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Unholy War : Terror in the Name of Islam - John L. Esposito

Unholy War

Terror in the Name of Islam

Hardcover Published: 1st July 2002
ISBN: 9780195154351
Number Of Pages: 208

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  • Paperback View Product Published: 1st December 2003
    $24.95

The devastating September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon left us stunned, angry, and uncomprehending. As it became clear that these horrifying acts had been committed in the name of Islam, we struggled to understand how religion could be used to justify the slaughter of innocents. The media, the government, and ordinary citizens alike sought answers to questions about Islam and its adherents. Who are the Muslim extremists who perpetrate such deeds? Why do they hate us? What do they hope to achieve? Does Islam really teach that such terrorists are holy warriors who will be rewarded with everlasting bliss?
In this level-headed and authoritative book, John L. Esposito, one of the world's most respected scholars of political Islam, provides answers to these and many other questions that have arisen in the wake of the attacks. He clearly and carefully explains the teachings of Islam--the Quran, the example of the Prophet, Islamic law--about jihad or holy war, the use of violence, and terrorism. He chronicles the rise of extremist groups and examines their frightening worldview and tactics. Anti-Americanism (and anti-Europeanism), he shows, is a broad-based phenomenon that cuts across Arab and Muslim societies. It is not just driven by religious zealotry, but by frustration and anger at U.S. policy. Moreover, many Muslims are repelled by aspects of Western culture, and alarmed at its impact around the world. It is vital to understand, however, that the vast majority of Muslims are appalled by the acts of violence committed in the name of their faith. It is essential that we distinguish between the religion of Islam and the actions of extremists like Osama bin Laden who hijack Islamic discourse and belief to justify their acts of terrorism.
How can we continue the fight against terrorism without precipitating a global clash of cultures? This is perhaps the most important question we face in this time of crisis. The terrorists behind the September 11 attacks must be brought to justice, their cells eradicated, and their bases destroyed. But this war against terror must not be used to justify erosion of important values at home, or become a green light to authoritarian regimes in the Muslim world to repress non-violent opposition. Only by understanding and addressing the issues that breed hatred and radicalism, argues Esposito, can we defuse the conflicts that will otherwise continue to confront future generations.
This brief, clear-sighted and accessibly written book reflects twenty years of study, reflection, and experience on the part of a scholar who is equally respected in the West and in the Muslim world. It will prove to be the best single guide to these urgent questions that have suddenly forced themselves on the attention of the entire world.

"Could not come at a more timely moment.... A model of direct, jargon-free prose that takes its readers on a tour d'horizon of the history of Islamic thought about the West, modernity and jihad. Esposito's book will save readers the effort of reading a shelf of books that address the same issues in a less succinct manner."--Peter L. Bergen, Washington Post Book World "An invaluable book. Erudite, compelling and passionate, Unholy War is essential reading at this crisis of world history, and provides a lucid introduction to truths which must now become common knowledge."--Karen Armstrong, author of Islam: A Short History "Among the plethora of books published after the cataclysm of 9/11, Unholy War is one of the most insightful and informative in explicating the religious and political roots of the terrorism threat confronting the US."--Choice "Esposito has condensed the wealth of knowledge of the Islamic world evinced in his Oxford Illustrated History of Islam, producing a book that can admirably serve as an extremely valuable primer in this new world order in which communists have been replaced by terrorists as the planet's resident evil."--Booklist "A welcome antidote against simplistic attitudes toward Islam.... Those who want a guide to the origins of the current clash of civilizations are unlikely to find a better book."--Publishers Weekly "In the quest to comprehend the Islamic world, few scholars have been as influential as John L. Esposito."--Commentary "Could not come at a more timely moment.... A model of direct, jargon-free prose that takes its readers on a tour d'horizon of the history of Islamic thought about the West, modernity and jihad."--Peter L. Bergen, Washington Post Book World "An invaluable book. Erudite, compelling and passionate, Unholy War is essential reading at this crisis of world history, and provides a lucid introduction to truths which must now become common knowledge."--Karen Armstrong, author of Islam: A Short History "Among the plethora of books published after the cataclysm of 9/11, Unholy War is one of the most insightful and informative in explicating the religious and political roots of the terrorism threat confronting the US."--Choice "Esposito has condensed the wealth of knowledge of the Islamic world evinced in his Oxford Illustrated History of Islam, producing a book that can admirably serve as an extremely valuable primer in this new world order in which communists have been replaced by terrorists as the planet's resident evil."--Booklist "Those who want a guide to the origins of the current clash of civilizations are unlikely to find a better book."--Publishers Weekly "In this engaging, evenhanded and highly readable book, one of America's foremost experts on contemporary Islam seeks to correct popular misconceptions about this faith.... This is essential reading for every concerned citizen and all those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary Islam and its internal struggles."--Library Journal (starred review) "A leading American authority on Islam offers a primer on modern varieties of terrorism and a well-reasoned plea for tolerance in a time of renewed Muslim-Western enmity.... A useful guidebook that should find a wide readership."--Kirkus Reviews "A masterly and indispensable guide to the bewildering array of militant groups that have erupted throughout the Muslim world. It should be required reading, because we can no longer afford to be ignorant of the causes of Muslim rage. A lucid and balanced account, it covers a huge canvas with elegance and economy."--Karen Armstrong, Independent "Unholy War advances an excellent argument in lucid language to masterfully interpret Islam and Muslim understandings of jihad and the context within which it becomes a source of instability. This book achieves its goal of educating the public with its exceedingly clear and an easy flowing style."--Middle East Journal "Unholy War... proved a welcome corrective to all the facile stereotypes about Islam circulating in the American public discourse."-- Greg Guelcher, Associate Professor of History, Morningside College, Iowa

Preface to the Paperback Editionp. viii
Prefacep. xi
The Making of a Modern Terroristp. 3
Jihad and the Struggle for Islamp. 26
The Armies of Godp. 71
Where Do We Go from Here?p. 118
Notesp. 161
Glossaryp. 169
Indexp. 173
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195154351
ISBN-10: 0195154355
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 1st July 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.1  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.47