Islamic Extremism: Causes, Diversity, and Challenges / Edition 2

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This accessible and deeply informed book examines the threat that Islamic extremists pose to America and provides a balanced and nuanced discussion of the link between Iraq and the war on terror. Explaining the basics of Islam and guiding the reader through the intricacies of each significant fundamentalist group, the Palmers answer key questions: Who are the Muslim extremists and how do they fit within the broader context of the Islamic religion? What is their war plan and how do they operate? Who are their allies and what are their weaknesses? What is the experience of Israel, the Islamic world, and the United States in fighting Muslim extremists? How can be they defeated? The book includes detailed analyses of Hizbullah and the Muslim Brotherwood, Hamas, the Iraqi clones of Hizzbullah, and the Islamic government in Turkey.

About the Author:
Monte Palmer is professor emeritus at Florida State University

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Editorial Reviews

The authors' nuanced analysis is a welcome addition to a growing literature on political Islam. Recommended.
Hilal Khashan
This brilliant book is absolutely the best contribution ever to the study of Islamic radicalism. Never before has any work on this heated topic dealt with it as comprehensively, dispassionately, and convincingly as the Palmers do in this breathtaking study. This smoothly written work is a must read for everyone, including decision makers in countries gripped with the dilemma of Islamic radicalism.
James A. Bill
This powerful author team examines the heart and soul of Islam, a religion and civilization that is increasingly global in impact. As leading guides, the Palmers provide a clear path to understanding Islam. Using their new book as a field guide, readers will chart a safe course through a world beset by violence, ignorance, and arrogance.
The New York Times
Praise for the authors' work:

[A] sensible and productive set of proposals for understanding Muslim extremism. . . . [The authors] analyze jihadi strategies with a nuanced common sense all too hard to come by in the sometimes sensationalist literature on the topic.

Tony Allan
Praise for the authors' work:

A compelling and extremely well-written analysis of topics that generally suffer serious distortion by the unthinking generalizations of policymakers and the media. The complexity of the Islamic world and the Middle East are made wholly understandable through this excellent and lucid work.

The authors' nuanced analysis is a welcome addition to a growing literature on political Islam. Recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742555181
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/13/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Monte Palmer is professor emeritus at Florida State University. He directed FSU's Middle East Studies Center, as well as the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut. Princess Palmer is a former consultant for the World Bank.

