history and many misconceptions that

have and can lead to future problems. The Middle Eastern history discussed in this book

is very accurate in compassion to the course.

One of the main things Esposito discusses is the misuse of the word

Islamic Fundamentalist. It's misused because Islamic Fundamentalist refers to either

someone who wants to bring back the fundamental beliefs of Islam or if you interoperate

the Koran literally as the word of God. An Islamic Fundamentalist is also a person who

wished to replicate Islamic past. To see it this way categorizes many fundamentalist in

the wrong sense that people in the west use the word. A lot of times people of the west

use the word to mean people of organizations, who are politically active, extreme,

Fanatical, a terrorist or Anti - American. Most Islamic Fundamentalist are none of these

Few individuals in the middle east whish to return to or replicate the past, many people

regarded as Islamic Fundamentalists are actually very modern. Most of the views of the

west towards the Middle East are clouded by their idea of Islamic Fundamentalist and


This book is also about the misunderstanding of Islamic Organizations.

Much of the recent spread of Islam is due to modern Islamic Organizations, not Islamic

Fundamentalists. They have been focused on by western governments and Islamic

government as well. This is because the Islamic governments realize that some of them

will do anything necessary to get what they want. Most westerners see all of these

originations or people as terrorist who high jack planes, took hostages in Lebanon or

assassinated Anwar Sadat. This is not true because most of these organizations, if they

could, would work with the political system to attain their goals. Many of them have and

are supporting Liberation and Democatizations. Some of the organization members

participate in elections and serve in legislatures or cabinets. The majority of the Islamic

movements today are different than the ones in the past. They are modern not

fundamentalist in their leaderships, ideology and organization. They should be looked at

as Neo- Fundamentalists because they look at Islam to respond to a new age.

Esposito expresses how the media typically misconstrues facts and how it

affects western views and policies towards the Middle East and how many of the

destruction committed by terrorists has negatively affected our view even further. During

the Bush Administration Dan Quayle said how dangerous Islamic Fundamentalism is and

compared it to communism and nazism. Many magazines and newspapers at the time

published articles about Islam's incompatibility with democracy and their war with the

west. The majority of the time in the articles it's difficult to tell the difference between

reality and fear induced half truths. During the nineties Clinton put a freeze on United

States assets belonging to over thirty organizations believing to have ties to militant

Islamic Fundamentalist organizations, who lead to a negative effect on western views of

Islamic Fundamentalist Organizations. Newt Gingrich believed that much of these

unsavory activities were directed or funded by Iran. In 1993, when the world trade center

was bombed it was the first time the Islamic threat was brought to the shores of the

"Great Satan."

According to this book the Cold War taught us a great deal about how we

make decisions. Esposito feels we should have learned how to make our decisions on

overall good not on our personal feelings towards...
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