In This Review

The Muslim Revolt: A Journey Through Political Islam (Columbia/Hurst)
The Muslim Revolt: A Journey Through Political Islam (Columbia/Hurst)
By Roger Hardy
Columbia University Press, 2010, 208 pp

A journey needs a vade mecum, and this little book fits the bill in size and substance for a journey through political Islam. It contains not maps, illustrations, and statistics but interpretations of the many visits and interviews across the Muslim world that Hardy clocked as a journalist over the past three decades. To these he adds summary histories of political Islam in many diverse countries. The Muslim Revolt is not confined to the Middle East. It covers Sudan, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia, which, it should be remembered, contains the world's largest Muslim country -- Indonesia. Hardy even treats the Muslim minority in Thailand and makes a passing reference to the Philippines. Especially compelling is his separate chapter on Muslims in Europe. Succinct and readable, this account demonstrates the regional and ideological diversity of political Islam even while explaining Muslims' malaise vis-à-vis the West.