America and Political Islam: Clash of Cultures or Clash of Interests? by Fawaz A. Gerges
This book chronicles the policy debates on Islamism in the United States over the course of time, providing a comprehensive account of the origins of policy, followed by a balanced critique and recommendations for change. It delves deeply into the U.S. political scene to analyze the historical, political, cultural, and security issues that might help explain America's preoccupation with Islam and Muslims. Furthermore, the author sheds much light on the multiplicity of regional and international factors, such as the political decay of Middle Eastern regimes and the end of the Cold War, that shape the thinking of U.S. officials about the contemporary Islamist phenomenon. In addition to examining the domestic, regional, and international context of U.S. Islam policy, the book applies and tests the pronouncements of U.S. officials in four representative case studies - Iran, Algeria, Egypt, and Turkey - allowing decision makers and the shapers of foreign-policy opinion to speak with their own words. Finally, the author addresses the clash-of-civilizations debate and assesses the relative weight that culture and values have on the words and deeds of U.S. officials concerning political Islam.