This work is a logical continuation of Postmodern Imperialism, looking more closely at the Islamic project since the founding
of Islam in the seventh century. It looks at the parallels with past crises in Islamic civilization, which gave impetus to reforms
and renewal from within, relying on the Quran and hadiths,1 and interprets recent history from the viewpoint of the Muslim
world, how it sees the imposition on it of western systems and beliefs, and how it views the new shift in forces that the Iranian
revolution and Arab Spring portend.
The current Great Game being played in the world by the powers-that-be will come to an end, bang- or whimper-style. The
gathering banking crisis could lead to collapse of the subjective acceptance of capitalist hierarchy. Picking up the pieces will
require an appreciation of Islam as a viable system with robust moral/ ethical limits, grounded in community and nature, not
money and commoditization. Islam, like communism—and unlike capitalism—is not a conspiracy. It openly proclaims itself
as an alternative socio-economic system which strives to eliminate exploitation. Capitalism, on the contrary, hides the
surplus produced by society in order that it can be expropriated without causing protest by those who do the producing.
Understanding Islam as a basis of social organization requires considering first methodology (how we see the world) and
epistemology (the nature of knowledge and its limits). First, methodology: the most developed critical analysis of capitalism,
Marx’s theory of abstract capitalism, based on Hegel’s Logic, shows a perfect correspondence of the logic-of-the-
phenomenon with the phenomenon itself (capitalism), allowing the subject (us) to see the truth of the object, to ‘know’ it,
though capitalism in history is imperfect (as is Hegel’s Logic in its unfolding in Nature). Marx’s materialism inverted the overly
idealistic Hegelian theory, focusing on political economy, based on his famous equation “forces of production determine
relations of production”, positing a revolutionary future where the contradictions of the real world are resolved, based on
reason. Hegel-Marx stand in sharp contrast to the positivist methodology which has became dominant in the West, putting
quantitative science above art and morals,2 reducing ‘truth’ to what can be physically measured, consigning art and morals to
Fourteen centuries ago, Muhammad’s revelations presented a vision much like Hegel’s and Marx’s combined, at the same
time avoiding the degeneration inherent in the modernist project. Like Hegel’s Christian vision, Islam similarly posits an
immanent God,where subject and object are one, and where through devout religious practice, the object (man) can strive to
find spiritual truth, to unite with the subject (God)—by following the path laid out in the Quran. Through revelations from Allah
via the Archangel Gabriel, Muhammad critiqued both past religious practices and past economic and political practices,
positing a way of life where the contradictions of the real world are resolved, through faith and reason. Just as there is no
detailed blueprint for communism, there is no detailed blueprint for the “straight path” of Islam. This is something that
depends on the real world of their time, and how Muslims engage with it.
Epistemology—what we can know and how—hovers in the background throughout this study. ‘How can we find the truth?’ is
the crux of the struggle between western civilization and re-emerging Islamic civilization. Matter, the individual, appearance,
reason confront spirit, society, inner experience, revelation. Those of us educated in the West have a certain mindset which
inevitably colors the lenses through which we see the world, by which we identify ‘truth’. To understand the world from the
viewpoint of re-emerging Islamic civilization requires taking off these glasses and looking at the world through different
lenses, using a different ‘map’. That is the purpose of this book.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fatal weakening of the socialist movement for a better future pushed me to reflect on
what was missing in Marx, and to investigate what I saw as the strongest force resisting imperialism—Islam.
Neither life in the Soviet Union, nor life in Islamic societies was/is particularly attractive to someone brought up in the cradle of
western luxury. But it doesn’t require much investigation to realize that the small proportion of the world’s population who live
lives of luxury today are born lucky, that for vast majority (the so-called 99%) of the world’s population, the security and
communal values of both the failed socialist experiment and the ongoing Islamic one have their pluses. And further
investigation reveals that, regardless of material considerations, there is a spiritual richness in Islam that in many ways is
unrivaled in other social systems. And I mean ‘social systems’ as opposed to just ‘religions’, because Islam strives to be
more than just a religion.
I have been fortunate to live under both these alternative social systems. Both were/are frustrating, defective, messy, far from
fulfilling their promise, full of hierarchy. But they could be worse. The post-collapse Soviet Union is far worse for most of its
inhabitants than the defective Soviet way of life. It is hard to imagine a worse fate than being poor and born into Mubarak’s
My concern in Postmodern Imperialism was to expose the logic of empire and give readers a sense of what the real world
really looks like. My concern here is to give the reader a glimpse of the sweep of Islamic civilization and to see its re-
emergence today as a positive development, possibly the most important one for realigning ourselves with Nature, and
rediscovering humanity’s spiritual evolutionary path.
There have been many societies in the past where life was far ‘superior’ to western civilization today, and there will be in the
future. To appreciate alternatives to western civilization requires an open mind and a fresh look at the past. What Islam adds
to the socialist alternative is a sense of the miracle of life, acknowledgment of our humble part in the universe, without
abandoning the vital role of reason.