Review of Eric Walberg, From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization, Clarity Press, 2013
Most western Middle East experts see Islam as a problem for the West -- a source of terrorism, religious fanaticism, unwanted immigrants -- and they see their job as helping to change the Middle East so it's no longer a problem for us. Eric Walberg, however, recognizes that this is another instance of the Big Lie.
The actual problem is the multifaceted aggression the West has been inflicting on the Middle East for decades and is determined to continue, no matter what the cost to them and us will be. His books and articles present the empirical evidence for this with scholarly precision and compassionate concern for the human damage done by our imperialism.
His latest book, From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization, is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand our ongoing war on the Muslim world -- from Libya to the Philippines, from growing beleaguered communities scattered across North America and Europe to South Africa and Australia -- from the perspective of those on the receiving end of America's violence today. It is a compelling representation of both the breathtaking sweep of fourteen centuries of Islamic civilization and the current state of the Muslim world.
In this sequel to his impressive Postmodern Imperialism (2011), Walberg attempts to bridge the East-West gap, "not through a reconciliatory discourse, but through a critical reading of history," according to the Palestinian-American writer Ramzy Baroud. Walberg looks at Islam as both religion and ideology, tracing it both via a methodological and an epistemological critique, and takes it seriously as a civilizational alternative to our present bankrupt secular imperialist order.
Our politicians and media have created an image of fiendish Muslim terrorists who "hate us for our freedom." But they really hate us for subjugating them, for overthrowing their governments, dominating their economies, and undermining their way of life. Since we started the aggression, the attacks won't end until we leave their countries.
Walberg asks the logical question: What can replace the neocolonial order so ruthlessly and cleverly put in place by the imperial powers in the Middle East over the past century? He explores many alternative answers ranging from "more of the same" to radical transformation.
What does Islam have to say about economics, politics, community, relations with Nature? Walberg charts a wealth of experience from the past fourteen centuries. Islam was the first world order to unite people on the basis of genuine equality, in a truly multicultural way. It never created empires like the Romans, the Christian heirs to the Romans, and most recently the British and Americans. Why?