Caryle Murphy's "Passion for Islam" Book Review by Peter Pen

Caryle Murphy's "Passion for Islam"
This paper reviews and analyzes Caryle Murphy's book "Passion for Islam--Shaping the Modern Middle East: The Egyptian Experience".
# 95035 | 2,150 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2007

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This paper explains that, although modern events have focused much Western attention on area hotbeds of Islamic militancy, such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the fight for the spirit of Islam on the banks of the Nile in several ways represents more completely the region's ongoing, unsettled tensions among belief and reason. The author points out that Murphy explores the reasons for Islamic decline such as (1) the clash of a newly decadent, yet once great civilization, with the irresistible force of an industrial revolution it might once have led and (2) the lack of democracy without which no society can develop in concert with rapid and unpredictable cultural and technological change. The paper relates that, starting with the end of the socialist promise of the Nasser era through the violence that rocked Egypt in the nineties, Murphy carefully follows the development of Islamist insurgency through its various forms, differentiating the facets of Islam in Egypt that played into the development of radical Islamist behavior.

Table of Contents:
Book Review
Brief Analysis

From the Paper:

"Lawrence Wright of the "New Yorker" has suggested recently that Osama Bin Laden's Egyptian deputy Ayman al-Zawahari is the true guiding force behind al Qaeda. If that is right, then the antecedents of al Qaeda lie as much in Egypt as in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of bin Laden. Murphy has produced a huge deal of valuable reporting that lays bare the roots of this reign of terror, chronicling how fringe violent Egyptian Islamist organizations fought the state and terrorized the populace. There are certainly echoes of al Qaeda here, especially in the manner in which Islamic Jihad justified attacks on and murders of foreign tourists and Christian Copts though pronouncing Crusaders and Jews to be the enemies of Islam."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ahmed, Akbar. Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society. New York: Routledge, revised ed., 2002
  • Brown, Daniel W. A New Introduction to Islam. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2003.
  • Calder, Norman, Jawid Mojaddedi and Andrew Rippin, eds. Classical Islam: A Sourcebook of Religious Literature. New York: Routledge, 2003
  • Murphy, Caryle. Passion for Islam--Shaping the Modern Middle East: The Egyptian Experience. New York: Scribner, 2002
  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity. San Francisco, CA: Harper SanFrancisco, 2002

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Caryle Murphy's "Passion for Islam" (2007, May 14) Retrieved April 10, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Caryle Murphy's "Passion for Islam"" 14 May 2007. Web. 10 April. 2020. <>