Sardar, Ziauddin 1951–

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Sardar, Ziauddin 1951–


Born October 31, 1951, in Dipalpur, Northern Pakistan; married; children: three. Education: Attended City University of London.


Home—London, England.


Freelance writer, journalist, and programmer, 1985—; Futures, London, England, editor, 1999—; Third Text, London, coeditor; New Statesman, London, columnist; City University, London, School of the Arts, visiting professor; previously worked at Hajj Research Centre of King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as an information scientist; advisor to former Deputy Prime Minister, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Inquiry, editor; set up the Centre for Future Studies, East-West University, Chicago, IL; Middlesex University, Middlesex, England, visiting professor of science and technology, 1994-98.


(With Dawud G. Rosser-Owen) Social Change in Islam: The Progressive Dimension, Open Press (Slough, England), 1976.

Science, Technology, and Development in the Muslim World, Humanities Press (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), 1977.

(Editor, with M.A. Zaki Badawi) Hajj Studies, Croom Helm/Hajj Research Centre (London, England), 1978.

(With Dawud G. Rosser-Owen) Science Policy and Developing Countries, Royal Book (Karachi, Pakistan), 1978.

Islam: Outline of a Classification Scheme, C. Bingley (London, England), 1979.

The Future of Muslim Civilisation, Croom Helm (London, England), 1979, 2nd edition, published as The Future of Muslim Civilization, Mansell (New York, NY), 1987.

Science and Technology in the Middle East: A Guide to Issues, Organizations, and Institutions, Longman (New York, NY), 1982.

(Editor) The Touch of Midas: Science, Values, and Environment in Islam and the West, Manchester University Press (Dover, NH), 1984.

Islamic Futures: The Shape of Ideas to Come, Mansell (New York, NY), 1985.

(Editor) Building Information Systems in the Islamic World, Mansell (New York, NY), 1988.

Information and the Muslim World: A Strategy for the Twenty-first Century, Mansell (New York, NY), 1988.

(Editor) The Revenge of Athena: Science, Exploitation, and the Third World, Mansell (New York, NY), 1988.

(Editor) An Early Crescent: The Future of Knowledge and the Environment in Islam, Mansell (New York, NY), 1989.

Explorations in Islamic Science, Mansell (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor, with Merryl Wyn Davies) Faces of Islam: Conversations on Contemporary Issues, Berita Publishing (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), 1989.

(With Merryl Wyn Davies) Distorted Imagination: Lessons from the Rushdie Affair, Grey Seal (London, England), 1990.

(With Merryl Wyn Davies and Ashis Nandy) Barbaric Others: A Manifesto on Western Racism, Pluto Press (Boulder, CO), 1993.

(With Zafar Abbas Malik) Introducing Muhammad, Totem Books (New York, NY), 1994.

(With others) Introducing Postmodernism, Totem Books (New York, NY), 1995.

(Editor, with Syed Z. Abedin) Muslim Minorities in the West, Grey Seal (London, England), 1995.

(Editor, with Jerome R. Ravetz) Cyberfutures: Culture and Politics on the Information Superhighway, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Postmodernism and the Other: The New Imperialism of Western Culture, Pluto Press (Sterling, VA), 1998.

(With Borin Van Loon) Introducing Cultural Studies, Totem Books (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Jerry Ravetz and Borin Van Loon) Introducing Mathematics, Icon Books (Cambridge, England), 1999.

(With Iwona Abrams) Introducing Chaos, Icon Books (Cambridge, England), 1999.

(Editor) Rescuing All Our Futures: The Future of Futures Studies, Praeger (Westport, CT), 1999.

Orientalism, Open University Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1999.

(With Sean Cubitt) Aliens R Us: The Other in Science Fiction Cinema, Pluto Press (Sterling, VA), 2002.

(Editor, with Rasheed Araeen and Sean Cubitt) The Third Text Reader: On Art, Culture, and Theory, Continuum (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Merryl Wyn Davies) Why Do People Hate America?, Disinformation (New York, NY), 2002.

