Eric Walberg’s new book From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization provides an overview of imperialism and colonialism in the Muslim world. It elaborates on the third of the Great Games addressed in his earlier work, Postmodern Imperialism, which traced the movement of history from the colonialism of the British and other empires, through the neocolonialism of the US empire, to the current Great Game marked by the revival of Islam.
Walberg reviews the Islamic reform traditions from the 19th century on (deriving from Al-Afghani, Qutb) incorporating the Islamic critique of the West as well as the Sunni/ Shia, mainstream/ Sufi/ Salafi divisions.
Then he addresses the twentieth century experience of Islamic states (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran), as well as the current dynamics of the Muslim world (Saudi, Iran, Qatar, Turkey, and now Egypt/ Tunisia/ Libya). Key actors and milestones in the struggle to free the Muslim world from the imperial yoke are discussed.
While the Christian/Judaic surrender to capitalism led to Marxist secularism and the communist utopia, Walberg views the Islamic project as containing an alternative socio-economic orientation. This prevented the rise of capitalism/ imperialism in lands populated by Muslims, making them the losers in the technology race of the 19th-20th centuries, but the repository of a corrected vision of the rich lost values of the earlier monotheistic traditions.
Here modernity and postmodernism are critiqued from both left and right, and Islam is discussed as both an alternative worldview and world order. However the contradictions of the Arab Spring may be resolved as the West continues its decline, Walberg projects how the understandings entrenched in Islamic civilization point toward a new-old civilizational alternative, one not derivative from the West, but indigenous to the developing world still under its heel.
DEENA STRYKER, Op Ed News –
“Walberg’s monumental work is required reading for anyone seeking to view current events in their broader dimensions. Beyond the current threat of ISIS lie fundamental questions of civilization, which are coming to the fore in the standoff between the United States and Russia . . . But beyond the political aspect of the standoff lies a cultural chasm, illustrated by Vladimir Putin’s rejection of consumerism and vulgarity, that is shared by the growing anti-globalization movement as well as the Muslim world that comprises a fifth of humanity. … I believe that if Washington’s aggressive policies do not end in a nuclear holocaust, the coming world face-off will be cultural: against US-led globalization as the engine that drives what I call vulgarity and wich Putin and many other leaders call decadence: the endless promotion of ‘stuff’ and ‘fun’ that transforms sentient beings into mindless consumers, indifferent to what their governments are doing both to themselves and other human beings across the world. And although I have been an atheist since the age of then, I believe that Islam will play a major role in that ultimate Great Game.”
DEENA STRYKER, Op Ed News
CHANDRA MUZAFFAR, interview, International Movement for a Just World –
“an extensive exposition on Islamic Civilization itself. It covers the whole spectrum of dynasties, majorepisodes and personalities which is why the book should be an important reference for students of the civilization.”
CHANDRA MUZAFFAR, interview, International Movement for a Just World
JIM MILES, The Palestine Chronicle –
“ FROM POSTMODERNISM TO POSTSECULARISM – Re-Emerging Islamic Civilization presents many thought provoking ideas, and a well-documented historical and philosophical perspective on Islam. It will be a difficult read for westerners with their isolated media view, but at the same time it is an essential perspective to look vis a vis changes that are already underway in the western world.”
JIM MILES, The Palestine Chronicle
WILLIAM T. HATHAWAY, Intrepid Report –
“From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization is a gripping and informative wake-up call to both sides of the anti-imperial equation, pulling together the many threads that can unite us, from Foucault’s “political spirituality,” to the Egyptian revolutionaries’ solidarity with America’s 99%, to the American Muslims’ support for the peace and ecology movements.”
WILLIAM T. HATHAWAY, Intrepid Report
RICHARD WILCOX, Rense –
“Eric Walberg is one of the most well-read, insightful, articulate and educational writers working in the alternative media today…This book is a detailed primer and reference library for understanding Islamic history and is divided into key parts: A history of Islam, Christianity and Judaism from the 7th to 16th centuries; the re-emergence of Islamic civilization as a reaction to the western imperialist system, with its own internal dynamics; a survey of Islam as practiced around the world; an analysis of contemporary issues in Islam; and a consideration of Islamic culture in relation to both secular socialism and globalization.”
RICHARD WILCOX, Rense
DR. ISMAIL SALAMI, Visiting Professor, University of Tehran –
“Eric Walberg sheds a sharply different light on the nature of the imperial world. A convincing argument and a must-read for anyone interested in the anatomy of labyrinthine imperialism.”
DR. ISMAIL SALAMI, Visiting Professor, University of Tehran
DANIELE SCALEA, Director of the Rome Institute of Geopolitics (IsAG) and the Italian journal, Geopolitica –
“Edward Said’s criticism of Orientalism and the postmodernist deconstruction of dominant narratives have challenged the traditional ethno-centricity of western historical studies. Walberg’s analysis incorporates the experiences of the Other in a new dialectical approach to international relations. Brought up in the West, he has lived in the East, and is endowed with a cross-civilizational knowledge of the world. Here he describes globalization and imperialism from the point of view of Islamic civilization, seeing it as inheriting the role which Communism once had as the main opponent of western hegemony, but with important differences that are not a derivation of western civilization itself.”
– DANIELE SCALEA, Director of the Rome Institute of Geopolitics (IsAG) and the Italian journal,
– ZAFAR BANGASH, Director, Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, Toronto –
“Walberg’s contribution is a welcome addition to a debate that needs to return to mutual respect rather than mutual demonization and name-calling. It is a thought-provoking and informative book.
– ZAFAR BANGASH, Director, Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, Toronto
DAVID HEAP, University of Western Ontario –
“Anti-imperialists need this sort of critical analysis in order to understand whether, to what extent and especially how we can work in alliance with different Islamic political movements on common causes.” –
DAVID HEAP, University of Western Ontario
RAMZY BAROUD, Palestinian-American journalist, author, editor-in-chief of Palestine Chronicle –
“From Postmodernism to Postsecularism is a compelling representation of the current state of the Muslim world, positioned within a most illuminating historical exposé. In this sequel to his equally authoritative Postmodern Imperialism, Walberg attempts to bridge the East-West gap, not through a reconciliatory discourse, but through a critical reading of history. He juxtaposes religion and ideology using a methodological and epistemological critique—a style that is both crucial and in some ways, incomparable. This volume should serve as a gateway to understanding Islam, and its location in the emerging new political dynamics, resulting from the bankruptcy of capitalism, and the lack of any other convincing alternatives. Walberg’s book is an essential read—both revealing and very inspiring.”
– RAMZY BAROUD, Palestinian-American journalist, author, editor-in-chief of Palestine Chronicle