Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam / Edition 1by John L. Esposito
Pub. Date: 05/02/2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press
"The devastating September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon left us stunned, angry, and uncomprehending. As it became clear that these horrifying acts had been committed in the name of Islam, we struggled to understand how religion could be used to justify the slaughter of innocents. The media, the government, and ordinary citizens alike sought… See more details below
"The devastating September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon left us stunned, angry, and uncomprehending. As it became clear that these horrifying acts had been committed in the name of Islam, we struggled to understand how religion could be used to justify the slaughter of innocents. The media, the government, and ordinary citizens alike sought answers to questions about Islam and its adherents. Who are the Muslim extremists who perpetrate such deeds? Why do they hate us? What do they hope to achieve? Does Islam really teach that such terrorists are holy warriors who will be rewarded with everlasting bliss?" In this book, John L. Esposito, one of the world's most respected scholars of political Islam, provides answers to these and many other questions that have arisen in the wake of the attacks. He clearly and carefully explains the teachings of Islam - the Quran, the example of the Prophet, Islamic law - about jihad or holy war, the use of violence, and terrorism. He chronicles the rise of extremist groups and examines their frightening worldview and tactics. Anti-Americanism (and anti-Europeanism), he shows, is a broad-based phenomenon that cuts across Arab and Muslim societies. It is not just driven by religious zealotry, but by frustration and anger at U.S. policy. Many Muslims are repelled by aspects of Western culture, and alarmed at its impact around the world. It is vital to understand, however, that the vast majority of Muslims are appalled by the acts of violence committed in the name of their faith.
- Oxford University Press
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- Product dimensions:
- 9.56(w) x 6.38(h) x 0.80(d)
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This book is a wealth of information on the Muslim religion and how it is invoked into politics and terrorism. VERY informative and a must-read for anyone interested in the Middle East conflict and the terrorism problem.
In response to the harsh critique, I can certainly tell why this fellow criticized so negatively obtuse. The heretical works of Benard Lewis is soon to find its way out. John L. Esposito on the other hand gives a fair unbiased analysis as an orientalist who has gained credibility in the "Western" Islamic intellectual circle. His works give an understanding to express why acts such as Sept. 11 occur in the first place. The United States government has been a bully imposing there foreign policy to the rest of the world for decades now. Sooner or later it will catch up to them from possible over exertion.
I think this is an excellent book and the author had real insight. I have read a lot of books on Islam in the last two years but this by far was the most insightful. It gives us a great understanding of what is going on in the world today by knowing what events brought us to this point.
Prof Esposito knows facts about Islam and some history of the region, but this book is mostly a political polemic. He says, "Yes, terrorism is evil and must be stopped." But why do they hate us? He says basically, because the West has given them cause. He brushes over actual teachings of the Qur'an and the turn from philosophical rationalism in the Middle Ages that gave Islam its anti-intellectual air today. He is politically anti-western. One statement he makes " ... after centuries of colonial rule and decades of authoritarian regimes" is a blatant historical inaccuracy. The time scales should be reversed. Colonialism began in the Eastern Med. after WW I. Other Islamic nations began their colonial ordeal in the mid 1800's. As for authoritarianism, it is endemic in Islam. Esposito uses a double standard when measuring the sins of Christianity against those of Islam. He completely ignores the history of offensive jihad (and its slaughters) that brought Islam almost to the gates of Paris in the 8th cent. His political prescriptions boil down to "being nicer." His usual suspects are Israeli Jews. Very superficial historical analysis. With his academic credentials, one could expect better from him.