This book explores in a comparative perspective two fundamentalist waves that have rolled over the Middle East during the last two decades. Jewish and Muslim extremism have had a profound impact on the culture and politics of this important region. One thinks immediately of the Guh Emunism settlements on the West Bank, the Iranian revolution, and the assassination of President Sadat.
The authors highlight various facets of the phenomena, such as Haradi Jewish ultra-orthodoxy, the transformation of secular Israeli nationalism by the Gush, Iranian attempts to spread the revolutionary gospel to the Sunni world, and fundamentalism as the spearhead of the national uprising in the Gaza. The introduction outlines what the extremist movements in both religions have in common, where they diverge, and how they are shaping the future of the Middle East.
Emmanuel Sivan is a Professor in the Department of History at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Menachem Friedman is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan.
"Both Islamic and Jewish radicalism are phenomena of great contemporary importance. This book helps to define the possible parameters of future developments in both the Muslim world and in Israel."—James Jankowski, University of Colorado
"I find the comparative approach and the parallel treatment of these movements and trends, in relation, respectively, to the Islamic and the Judaic traditions refreshing and fruitful."— Said Amir Arjomand, State University of New York at Stony Brook