Acclaimed author Reza Aslan dissects two of the most devastating ideologies of our times - Jihadism and the 'War on Terror'.
Why do they hate us?
An entire cottage industry has arisen to answer this question. But what no one has really figured out is, who exactly are they? Is it al-qa'ida? Islamic nationalists? The whole Muslim world?
How to Win A Cosmic War lays out, for the first time, a comprehensive definition of the movement behind and surrounding al-qa'ida and the like, a global ideology properly termed Jihadism.
Contrasting twenty-first-century religious extremism across Christianity, Judaism and Islam with its historical antecedents, Aslan demonstrates that while modern Jihadis may have legitimate social grievances – the suffering of the Palestinians, American support for Arab dictators, the presence of foreign troops in Muslim lands, to name a few – they have no real goals or actual agenda.
So, what do the Jihadists want? Aslan's answer is: Nothing. The Jihadists have no earthly agenda; they are fighting a metaphysical conflict, a theological war. And ever since 9/11, we have unfortunately been fighting the same cosmic war, the war they want: the so-called 'War on Terror'.
How do we win a Cosmic War? By refusing to fight in one. And in this stunning new work, Aslan reveals surprising conclusions about how we can deal with this predicament.
About the Author
REZA ASLAN is a comparative religions scholar from Harvard, who is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. At Harvard, he was elected president of Harvard's chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, a UN organisation committed to global understanding.
Compelling, penetrative and timely. If more of us in the West grasp Aslan's arguments, we will begin to win the war of ideas against Jihadists and extremists. Ed Husain, author of The Islamist