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Devji (Landscapes of the Jihad) examines the vitality of militant movements, arguing that in a global society, organizations like al-Qaeda have gathered meaning and strength in an "institutional vacuum." The author classifies pacifism and environmentalism as "intellectual peers" of militant Islam: they transcend traditional nation states and ideologies by identifying with "planetary ideals" like human rights and humanitarianism just as militant Islam does this by "identifying Muslims with the passive victims who embody humanity." Once Muslim suffering has been established, militants employ the "logic of equivalence" to justify acts of terrorism. Since Islamic militancy is a global phenomenon, Devji rejects the traditional scholarship that roots it in regional issues like the Palestinian cause and poverty and oppression. Most controversially, he equates militant Islam with "the plethora of non-governmental agencies dedicated to humanitarian work." He also concludes, more conventionally, that the U.S. response to militant Islam-the "global war on terror"-has transformed war "into a species of policing." Despite the breadth of his research and his iconoclastic conclusions, Devji's scholarly prose will likely limit his audience to fellow scholars and students. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.