"Allah O Akbar" begins the call to prayer that resonates from minarets in towns and villages from Sinkiang to Morocco, from Paris to Timbuktu. No matter where in the world you are, the message is the same: "God is great". It is also the war cry of Islamic militants throughout the lands of the faithful.
Abbas has traveled throughout the Islamic world for seven years to take the photographs for this book. Driven by a desire to understand and expose the internal tensions within Muslim societies, he highlights the conflict between a rising political movement looking for inspiration in a mythical past and a desire for modernization. The quality of immediacy in the work and the subtly of its composition provide a constant visual stimulus; the sequence of dramatic and often disturbing images confirm Abbas's reputation as one of the few photographers who can raise photojournalism to an art form.
The political influence Islam exerts on the world makes this book a work of enormous importance. Many Islamic societies seem shrouded in religious and cultural mystery, but through his words and images, Abbas provides a penetrating insight into the specters of these communities and their world. Photographed and written as a personal account, the book speaks with all the urgency of a diary.
After years of dedicated work, in twenty-nine countries spanning four continents, Abbas has drawn a telling portrait, colored by the turmoil and the tradition, the militancy and the moderation to be found in modern Islam.
Size: 11 3/8 x 9 7/8"
Publishers: Phaidon Press Limited (London, 1994), "Allah O Akbar - Voyages dans l'Islam militant", Phaidon (Paris, 1994), "Allah O Akbar - Viaggio negli islam del mondo", Contrasto (Roma, 2002)