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Description de l’éditeur
Why do Muslim-majority countries exhibit high levels of authoritarianism and low levels of socioeconomic development in comparison to world averages? Ahmet T. Kuru criticizes explanations that point to Islam as the cause of this disparity, because Muslims were philosophically and socioeconomically more developed than Western Europeans between the 9th and 12th centuries. Nor was Western colonialism the cause: Muslims had already suffered political and socioeconomic problems when colonization began.
Kuru argues that Muslims had influential thinkers and merchants in their early history, when religious orthodoxy and military rule were prevalent in Europe. However, in the 11th century, an alliance between orthodox Islamic scholars (the ulema) and military states began to emerge. This alliance gradually hindered intellectual and economic creativity by marginalizing intellectual and bourgeois classes in the Muslim world. This important study links its historical explanation to contemporary politics by showing that, to this day, the ulema-state alliance still prevents creativity and competition in Muslim countries.