War of Ideas: Jihad against Democracy

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From Afghanistan and Iraq to Europe and the United States we are engaged in one of the most heated wars of all time. In this incisive new book, the man that has been called?the only one to understand the mind of the jihadist?shows that the most important battle is actually taking place in the hearts and minds of the world's population. This is the war of ideas, where ideology is the most powerful weapon of all. Phares explores the beliefs of two opposing camps, one standing for democracy and human rights, and the...

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Overview

From Afghanistan and Iraq to Europe and the United States we are engaged in one of the most heated wars of all time. In this incisive new book, the man that has been called—the only one to understand the mind of the jihadist—shows that the most important battle is actually taking place in the hearts and minds of the world's population. This is the war of ideas, where ideology is the most powerful weapon of all. Phares explores the beliefs of two opposing camps, one standing for democracy and human rights, and the other rejecting the idea of an international community and calling for jihad against the West. He reveals the strategies of both sides, explaining that new technologies and the growing media savvy of the jihadists have raised the stakes in the conflict. And most urgently, he warns that the West is in danger of losing the war, for whereas debate and theorizing rarely translate into action here, ideas and deeds are inextricably linked for the forces of jihad.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Phares . . . is a voice of calm and reason. . . . Provocative reading."

Kirkus Reviews

"Walid Phares has long been among the most knowledgeable and incisive scholars of the Middle East—its peoples, its cultures, its religions, and its radical movements."

—U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman

"This book is a 'must read' for those who want to understand the jihad radical Islamists are waging against democracies. Walid Phares has a gift for being able to identify the root causes of the war and what the West and the free world must do to prevail."

—Oliver North, host of FOX News's "War Stories"

"Reading this book will give you the ammunition you need for the war of ideas to come."

NewsMax

"The work of Professor Walid Phares is a beacon that helps us to see and understand the extent of the Jihadist threat the World is facing. Nobody who reads his analysis will have any doubt left about the existential peril posed by the radical Islamists and Jihadi terrorists to democracies. A must read."

—Jose Maria Aznar, Former Prime Minister of Spain

"Dr. Phares's knowledge of the War of Ideas and the complex conflicts of the Greater Middle East is exceptional. His ability to communicate intellectually among various cultures is noted regionally and internationally."

—Dr. Barham Salih, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq

"If you want to understand the War of Ideas being waged by Jihadists, Walid Phares is your man."

—U.S. Congresswoman Sue Myrick

"Dr. Walid Phares shows us clearly who is waging the War of Ideas and what their goals are. His book is a pioneering work in history and politics. It shows clearly how Jihadism has become a strategic threat to democracy worldwide."

—Paulo Casaca, Chairman of the NATO commission to the European Parliament

"Democracy is locked in an existential struggle with Jihadism and Walid Phares' voice is one of our wisest. It is crucial that it be heard. Dr. Phares understands like no one else the depth of Jihadi ideologies and how they have developed long-term strategies to counter and crumble free societies, both in the West and among young rising democracies in the Middle East."

—Richard W. Carlson, US Ambassador (ret.), former Director of Voice of America, former President and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

"As an Arab Muslim academic from Jordan I have witnessed Professor Walid Phares engaging in powerful debates with intellectuals from both the West and the Arab Muslim world. His knowledge of both cultures gives him the ability to understand and explain the War of Ideas between radicalism and democracy.

This book is needed by the public."

—Professor Shaker Nabulsi, Chairman, American Interuniversity Consortium (AIC) for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

"Walid Phares is the leading expert on the War of Ideas between Jihadism and democracy. His book is a must read for all."

—Alireza Jafarzadeh, Fox News analyst and author of The Iran Threat

"Walid Phares is both an incisive scholar and a skilled communicator. His insights into the psychologies and pathologies of the Middle East are unrivaled."

—Clifford D. May, President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

"The Jihadists began their War of Ideas against democracies decades ago. Walid Phares's book is a unique analysis of the roots and future of this terror campaign against the free world."