Islam, Postmodernism, and Other Futures: A Ziauddin Sardar Reader, edited by Sohail Inayatullah and Gail Boxwell, Pluto Press (Sterling, VA), 2003.

Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim, Granta Books (London, England), 2004.

(With Merryl Wyn Davies) American Terminator: Myths, Movies and Global Power, Disinformation (New York, NY), 2004.

Islam tanpa syariat: menggali universalitas tradisi, Kerjasama Penerbit Grafindo Khazanah Ilmu (Jakarta, Indonesia), 2005.

How Do You Know? Reading Ziauddin Sardar on Islam, Science and Cultural Relations, Pluto Press (Ann Arbor, MI), 2006.

What Do Muslims Believe? The Roots and Realities of Modern Islam, Walker (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to Nature and NewScientist.


Ziauddin Sardar was born October 31, 1951, in Dipalpur, Northern Pakistan. When he was still a boy, he immigrated to Great Britain with his father, where he attended school and eventually studied physics and information science at the City University in London. After graduating, he spent some time at the Hajj Research Centre of King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he was an information scientist, before returning once again to England. He spent his time writing books and working as a freelance writer for a number of periodicals, including Nature and NewScientist. He also worked as a television news reporter, and eventually became an editor for Inquiry, a Muslim magazine. Sardar then moved on to Chicago for a time, where he assisted in the establishment of the Centre for Future Studies at the East-West University. He also served on the faculty of Middlesex University in England, where he was a visiting professor from 1994 to 1998. Then in 1999, he became the editor of Futures. Since 1985, however, Sardar has considered himself primarily a freelance writer and programmer, publishing numerous books, essays, reviews, and articles.

Why Do People Hate America?, which Sardar wrote with Merryl Wyn Davies, addresses the growing gap between the political and social interests of the United States and those of Europe. Since World War Two, most European countries, at least those on the western side of the continent, have been in a firm and seemingly unshakable association with the United States, with both regions of the world agreeing on most major global public policy and strategy, and working together toward the betterment of the world. However, since the events of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent war waged by the United States on Iraqi soil, it has become apparent that European interests and American interests have begun to shift apart. While much of Europe sympathized with the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and even supported the supposed search for weapons of mass destruction behind Iraq's borders, it soon became clear that not all of the United States' suppositions were correct, and that the U.S. government was unwilling to back off in order to rectify the situation. Individuals in Europe who had initially turned against the United States due to the situation with Israel, but had given them another chance following the 9/11 attacks, began to once again disengage, and now even those individuals who had supported the U.S. through much of their war, felt the time had come to distance themselves. Sardar and Wyn Davies look at America's position in the global arena, not just from a political point of view, however, but from a social, cultural, and economic standpoint as well. The United States dominates in so many areas, that that in and of itself is sufficient to cause concerns regarding their continued position on the world stage. Richard Gott, writing for the New Statesman, concluded that "Sardar and Wyn Davies have made a good attempt at demystifying popular global hatred of the Americans. Now they should go on to examine why western elites are so in thrall to American power. Why Does the British Government So Love America? Should perhaps be the title of their next book."

In Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim, Sardar relates his own personal point of view as he attempts to understand the role of his own Muslim heritage in his life, and just what he believes as a Pakistani man raised primarily in England. His early readings led him to an interest in physics and popular science, and eventually to a group known as the Federation of Students Islamic Society, or FOSIS, which was against the beliefs held by the Muslim Brotherhood, a more right-wing organization. His own intellectual endeavors caused him to question how any true Muslim can function in modern society while still holding on to the tenets of their faith, and he investigates this question through his work as a journalist, traveling through the Muslim world and attempting to understand the juxtaposition of faith and technology and modernity. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted of Sardar that "despite what sometimes seems a dismaying array of evidence otherwise, he never loses hope for the future of Muslim civilization." Spectator contributor Said K. Aburish commented that "any reader who wants to understand the mess in the Middle East or learn about the historical Muslim-West confrontation had better seek elsewhere." That said, however, he found Sardar's effort to be an engaging, interesting read, concluding that "there is much to learn about why Islam is out of step with the world from Sardar's accounts."

