Middle East Studies
English edition  
January  2012
152 pp.
1 map, 8 graphs, 10 tables 
15X23 cm
ISBN 9789774165184
For sale only in the Middle East


A Convergence of Civilizations

The Transformation of Muslim Societies around the World Yousef Courbage
Emmanuel Todd

The ‘Clash of Civilizations’ refuted

Leaving aside the media’s sound and fury on the conflict between the west and the Islamic world, measured analysis shows another reality taking shape: rapprochement between these two civilizations, benefiting from a universal movement with roots in the Enlightenment. The historical and geographical sweep of this book discredits the notion of a specific Islamic demography. The range of fertility among Muslim women, for example, is as varied as religious behavior among Muslims in general. Whether agnostics, fundamentalist Salafis, or al-Qaeda activists, Muslims are a diverse group that prove the variety and individuality of Islam. Youssef Courbage and Emmanuel Todd consider different degrees of literacy, patriarchy, and defensive reactions among minority Muslim populations, underscoring the spread of massive secularization throughout the Arab and Muslim world. Sensitive to demographic variables and their reflection of personal and social truths, Courbage and Todd upend a dangerous meme: that we live in a fractured world close to crisis, struggling with an epidemic of closed cultures and minds made different by religion.
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Youssef Courbage is research director at the French National Institute for Demographic Studies. Emmanuel Todd is a researcher at the French National Institute for Demographic Studies.

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"Youssef Courbage and Emmanuel Todd totally recast the current debate about Islam and the West by focusing attention on some societal fundamentals and by debunking—once and for all—a number of myths."—Nicolas Guilhot, editor of The Invention of International Relations Theory

"This articulate and elegant demographic study convincingly documents a general trend toward modernity in the Muslim world, from Morocco to Indonesia. It successfully refutes many western prejudices about Islam, especially those based on misconceptions about its religion. It should be required reading for Western policy makers as well as for the general public."—Léon-François Hoffman, Princeton University

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