iUniverse author Ismail Rifaat has just won an IPPY award for his book, The Crisis of Islamism. Below, Ismail discusses his book, influences, and publishing experience.
My book, The Crisis of Islamism, addresses the most topical issue that has preoccupied the international community for several years now, namely, the emergence of ISIS and religious fanaticism, and how to cope with this gloomy phenomenon. Sadly, in spite of some modest gains, the problems associated with Islamist fanaticism are likely to subsist for years to come, and thus, we need to continue to consider ways to deal with them.
The book probes the roots of problems in an effort to face the current crisis. I rely on my first-hand personal experience and intimate knowledge of the evolution of religious radicalism in the Middle East, and site the contributions of Western powers, Israel’s foreign policy, as well as many local Arab and Moslem leaders in the creation of the present ominous conditions. I present proposals to remedy each aspect of the causes of the crisis. I criticize the involvement of religion in the affairs of state, and argue for the separation of state and religion.
I am an architect/planner by profession. I drifted into the realm of writing books -only- about 15 years ago. How this happened is a long story; please visit my website www.tychiformation.net where I describe how this transpired.
In short, my journey started when I worked on a doctoral thesis in the early 1960s, as I read a good deal of philosophical works on aesthetics and relativism. My subsequent professional experience in city planning helped me in gaining skills in problem solving. A synthesis of these two facets of my experience led me to conceive and coin the word “tychiforation” from the Greek “tychi” meaning future, and “forma” meaning shape to signify shaping the future in a rational and purposeful way, as opposed to drifting aimlessly towards an unknown future.
I wrote my first book Tychiformation which I did not publish; philosophical heavy reading! My first published book is Planning for Survival which applies a planning methodology to global affairs with the goal of preserving life; i.e. survival. The second published book is titled For the People by the People. It addresses the woes of the American political system; such as those that Senator Bernie Sanders is highlighting today. The third book is The Crisis of Islamism described above.
Generally, my books present a consistent body of work reflecting what is now dubbed ‘progressive thought’. Am I contemplating a new project!? Perhaps: one volume that summarizes the essence of the four books that I wrote, and updates developments regarding the issues addressed in them; let alone correcting typos and misspelling which I missed in my rush to publish my earlier books!!
I must confess that getting recognition of my work has not been easy; being the sort of ‘upstart author’ that I happen to be! However, I recently submitted The Crisis of Islamism for consideration in the 2016 IPPY book contest. Lo and behold, I was awarded the bronze medal in the category of “Current Events I, Political/Economic/Foreign Affairs”. Also, other renowned international entities recently promised to review the book, and my publisher iUniverse will help in conceiving additional promotional material as well.
The moral to other authors: If you believe in the merits of your work, do not give up, be patient, and persist in writing and promoting your work. If you do, there is a good chance that your books would eventually gain traction!
I appreciate iUniverse’s help in publishing The Crisis of Islamism; in particular, their designers conceived a most interesting and telling front cover.
Congratulations to Ismail, and we look forward to hearing more about his book!