What Do Muslims Believe? The Roots and Realities of Modern Islam serves as a primer to the Islamic religion, giving readers a solid general overview of Islam and the tenets of the faith. Sardar includes the story of Muhammad and the origins of the religion, as well as explaining the belief system overall. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that "with its manageable length and optimistic outlook, this introduction to Islam is a cut above the rest."

In addition to writing his own books, Sardar has served as an editor on several volumes, including Cyberfutures: Culture and Politics on the Information Superhighway, which he edited with Jerome R. Ravetz. The book addresses the double-edged sword that is the convenience of computer technology, looking at the vulnerability of information to talented hackers and the sheer impossibility of truly deleting information from a hard drive in order to make it no longer accessible to someone with a little bit of technical know-how. Various essays included in the volume look at the potential uses for computer technology by other countries intent on spying, political uses for the Internet, and how activists and special interest groups can bend the technology to their purposes. Likewise, the book looks at various concerns regarding personal, individualized information, such as social security numbers and banking information, and how accessible they are online. Steffen W. Schmidt, writing for the Policy Studies Journal, concluded that "the book is of interest to people in fields such as cultural studies, anthropology, policy, and the mass media."



Booklist, August, 2007, Ray Olson, review of What Do Muslims Believe? The Roots and Realities of Modern Islam, p. 13.

Contemporary Sociology, January, 2000, Philip McMichael, review of Rescuing All Our Futures: The Future of Futures Studies, p. 267.

Economist, September 7, 2002, review of Why Do People Hate America?, p. 74.

Inroads: A Journal of Opinion, winter-spring, 2004, Donald Cuccioletta, "Why Do They Hate US? Unilateralism and the Rise of Anti-Americanism," p. 130.

Isis, September, 1991, Trevor Pinch, review of Explorations in Islamic Science, p. 558.

Library Journal, September 15, 1994, James F. DeRoche, review of Introducing Muhammad, p. 74.

Media International Australia, February, 1998, review of Cyberfutures: Culture and Politics on the Information Superhighway, p. 178.

Middle East, June, 2003, Fred Rhodes, "Islam, Postmodernism, and Other Futures," p. 65.

New Scientist, March 24, 1990, Roderick Grierson, review of Explorations in Islamic Science, p. 56.

New Statesman, July 22, 2002, Richard Gott, "The First Cause," p. 49.

New York Review of Books, May 1, 2003, review of Why Do People Hate America?, p. 24.

Policy Studies Journal, summer, 1998, Steffen W. Schmidt, review of Cyberfutures, p. 341.

Publishers Weekly, September 26, 2005, review of Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim, p. 72; June 25, 2007, review of What Do Muslims Believe?, p. 51.

Science Books & Films, May, 1986, review of The Touch of Midas: Science, Values, and Environment in Islam and the West, p. 299.

Spectator, July 17, 2004, Said K. Aburish, "Having Your Baklava and Eating It," p. 32.

Times Higher Education Supplement, July 12, 2002, Rudi Bogni, "The Stars and Gripes," p. 24.

Times Literary Supplement, July 4, 1997, Marek Kohn, review of Cyberfutures, p. 5.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), March 23, 2003, review of Why Do People Hate America?, p. 6.


Open Democracy Web site, (May 15, 2008), "Ziauddin Sardar: Paradise Lost, a Future Found."

Rise of the West Web site, (May 15, 2008), author profile.

Times Higher Education Online, (December 1, 2006), Mandy Garner, author interview.

Ziauddin Sardar Home Page, (May 15, 2008).