I knew I had to read this book after seeing many other books on counter-terrorism and radical Islam referenced this work. There’s a reason why this book is cited often and mentioned in bibliographies: it is a well-researched book on the origins of Al Qaeda leading up to their attack on September 11th. The author spent five years researching for the book which led the author to travel all over the world.
Here’s a video that was rather interesting as a social experiment.
I don’t condone pranks that scare people with terrorism or threaten their lives. I share this because it is an ilustation that worldview does matter.
While the prank never interviewed anyone afterwards for their political persuasion, I imagine Leftists and liberals who think Islam is a religion of peace would react the same as those across the other political spectrum.
A good book, no wonder it’s published by Yale University Press. Few books out there actually examine the theology of radical Jihadists like the way this one did. In the beginning of the book the author argue that some of the West’s attempt at understanding Al Qaeda and 9/11 in purely economic, colonial and political terms fail to do justice in explaining the rationale and motivation of Al Qaeda and similar Jihadist organizations. For instance such narratives have a hard time accounting for the fact that significant numbers of these Jihadists are well-educated and come from well-to-do families. Moreover, the author makes the point that the rise of Islamists’ ideology began before European colonization of Islamic land and even in areas which European colonization never reach. Mary Habeck also note that such narrative by the West tend to ignore what the Jihadists themselves are saying, which reveal more about the West than they do concerning the Jihadists: the West often presuppose that the religious sphere is not important and again this ignores what the Jihadists themselves are saying. This work deals with the ideological roots of the modern Jihadist movement beyond the typical presentation of Muhammad’s imperialism. The auther writes about Wahabism (the kind of Sunni Muslim Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda subscribe to) and it’s founder, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. I like how the book is so detailed about historical Islamic legal reasoning. Readers will be introduced to important historical contributors to the modern Jihadist ideology, such as Ibn Taymiyyah and early jurist Ahmad ibn Hanbal. These men who lived hundreds of years ago, wrote about jihad including it’s goals and method. Readers will suddenly realize that a lot of the motif in current Jihadist literatures came from these earlier theologians and scholars of Islamic jurisprudence. I appreciated the author’s ability to show us the thinking of the jihadist which no doubt would seem so foreign to many. For instance, Osama Bin Laden and others believed that the Crusades never ended, that modernism in the West is a deliberate poison the West wants to introduce to Islamic land for the soul purpose of destroying Islam. The book also talk about contemporary Islamists and Jihadists. Most frightening in the book is how Jihadists have a plan for global dominion for all to be under Islam and the debate among themselves and in the past with Muslim scholars is whom to attack first: the infidels from afar, “false Muslims” (and what constitute a false Muslim is also another fascinating debate) or the leaders of Islamic countries today (they wish to unite under one world empire under the Caliph)? While the book was written before Arab Spring, one can’t help it but to see some of the policies in these new government seem to be advancing an agenda that’s in step with the vision and plan (such as increasing pressure on non-Muslim, etc). Must read book, I totally recommend it.
Those who’s philosophy of history is bent towards a Marxist explanation of things (mode of production determines history, and since our mode of production currently bring about poverty then this in part explain why Jihad occurs) need to consider whether or not it’s true in explaining that poverty causes Jihad.
Two-thirds of British terror suspects are from middle-class backgrounds and those who become suicide bombers are often highly educated, a classified MI5 document reveals.
The paper, marked ‘Secret: UK Eyes Only’, also debunks the myths that terrorists and suicide bombers are ‘loners’ and ‘psychopaths’.
Instead, the security service says that 90 per cent of them can be categorised as ‘sociable’ and have a high number of friends.
The 200-page document, titled Radicalisation Of Muslims In The United Kingdom – A Developed Understanding, was found by a Mail on Sunday reporter in the abandoned residence of the British ambassador in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
The research paper, which was intended to be read by only MI5 agents and officers, was produced after studying 90 terror suspects investigated by the security service.
While some of the information in the document comes from the interrogation of suspects, other data came from surveillance by spies and informants. The report gives a rare glimpse into how security service agents view Islamic extremists, and what MI5 believes are the main causes of Muslims becoming radicalised.
While the report says that Western foreign policy and the perception that ‘Islam is under siege’ plays a role, they are not the main cause.
Instead, the four causes of radicalisation are:
 ‘Trauma’, such as the death of a loved one: Ten per cent of terror suspects became radicalised after a life trauma, says the report.
 ‘Migration’: A third of all extremists ‘migrated to Britain alone’.
 ‘Criminal activity’: Two-thirds of the sample had criminal records.
Acts of violent jihad allow them to channel those thuggish impulses for a “good” cause.
 ‘Prison’: Muslim prisoners who are not religious are often radicalised in prison. The report identified 60 known Islamist extremists operating in British jails.
The study says that the ‘mean age’ at which a Muslim becomes radicalised is 21.6 years, while anyone between the ages of 16 and 32 is regarded as vulnerable….
Qur’an 9:123—O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.
Qur’an 48:29—Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.
Qur’an 9:29—Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
Sahih al-Bukhari 6924—Allah’s Messenger said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and whoever said La ilaha illahllah, Allah will save his property and his life from me.”
Sam Shamoun is to be congratulated for a good work. He was able to stay on the topic and gave a good presentation and rebuttal on his part. I believe the Muslim debater is the first in the U.S to debate on “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?”