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This book explores the nature of the friction between the Muslim world and the West, looking at legitimate perceptions and grievances on both sides. Arguing that "Islam versus the West" does not represent the arena of the next global ideological struggle, the authors examine specific issues — for example, the enlarged role of Islam in internal politics — that require careful handling to prevent the consolidation of states into opposing blocs. They suggest that comprehensive reform to break away from authoritarian order is of paramount importance, that political Islam threatens the established order in Muslim countries far more than it threatens the West, and that violent confrontation can best be circumvented by integrating Islamist forces into the political process.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation commercial book series. Periodically, RAND Corporation researchers publish with commercial presses. These books are not available from RAND but can be requested directly from the publisher, except in cases where the rights have reverted to RAND and we have republished a new edition.

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