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Table of Contents

America's Struggle against Terror: Who Is the Enemy?     1
Islam, Muslim Extremism, and Anti-Americanism     7
Muslim Relations with Christians and Jews     7
Unity and Turmoil within Islam     10
The Evolution of Islamic Extremism     12
The Sources of Muslim Discontent     17
Gauging Popular Support for Muslim Extremists     21
Levels of Islamic Religiosity     24
Separating Islamic Extremism from Anti-Americanism     28
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Origin of the Radical Moderates     37
The Muslim Brotherhood     39
The Strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood     41
Teaching and Preaching     41
Charity and Welfare     42
Political Activism     43
Can the Muslim Brotherhood Be a Source of Stability?     46
How the Muslim Brotherhood Is Organized     49
The International Muslim Brotherhood     52
The Muslim Brotherhood's Strengths and Vulnerabilities     53
Hamas: The Ascendance of Religious Extremism in the Arab-Israeli Conflict     59
Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood     60
Hamas, Al-Fatah, and the PLO     62
The Hamas Victory and Its Consequences     65
Hamas Looks to the Future: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Strategies     67
Strengths     68
Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities     68
Strategic Choices for Hamas     69
Hizbullah: A Tale of Three Countries     73
Iran: The Center of the Hizbullah Movement     73
Lebanon: The Crown Jewel of the Hizbullah Movement     75
What Is Hizbullah and How Does It Operate?     81
Hizbullah: Strengths and Vulnerabilities     84
Future Strategies     87
Iraqi Hizbullah     93
How Did This All Come About?     96
Differing Visions of Iraq's Future: The Strengths and Weaknesses of SCIRI, Dawa, and the Sadrists     101
The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)     101
The Islamic Dawa (Call) Party     102
Sadrists     103
Turkey: A Model for Democratic Islamic Rule?     109
Historical Perspective     110
Why Does the Turkish Model of Islamic Democracy Work?     112
Islamic Democracy in Crisis     114
The Turkish Model for Containing Islamic Extremism: Solution or Illusion?     115
The Jihadist Movement and How It Evolved     119
Egypt and the Origins of Modern Jihadism      120
The Islamic Jihad     122
The Islamic Group (Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya)     123
Iran and the Islamic Revolution     124
Pakistan: The Jihadist Gateway to the Far East and Central Asia     125
Afghanistan and the Making of a Muslim Hero     129
The Sudan: An International Terrorist Network Takes Shape     133
What al-Turabi Brought to the Jihadist Movement     134
Bin Laden and Iran: The Twin Pillars of al-Turabi's Network     135
The Network Emerges     137
The Battle for Algeria     138
Palestinian Islamic Jihad     141
The Jihadist War Comes to America     143
From al-Turabi to bin Laden     145
The Jihadist War Plan     155
The Grand Plan     156
Modes of Jihadist Terror     157
Random Terror     157
Political Terror     159
Economic-Technological Terror     160
Cultural Terror     162
Revolutionary Terror     163
Catastrophic Terror     164
Adjusting to the War on Terror     165
Preparing for the Next Stages     167
How Good Is the Jihadist War Plan?     168
The Jihadist War Machine      171
Organizing the Jihadists: The Pyramid of Terror     171
Al Qaeda: Variations on a Theme     173
Leadership in Jihadist Organizations     175
The Downside of Jihadist Authority Patterns     179
Decision Making in Jihadist Organizations     183
The Jihadist Soldiers: Who Are They, What Motivates Them, and How Good Are They?     185
How Good Are the Jihadist Cadres?     188
The Physical Plant     192
The Allies of the Jihadists: Those Who Make Terror Possible     197
Holy Allies: The Struggle for Control of Islam     198
Islamic Education: Schools for Terror?     200
The Money Trail of the Jihadists' Allies: Islamic Charities, Islamic Banks, and Islamic Businesses     203
Unholy Allies: Drug Lords, Mafioso, and Other Kindred Souls     208
Governments as Allies of Terror     211
Why Governments in the Islamic World Are Allies of Jihadist Terror     212
Countries with More than One Reason for Supporting Terror     217
The Israeli Struggle against Terror and Islamic Extremism: A Guide for the United States?     225
The Origins of Anti-Israeli Terror: One Land, Two Claimants     225
The Basic Principles of Israeli Antiterrorist Strategy     237
Why Is Israel Losing the War on Terror?     239
Is the Israeli Military Capacity Declining?     242
What Comes Next in Israel's War on Terror?     243
How America's Allies in the Islamic World Fight Terror     247
The Constraints of Fighting Terror in the Islamic World     247
Islamic Strategies for Fighting Terror and Extremism     249
Islamic Anti-jihadist Strategies     250
Divide and Conquer: Playing the Moderates against the Jihadists     252
Anti-Radical-Moderate Strategies     254
Lessons of the Islamic Experience in Fighting Islamic Extremism and Jihadist Terror     256
America, Islamic Extremism, and Jihadist Terror     259
U.S. Policy in Fighting Terror and Islamic Extremism     260
How Well Is America Doing in Its Struggle against Jihadist Terror and Islamic Extremism?     262
Why Is the Struggle Going Poorly?     263
The War in Iraq and the Wars against Terror and Islamic Extremism     266
Iraq, Terror, and Islamic Extremism     268
The Consequences of the War in Iraq for American Struggles against Jihadist Terror and Lesser Forms of Islamic Extremism     271
The Consequences of the Iraqi War for Israel     272
The Neoconservatives: Right or Wrong?     274
From Here We Start Doing What to Whom, When, and How?     274
Who, Then, Are the Enemies of the United States?     276
Strategies for Fighting Jihadist Terror     276
Strategies for Fighting Islamic Extremism     279
Risky Business?     280
Index     287
About the Authors     291
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