An Introduction to Islam in the 21st Century
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More About This Title An Introduction to Islam in the 21st Century


This engaging introduction to Islam examines its lived reality, its worldwide presence, and the variety of beliefs and practices encompassed by the religion. The global perspective uniquely captures the diversity of Islam expressed throughout different countries in the present day.

  • A comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, and global introduction to Islam, covering its history as well as current issues, experiences, and challenges
  • Incorporates key new research on Muslims from a variety of countries across Europe, Latin America, Indonesia, and Malaysia Central Asia
  • Directly addresses controversial issues, including political violence and ‘terrorism’, anti-western sentiments, and Islamophobia
  • Explores different responses from various Islamic communities to globalizing trends
  • Highlights key patterns within Islamic history that shed light upon the origins and evolution of current movements and thought


Aminah Beverly McCloud is Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at DePaul University and the Director of the Islamic World Studies Program.

Scott Hibbard is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at DePaul University. He was previously Program Officer for the Special Initiative on Religion, Ethics and Human Rights at the United States Institute for Peace.

Laith Al-Saud is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at DePaul University, and an expert on Middle East politics.


Notes on Contributors xv

Acknowledgments xviii

Part I Overview: Islam: Image and Reality 1

1 Introduction 3
Aminah Beverly McCloud, Scott W. Hibbard, and Laith Saud

2 The Historical Context 13
Aminah Beverly McCloud, Scott W. Hibbard, and Laith Saud

3 Religious Structures: Tawhid 31
Laith Saud

4 Islamic Beliefs: The Development of Islamic Ideas 51
Laith Saud

5 Islamic Political Theology 81
Laith Saud

Part II Islam and the Modern World 109

6 Islam and the State: Part I 111
Scott W. Hibbard

7 Islam and the State: Part II 135
Scott W. Hibbard

8 Muslims as Minorities in the West 157
Aminah Beverly McCloud

Part III Regional Studies 171

9 Islam in Africa 173
Babacar Mbengue

10 Islam in South Asia 203
Saeed A. Khan

11 Islam in Central Asia 217
Maria Louw

12 Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia 233
Aminah Beverly McCloud

13 Muslim Histories in Latin America and the Caribbean 249
John Tofik Karam

Part IV Islam in a Globalized World 269

14 The Ecology of Teaching about Islam and Muslims in the 21st Century 271
Aminah Beverly McCloud

15 Terrorism, Islamophobia, and the Media 285
Scott W. Hibbard

Conclusion: Image and Reality Reconsidered 309
Aminah Beverly McCloud, Scott W. Hibbard, and Laith Saud

Index 315


“This unique and challenging textbook describes the historical background and present diversity of political and intellectual currents in Islam in its various forms ... This is a compact and sophisticated text, suitable for graduate students seeking to understand the roots and development of modern Islamic movements and contestations.”  (Religious Studies Review, 1 December 2013)