Written by Egyptian philosopher and leading Arab intellectual, Fouad Zakariyya, and now available for the first time in English, this thoughtful book has no rival as a critical introduction to the nature of contemporary Islamism.The book was written in the aftermath of the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, and at the height of global debates about the relevance of Islamism in contemporary Muslim societies – especially in the light of Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979. Zakariyya offers an important analysis of the multiple voices of current Islamism. He explores various recent attempts to construct an Islamic social and political order, presenting a sustained critique of modern ideological currents and theological worldviews. He delves into the sensitive question of Shari’ah, civil society and democracy in the Arab world. Ultimately, Zakariyya argues for a secular and democratic civil society that is unconstrained by past interpretations of the Shari’ah.