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Posted December 9, 2007
Knowing the Enemy provides readers with a concise, logical understanding of jihadis ideology. The book effectively demonstrates how terrorist motivations are found harbored within Islamic ideology and their interpretation of the writings of Muhammad. The author traces the Jihadist hatred of non-believers to the liberal philosophy of governance which conflicts with the supremacy of Islamic religious beliefs. Understanding how jihadis justify their license to kill and perpetuate their need to prevail is valuable information which could make a real difference when combating jihadis aggression. In Inside Terrorism author Bruce Hoffman agrees with Habeck that Jihadis fully expect government to conform to Islam. Jihadis deny the possibility of Islam conforming to government since sacred law must take precedence over secular, arbitrary law. They believe that God¿s sovereignty is absolute. Extreme Jihadist groups, such as Al Qaida, are inspired by Islamic religion that ¿explicitly appeal, to the holy texts of the Qur¿an and sunna, as laid out in the hadith 'the sayings of the prophet Muhammad' to show that their actions are justified.¿ The cause for Jihad calls for a revival of Islam to political power. It guides aggressive action against its enemies, including the United States as demonstrated by the 9/11 attack and its continued efforts to work toward destroying democratic governments around the world and in the Middle East. The book differentiates between the extremist Islamic call to all Muslims to fight a jihad and the lack of response from the greater part of the Muslim world which number over a billion followers. Jihadis remain a small number of Muslims and the greater majority needs to be recognized for its peaceful coexistence with the West and other religions. This supports the common notion that Islam is a religion which has been hijacked. I think Habeck is an extremely talented writer who provides valuable insight into the all important subject of the religious ideology of the jihadis. The title of her book appropriately addresses its purpose. She goes beyond the factors of ¿nationality, poverty, oppressive governments, colonization, and imperialism¿ touching on the core of jihadis ideology. She supplies an extensive section of notes to back up her research and a helpful glossary to work through, as needed, for unfamiliar terminology. She clearly, precisely and logically presents her information and allows the reader to understand the philosophy behind the madness we refer to 'perhaps incorrectly' as Islamic terrorism and more specifically, as Habeck suggests, Jihadism. Her knowledge can only become more valuable when combined with strategic planning about how to manage the effects of Jihadist on the world. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding more about the thought process of Jihadis. The violent and desperate nature of their mission should be of interest to everyone with a concern about the invasive nature of Jihadist on societies around the globe. This book gives great insight into one of the most serious issues of our time.
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