Middle East Journal
"Jews, Christians and Muslims will all profit from this book because it describes a tradition deeply rooted in all three religions and surprisingly relevant to the current geopolitical situation….[F]urnish writes about Mahdism, the Islamic tradition that anticipates the appearance of a messianic figure who will purify and unite Islam, eradicate all socioeconomic injustices in the world and establish the Muslim faith as a universal religion. This idea is rooted in Judaism, is similar to Christian eschatological ideas and is hotly debated throughout the Muslim world….Most fascinating (and fearful) are his musings about Osama bin Laden's Mahdist potential, especially considering this sobering assertion: Muslim messianic movements are to fundamentalist uprisings what nuclear weapons are to conventional ones: triggered by the same detonating agents, but far more powerful in scope and effect."
The Lexington Herald Leader/The Wichita Eagle/Birmingham News/The Dallas Morning
"[P]rovides a perspective on Mahdism, a belief in a messianic figure in Islamic tradition who will unite all Muslims, and debates within the Muslim world on whether bin Laden is that figure."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"While cautious about designating any currently visible Islamic fundamentalist as the next Mahdi, Furnish argues that it is only a matter of time before Mahdism reemerges full-blown. And when that happens, all bets will be off and no rules will apply, inside or outside the Islamic community. It is a grim prospect - but one all too credible in the context of Furnish's scholarship."
"This is probably the single most important book in English on this topic."