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Erasure of Arab Political Identity : Colonialism and Violence (Reprint) (Hardcover) (Salam Hawa)
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The book discusses how the present day struggles in many Arab countries to redefine polities and politics is related to the past colonization of Arab lands, before European colonization, by Mamluks and Ottomans. The book argues that, before European control, these earlier Turkic colonizations had already altered the nature of Arab Islamic society, changing the legal and social norms of individual Arabs, and affecting religious practices, notions of individualism and the state, and attitudes towards minorities. The book examines Arab political thinkers such as Al-Farabi, Averroes and Avicenna, applies modern social theories, and contrasts the outlook of the Mamluk and Ottoman Empires with the earlier Omayyad and Abbasid rulers. It contends that factors important for sustaining Mamluk and Ottoman rule, such as the master-slave dialectic, the associated suppression of individual autonomy and self-emancipation, and the importance of war and of religion as a symbol of war, came to overshadow the more enlightened understanding of the Qur’an and how it should be applied to politics and society which had prevailed under the Abbasids and earlier. The book considers how the political consciousness of Arabs which resulted from Mamluk and Ottoman rule continued through the period of European imperialism and continues still, with unfortunate adverse consequences for politics in Arab countries.