—Magdi Khalil, Egyptian journalist, Elaph.com

"I have followed and respected Dr. Walid Phares' academic work and reasoned commentary for years. He has a unique ability to articulate the central ideological conflict in the struggle against Jihadism. Dr. Phares consistently stands out as an invaluable resource and authentic voice in the global effort to understand exactly who the enemies of democracy are, what they believe, and how we can defeat them. The book is a must read."

—Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Chairman, American Islamic Forum for Democracy

"Professor Walid Phares's The War of Ideas is a must read on the geopolitics of the war on terror. His book puts fifty years of Cold War and Jihadi offensives against democracies in an ultimate global perspective. This is a central resource for classrooms, newsrooms, and war rooms."

—Col. Kenneth Allard, USA (Ret.), former dean of the National War College, NBC Defense Analyst, and author of War Heads

"Walid Phares makes a compelling case for why winning the War of Ideas is indispensable to winning the war on terrorism, and he points the way toward how to do so. It is a must read not only for policy makers and those who advise them, but for everyone with a stake in the fight of our generation."

—Clark Kent Ervin, former Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security and author of Open Target: Where America is Vulnerable to Attack

"Dr. Walid Phares is the leading authority on the War of Ideas between totalitarian forces and the rising democracies in the Greater Middle East. His profound understanding of radical ideologies and pluralist societies makes his scholarship unique in the West and the Arab and Muslim world alike. His book is a must read."

—Munir Mawari, Washington correspondent, Asharq Alawsat daily Arabic newspaper

"Professor Phares is the leading analyst of the War of Ideas. His ability to see through the strategies and moves of the Jihadists in their quest to crumble democracies is unparalleled. This book will change your way of seeing the war on terror."

—Dr. Jacob Keryakes, NBC Senior Arabic Linguist

"Phares's Future Jihad is among the most insightful books about the nature of this global threat I have ever read. Its lessons are not to be ignored by free societies. Phares's contribution to our understanding of the War of Ideas between Jihadism and democracy is unique."

—Daniel B. Kennedy, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Detroit Mercy

"For twenty-five years, Walid Phares's writing and public speaking have shown a deep, masterful knowledge of both Western and Islamic cultures. As an Arab Muslim reformer I admire his leading ability to understand and explain the war of ideas between radicalism and democracies."

—Omran Salman, Director of the Arab Reformists Project, Bahrain

"Walid Phares understands the conflict between Jihadism and democracy and explains it like no one else. The War of Ideas is a must have for the public and decision-makers alike."

—Ret. Colonel Jack Jacobs, NBC Military Analyst, Lecturer at West Point, and author of Medal of Honor

"Those who believe that the war between radical Islamism and everybody else is about 'oil' or 'the Israeli occupation' or the insults of nineteenth-century colonialism need to read this book, and think again. No one knows more about the ideology of jihad than Walid Phares, who has been watching it and studying it for 25 years, and no one can afford to be ignorant of the things that Walid Phares knows. The War of Ideas is an indispensable guide to the world's most dangerous political problem."

—Dennis Hale, Associate Professor of Political Science, Boston College

"Walid Phares provides considerable insight into the strategy and operational tactics of radical Islamists. With his considerable knowledge of Middle East history and politics as well as of terrorist strategies, Dr. Phares is uniquely able to sort through the considerable noise so often generated in the media and academia. His analysis is refreshingly clear and cogent, and not only experts but general readers will gain from his observations."

—Dr. George L. Simpson, Jr. Professor of History, High Point University

"Professor Walid Phares is teaching the world about one of the greatest threats in history. Only a mind equally immersed in two civilizations and their ideologies can produce a book like The War of Ideas."

—Dr. Franck Salameh, Professor of Arab Culture, Boston College.

"With his book The War of Ideas, Professor Walid Phares has become the third global teacher on the Jihadi conflict with democracy, along with Samuel Huntington and Bernard Lewis. His new book gives crucial answers never provided before to classrooms and the public. It is a benchmark contribution to comparative politics."

