Western Dominance and Political Islam

Challenge and Response

By Khalid Bin Sayeed

Subjects: Middle East Studies
Paperback : 9780791422663, 208 pages, November 1994
Hardcover : 9780791422656, 208 pages, December 1994

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Table of contents



1. Islamic Resistance to Western Hegemony in the Middle East

2. The Intellectual Challenge of the West and the Faltering Islamic and Arab Response

3. American Dominance and Islamic Defiance in Iran

4. Pragmatic versus Militant Strategies in Post-Khomeini Iran

5. Islamic Opposition and the Stability of the Saudi State

6. The Islamic State of Pakistan: Internal Conflicts and External Pressures

7. Islamic Political Theory and Human Development

8. Epilogue


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Sayeed explores the kinds of resistance Western hegemony has provoked in the Middle East and shows that, although Islamic fundamentalism cannot provide a viable alternative to Western political, cultural, and economic systems, some of the major Islamic ideas can do so.


This book challenges prevalent Western media and popular interpretations of Islam. Through a political and historical analysis of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan—countries that represent the religious, ethnic, and ideological spectrum of the Muslim world—it explores whether or not Islam as a political religion and civilization can provide a preferable alternative to Western capitalist democracy. Sayeed argues that although Islamic fundamentalism, particularly in its militant and violent form, lacks the potential to become such a system, some of the major Islamic ideas, if reinterpreted and reformulated, can provide a viable alternative to Western political and economic dominance, especially in the Middle and Near East.

Khalid Bin Sayeed is Professor Emeritus of Political Studies and Adjunct Professor of History at Queen's University. Among his other books are The Political System of Pakistan, Pakistan: The Formative Phase, and Politics in Pakistan: The Nature and Direction of Change.


"The book is a tour de force of reasoned as well as passionate arguments, with keen substantive insights and flashes of brilliance. It is an intellectually provocative challenge to the prevalent interpretations of the contemporary revival of Islamic fundamentalism." — Mumtaz Ahmad, Hampton University

"The author provides an enlightened Islamic perspective on what Muslims should do to rebuild their societies. The book makes a strong statement against the pervasive political and cultural influence of the West in the Islamic world and in favor of Islamic modernization for the rebuilding of social and political systems in Muslim countries." — R. Hrair Dekmejian, University of Southern California