This classic book explores the intellectual, political and social foundations of Islamism, and current Islamist groups across the Arab and Muslim worlds. 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. Fouad Zakaria's Reality and Fiction in the Contemporary Islamist Movement offers a sustained critique of the intellectual, political, and social foundations and contemporary manifestations of Islamism in both the Arab and Muslim worlds. Written in the aftermath of the assassination of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and at the height of the global debates about the relevance of Islamism in contemporary Muslim societies, especially after the triumph of the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, this book sheds important light on the multiple voices of current Islamism, their theological worldview, ideological currents, and their attempt to construct an Islamic social and political order in the contemporary period. While academic studies of Islamism abound, none compares to Zakaria's thorough inquiry into the nature of contemporary Islamism, its theological foundations and political practices. A well-known Egyptian philosopher and a leading Arab intellectual, Zakaria is in the perfect position to shoulder this important task of criticism. In addition to treating religion and politics in contemporary Arab societies, Zakaria delves into the sensitive question of Sharl'ah, civil society and democracy in the Arab world. He argues for a secular and democratic civil society without being constricted by the past interpretations of the Sharl'ah.