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Books in brief: ‘Islamic Exceptionalism’ by Shadi Hamid

"The solution is to find a place for Islam in the democratic process."

By Sameer Rahim   August 2016

cover islamic exceptionalismIslamic Exceptionalism by Shadi Hamid (St Martin’s Press, $26.99)

As the Middle East continues to be plagued by civil war, terrorism and bad governance the question is often asked: what role does Islam play, if any, in these problems? And might it offer any solutions? Shadi Hamid, from the Brookings Institute in the United States, argues that in Arab countries religion and politics are inseparably entwined. In that sense, Islam is different from other religions, or exceptional, as Hamid puts it. He adds carefully that this is neither “good nor bad”—it…

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