Destiny Disrupted

Destiny Disrupted

A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes

eBook - 2009
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"In Destiny Disrupted, Ansary tells the rich story of world history as it looks from that other perspective. With the evolution of the Muslim community at the center, his story moves from the lifetime of Mohammed through a succession of far-flung empires, to the struggles and ideological movements that have wracked the Muslim world in recent centuries, to the tangle of modern conflicts that culminated in the events of 9/11. He introduces the key people, events, ideas, legends, religious disputes, and turning points of world history from that other perspective, recounting not only what happened but how those events were interpreted and understood in that framework. He clarifies why these two great civilizations grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe - a place it long perceived as primitive - had somehow hijacked destiny."--Jacket.
"We in the West share a common narrative of world history: It runs from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, through Greece and Rome, through the rise of Christianity and the Dark Ages, through the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, to industrialism, the secular state, and the triumph of democracy. As a young history buff growing up in Muslim Afghanistan, Tamim Ansary absorbed this narrative but also knew that it sidelined an entire civilization, one that had seen itself at the center of the global narrative for over a thousand years."
Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780786741502
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xxii, 390 p.) : maps.


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Jun 04, 2016

More of an apologia rather than history of islam. The fantasy history islam that ansary presents is blatantly biased not just in it's omission but it rose colored view of every era in the islamic era.

Aug 03, 2015

This book needs to be required reading for anyone in our western society who wishes to gain some understanding of the Islamic world, our relationship with it and above all how it got to be this way. The insights the book provides are numerous and in some cases surprising. He does not make excuses or assess blame for how badly things have gone wrong. We may draw those conclusions for ourselves. Clearly, terrible mistakes have been made all around and continue being made.
For example, in Chapter 12 he explains the insidious process whereby, with the full cooperation of Islamic rulers, Europeans quietly seeped into the Muslim world as traders, consultants and "helpers", eventually morphing into overlords and owners of key resources. We learn how the industrial revolution "worked" for Europeans because their social structures and mores made it easier for them to adapt to the enormous social side effects and economic disruption of their former ways of life. Unlike Muslims, Europeans were not hampered by a deep-set, complex, clan based social and economic arrangement. In the Islamic world, industrialization exacerbated the schism between the ruling class and the common people who were left behind to be easily radicalized by religious extremists and jihadists.
Early chapters provide a helpful backdrop for how we got to the present state of the Islamic world, the origins of the various Islamic movements and sects. In so doing, Ansary succeeds in making a case for the story of Islam, its importance and its relevance to all of us being much greater than is generally taught in the west. It's helpful to understand fundamental facts; such as the high ideals with which the Islamic project was begun; the fact that there was originally no division between the secular and the religious because the secular simply didn't exist either in the social structures or in the minds of men at the time; the fact that the conflicts we see today have more to do with antagonism between traditional religious beliefs and the secular, nationalistic leaders who have taken power within the Islamic world than with Islam's objections (if any) to western ideas of freedom.
Ansary is at his best in exploring the troublesome misalignment between the historic, ethnic and cultural connections among peoples of the "Middle World" versus the arbitrarily created nation-state boundaries imposed by European powers. Above all, he presents the east-west conflict not as a "clash of civilizations" but rather a series of collisions between two very different historical cycles and two worlds that have so often lacked any meaningful way of talking to each other.

Aug 13, 2014

This is a very 'readable' outline history that introduces us to the essential background on what, who, why and how of key aspects of the modern muslim world. For example, it explains the origin of Caliphates, which hints at the scope of one publicized objective of the ISIS in the current (August 2014) warfare in the Middle East.

Feb 03, 2011

Ansary delivers an excellent shotgun history of what he calls the Middle World, beginning with Mohammad and the Hijra and moving into the present day. Not meant to be overly cited and scholarly, "Destiny Disrupted" is more like the narrative of history as understood by the Islamic world. An engaging and worthwhile book.

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