The doomsday literature, increasingly popular in the Muslim world, relies heavily on Western apocalyptic prophesies. The very concept of Armageddon, totally absent from Islam, was imported only recently through this fringe literature, while Mahdism is now being highlighted as an imminent threat by the most vocal anti-Muslim spokesmen. Messianic intolerance is being fuelled by its very nemesis on both sides. Since 1979, the rise of contemporary millenarian speculation and subsequent events in the Middle East has been incorporated into the intellectual universe of apocalyptic propagandists.
Jean-Pierre Filiu has been Associate Professor, Middle East / Mediterranean chair, at Sciences Po since 2006, where he teaches in French, English and Arabic. A Sciences Po summa cum laude graduate (1981), he holds a dual degree in Chinese (1983) and Arabic (1985) from the Institut national de langues et civilisations orientales, and a PhD in History of the 20th century (Sciences Po, 1985). He was visiting professor at Georgetown University and is a member of the scientific board of the Maison méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’homme and of the Steering Committee of the Centre régional de la Méditerranée.
His book, Apocalypse in Islam, explores the fast-growing phenomenon in Muslim countries that the end of the world is at hand prophesied by both Sunni and Shi`i tradition. Filiu uncovers the role of apocalypse in Islam over the centuries and highlights its extraordinary resurgence in recent decades.