—Dr. Robert Rabil, Professor of Middle East Studies and director of

Graduate Studies, Department of Political Science, Florida Atlantic University

"The War of Ideas is a crucial battleground in the global war with Jihadi terrorism. Democracies must wage this ideological struggle with keen intelligence and relentless determination. Walid Phares's new book sets out a strategic plan for success. It is essential reading, and is highly recommended."

—Dr. Joseph Morrison Skelly, Department of History, College of Mount Saint Vincent

"Walid Phares has an uncanny ability to encapsulate and explain clearly the central issues in the confrontation between the civilized world and the violent radicals who threaten it. In so doing he reminds us why our civilization is worth defending."

—Dr. James S. Robbins, National Defense University

Kirkus Reviews
"From China's borders to the Atlantic Ocean, masses are being taught to hate the other side of the world and blame it for all evil."Phares, a Lebanese-born policy analyst and television commentator, is no alarmist; in public discussions of U.S.-Middle Eastern affairs, he is a voice of calm and reason. Yet, he urges, there really is such a thing as a terrorist Muslim enemy, a class of person he calls a jihadist, who takes literally Islam's call for jihad, or war against the infidel. This term, Phares argues, has been denatured and defused: An academia friendly to Saudi interests (because it's funded by them) has assured worried Americans that "jihad is essentially a spiritual experience," just as Harvard think-tankers once called the Taliban "elements of stability." "Since 9/11," he concludes, "many Western political and academic establishments have generally caved in to the jihadi intellectual offensive." Well, jihad is jihad, the author says, wrapped up in a pan-Arabist, Islamist (though jihadists and Islamists aren't necessarily one and the same), Baathist, generally fascist ideology that demands the restoration of the caliphate to wage endless war against all nonbelievers. These jihadists want not only that, Phares adds; they also want to roll back the clock, remove from Islamic minds anything that smacks of Western modernism. To that end, they have made allies of neo-Nazis, promulgated antifeminist-and anti-women-doctrines far beyond anything in the Qur'an and, of course, launched vicious attacks on Westerners, and not in 2001 alone. If there was a bright note to 9/11, Phares concludes, it was at least to highlight that the jihadists mean business. He asks that those in the West whowould rise to the challenge "make a clear distinction between the majority of Muslims who seek freedom, democracy, and pluralism and the Islamists and jihadists who oppose all of these." He warns that the challenge cannot be ignored. Provocative reading. First printing of 100,000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403976390
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/20/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Walid Phares is a world-renowned terrorism and Middle East expert. He is a senior fellow at The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a visiting fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy. He has testified before the State Department many times and led NGO delegations to discuss Middle East terrorism with the UN Security Council. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, al Jazeera, al Hurra, Fox News, and Abu Dhabi TV, among others, and is a frequent contributor to U.S. and international radio programs. A professor of Middle East Studies at Florida Atlantic University, he holds a doctorate in international relations and strategic studies. He is the author of several books, including Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against the West.

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Table of Contents

The Historical Debates

• The Antidemocracy Axis

• Irreconcilable Views

• The Jihadi War on International Principles

• The Assault on Pluralism

• Democracy's Pillars under Attack

• Gender Apartheid

• The First War of Ideas, 1945-1990

• Battles over Minds: The Second War of Ideas, 1990-2001

• The Clash of Futures: The Third War of Ideas, 2001-2006

• The War on Learning

• Inflaming Hearts and Fooling Minds

• War on the Messengers

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2007

    Why the US congress doesn't 'get it'.

    The author is an Arabic spealing scholar who has produced a referenced work depiocting the three phases of the War of Ideas that the jihadis have successfully launched. His conclusion in part is that if we do not defeat the jihadis there will be no safe place to hide. Excellent discussion of the way petrodollars were used to 'buy off' our own academic expertise often without the academics realizing it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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