Islam is the second largest religion in the world, and the fastest growing. Roughly one-quarter of the world's population is Muslim, and over one-third of all sovereign states are members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, most of them in the so-called global South.
In the course of its thirteen centuries of expansion and consolidation, Islam has infused, absorbed, supplanted, and dialogued with a wide range of local cultures and experiences. In the process, it has become not only a transnational, but also an intensely local source of identity to its adherent around the world. Yet in the modern era, it is only in the last three decades -- coinciding with the failure of third worldism and advent of globalization -- that Islam has been propelled from the sidelines of third world politics to a defining role on the global stage. Its political manifestations feed into, and are fed by real socioeconomic concerns around the globe; local injustices as well as regional and global imbalances, real or perceived. Its representatives have emerged as self-styled defenders of the downtrodden, restorers of local autonomy, and defenders against neo-colonial impositions.
Grounded in the experiences and narratives of real communities, Islamic political leaders have come to champion a range of oftentimes contradictory parochial narratives. Framed by the universal claims of a common confession, they also constitute a global movement that encompasses and transcends any and all of its local manifestations.
-Anders Strindberg & Mats Warn, Islamism: Religion, Radicalization, and Resistance, (Cambridge UK and Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2011), p. 1.
"Islamism: Religion, Radicalization, and Resistance presents political Islam as one of the most powerful social movements of our time. Those who are interested in a critical and non-conventional study of Islamism will benefit greatly from reading this book."
-Ali Mirsepassi, New York University