“Patani: Behind The Accidental Border” by Kijang Mas Perkasa

This book presents a comprehensive and definitive analysis of the ongoing socio-political conflict in Patani, a Malay nation that has been under direct Thai rule since her momentous annexation by Siam in 1902. The historical context and socio-political evolution of the Patani struggle for liberation are explored in dramatic detail, with facts derived from contextual analysis of previously un-deciphered archival materials and accounts of the conflict’s key players. A comprehensive framework of a sustainable political solution to the “Pattani Issue” is also synthesized with unprecedented granularity.

This must-read book expounds the political intrigue and complexities of Siamese Shadow Play politics that have kept the Malay nation of Patani Darussalam under the Thai yoke for the past century. Since its launch in mid-2008, this book has become the definitive resource and intellectual authority on the Patani Conflict.

“Islam and the Problem of Israel” by Isma’il R. al-Faruqi

This new edition of Islam and the Problem of Israel is a succinct and thoughtfully organised to the reader. The author, though Palestinian himself, offers a reasonably fair appraisal of the issue at hand from a Muslim’s perspective. Some readers might find the strong vocabulary makes the read challenging, and this may sometimes be burdensome. The problem of Israel confronting the Muslim world today has neither precedent nor parallel in Islamic history. The Muslim world has tended to regard it as another instance of modern colonialism, or at best, a repetition of the Crusades. The author shows how Israel is neither one of these — but that it is both and much more.

The book goes into the nature of Zionism, its history, what has kept it alive for the past 60 years and Islam’s verdict concerning Israel today. Dr. Faruqi also answers the question on whether a secular Palestinian state is an answer to the problem of Israel as well as touches on many other related topics which should be of interested to the reader. Although it is true to say that parts of this work shows its age, as the idealistic political proposals Faruqi puts forward have been totally overtaken by events in Palestine since it was written in the early 1980s, Islam and the Problem of Israel has nonetheless remain as a major and important work on the subject which has been sorely lacking in current times.

May 2009
POSTED IN Non-Fiction Reviews