The Missing Martyrs: Why There Are So Few Muslim Terrorists

The Missing Martyrs: Why There Are So Few Muslim Terrorists

by Charles Kurzman
     
 

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Why are there so few Muslim terrorists? With more than a billion Muslims in the world--many of whom supposedly hate the West and ardently desire martyrdom--why don't we see terrorist attacks every day? Where are the missing martyrs?  See more details below

Overview

Why are there so few Muslim terrorists? With more than a billion Muslims in the world--many of whom supposedly hate the West and ardently desire martyrdom--why don't we see terrorist attacks every day? Where are the missing martyrs?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kurzman, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, poses a provocative question: given anti-Western sentiment in many parts of the Muslim world and the ease of committing violent acts, why do so very few of the world's billion-plus Muslims turn to terrorism? The author's answers to this intriguing question take the reader through a history of "liberal Islam"—defined as distinctly Islamic discourse about key ideals from Western liberalism such as human rights—a close examination of the role of radical Islam in the Muslim world and the backlash against it; and an exploration of what he calls "radical sheik," or the "cool" factor of Islamist leaders like Osama bin Laden. Impeccably researched, tightly organized, and enriched by his personal experiences in the Middle East, Kurzman's work is a useful primer on the state of the modern Muslim world as well as a solid argument for re-evaluating the threat of terrorism today and our reactions to it. Though some may disagree with his conclusions, in this lucid call for perspective Kurzman has written an important and timely work that should be appreciated by the expert and layperson alike. (July)
From the Publisher
"[A] hard-headed empirical approach to an issue so often locked in emotion-fueled back and forth...a must read." - Mother Jones

"Kurzman's book is a contribution to the study of Al Qaeda and Islamism." - New York Times Book Review

"Kurzman provides a significant answer to a question that needs to be addressed: in a world of more than a billion Muslims, why are there so few Muslim terrorists? So much attention is given by policy makers and media experts to the small number of extremists that Kurzman's crucial question is too often ignored. For anyone interested in reducing the threat of global terrorism, this study is required reading." -John Voll, Professor of Islamic History, Georgetown University

"The best scholarship asks uncomfortable questions, and then attempts to provide trenchant answers. Charles Kurzman has asked: why does fear of terrorism persist, despite the meagre number of actual casualties caused by those who claim to be Islamists or violent jihadi warriors? His answer is as bracing as it is counterintuitive: media need to tune down the obsession with violent episodes, but the American public also needs to clamor for an open, honest debate about terrorism. This book is a hard-headed manifesto, calling for a return to pragmatism, with more reliance on academics and less on interest-driven think tanks engaged with Middle East politics." -Bruce B. Lawrence, co-editor, with Aisha Karim, of On Violence: A Reader

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199766871
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/25/2011
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
684,232
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Charles Kurzman is a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His books include Democracy Denied and The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran.

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