Approaching the Other
in Understanding Political Islam
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The history of Algeria provides here a kind of archetype of all that has been encompassed by the relationship between “Islam and the West” in terms of “extremism.” In the Algeria of the 1970s, the author’s political consciousness became shaped relatively late, not in response to the disparity in wealth distribution—but when, within the field of colonial history, he discovered the scale of the distortion between the arguments and tropes of his “inherited culture” and the ones that developed from his own initial scholarly readings in history.


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