Book Review


American Raj: Liberation or Domination? – Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. 2008
By Mohammad Yunus*
Author: Eric S. Margolis.
432pp. Key Porter Books. $22.95 CDN

In his1993 provocative essay “The Clash of Civilization,” Samuel P. Huntington argued the democratic and secular West and the fundamentalist Islamic world are destined to clash. A clash of two ways of life rooted in diametrically opposing ideologies. Mr. Huntington’s blunt and controversial analyses of tension and hostility between the Western and Muslim worlds generated extremely passionate and contentious discussions. Eric Margolis thought otherwise.
Eric Margolis, an award-winning and internationally syndicated columnist, boldly and candidly explored the roots of hostility between the Western and the Muslim worlds. More importantly, he takes the reader behind traditional thinking and catchphrases and digs deeper to critically analyze various interactive, elusive, and complex geopolitical, religious, and ideological factors (i.e., why there is so much hatred in the Muslim world for the West; why Islamic radicals are popular; how oil dominates and shapes Western policy in the Middle East). The author not only identifies the critical problem areas between the Western and the Muslim worlds, he also offers a practical and comprehensive approach for an enduring peace and reconciliation between the two worlds. Margolis thought the conflict between Israel, and Palestinian was the primal cause célèbre of Muslim anger and resentment toward the West. To avoid a fate similar to that of the British, the author suggested a course of action based on the model of British Raj in India as a viable course of action for U.S. policy makers.
Margolis is a prolific author who writes extensively for the International Herald Tribune, Times of London, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times, and he has appeared on all major television networks discussing the issues plaguing the region. He has covered 14 wars and has written comprehensively on military matters, South Asia, and fundamentalism in Islam. His first book titled War at The Top of The World, gave an interesting and gripping account of the struggles of the people of Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Tibet.
In American Raj, Margolis pulled no punches when he discussed the key issues dividing the West and the Muslim world. His perspective is fresh and thoughtful, and his interpretation is well researched and supported. He writes with confidence and authority because of his in-depth and personal knowledge of the people, events, ideas, and places that have shaped the course of events in the region over the last century. The author writes in a clear, persuasive, and dynamic style and has a knack for making a 50-year-old event as lively and vivid as the evening news. For people interested in understanding the political, religious, and historical factors that promoted and fostered hostility in the Muslim world toward the West and finding the road leading to lasting harmony and peaceful coexistence with the Muslim world, American Raj absolutely should be required reading.

*The author is currently teaching at the John Sperling School of Business, University of Phoenix. Previously, he was the CEO and Hospital Administrator at the State Psychiatric Hospital in Illinois. He served on many national committees and task forces, including the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Universities and Colleges, US Department of Health and Human Services, and the White House Office of National Drug Policy.

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