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Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy

by

Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Renowned Middle Eastern expert Fawaz A. Gerges takes us into the mind-set of the jihadiand#151;or holy warriorand#151;that lies behind so many headlines yet remains nearly impenetrable to us. Using his firsthand knowledge of the "Arab street," he brings to life the stories of Kamal al-Said Habib, a founder of the Jihadist Movement, as well as dozens of other Islamic fundamentalists, as they struggle with the battle being waged for the soul of Islam.Journey of the Jihadist puts a human face to events of the last thirty yearsand#151;from the civil war in Lebanon to the war in Iraq to the conflict in Lebanon today. This important work, now with a new afterword addressing the rise of Hezbollah, will join the ranks of those by Thomas L. Friedman, Fareed Zakaria, and Bernard Lewis.
and#160;
and#160;
Fawaz Gerges is one of this country's leading scholars of and media commentators on the Middle Eastern. Starting in the late 1990s, Gerges went to Cairo on a McArthur Fellowship, to interview (Arabic is his first language) those involved in the Jihadist Movement, which had begun in the 1970s as a fight against the secularization of Arab countries, hence was national rather than international in scope. But events--the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian Revolution, war in Iraqand#151;began to extend its influence. The new Jihadists were not looking now merely to affect local but worldwide change. In Cairo, Fawaz began a long series of conversations with Kamal al-Said Habib was one of the founders of the modern Jihadist movement and one of its key spokesman. Habib had been jailed after Anwar Sadatand#8217;s assassinationand#151;organized by the Jihadist Movementand#151;and then become allied with Osama bin Ladenand#8217;s fringe group, which he subsequently renounced, before the 9-11 attacks. Habiband#8217;s life-story emerges as a counterpart to those events and forms the basis of this book. JOURNEY OF A JIHADIST gives readers a look at religious extremism from the insideand#151;from the point of view of someone who founded, shaped, and changed with a movement. The Koran uses "jihad" figuratively to refer to humanity's lifelong struggle with the dictates of faith. This book gives us Habiband#8217;s quest, among others, personalizing issues that would otherwise seem inexplicable. It also gives us Fawaz Gergesand#8217; quest. Gerges family was forced out of Lebanon by Muslim extremists during the Civil War, and his brotherand#151;a Lebanese army officerand#151;was killed in fighting. He offers a gripping, accessible, even visceral account of the force with which we have been dealing since 9-11 and its aftermath, but which still seems so alien to most Americans.

PRAISE FOR JOURNEY OF THE JIHADIST"Many of the shortcomings of the war on terrorism can be viewed as stemming from the failure to understand the motives and belief systems of jihadist Muslims . . . Fortunately, there are academics like Fawaz Gerges."and#151;THE VILLAGE VOICE"This book is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the world of militant Islamand#151;a subject that has never seemed more relevant."and#151;MARY ANNE WEAVER, author of PAKISTAN: IN THE SHADOW OF JIHAD AND AFGHANISTAN
A civil war is being waged among jihadists for the soul of Islam. While all Islamist radicals may share a vision of a purified and unified ummah, or Muslim community, few agree over how to bring it about. Ultra-militant wings, such as Al Qaeda, dominate our thoughts and headlines, for they exported their brand of terrorism to Americaand#8217;s shores and now have carried it into the heart of Iraq. Yet they are in the minority. Most jihadists are struggling, often against great odds and under enormous pressures, to accommodate themselves to gradual social and political change in the Arab world.

As Middle Eastern scholar and media commentator Fawaz A. Gerges reveals in this unstinting, deeply personal, and brilliantly illuminating book, we need to know now more than ever who the jihadists are and to listen to what they are saying to each other and the world. Gerges went to Cairo, birthplace of modern Islamist radical thought, and began a dialogue with one of the movementand#8217;s founders. Using these conversations as a starting point, Gerges spoke with hundreds of other jihadists throughout the Arab world, tracing the evolution of extremist thought from the 1970s to the presentand#151;from the civil war in Lebanon, which Gerges and his family endured, to the war in Iraq that is givingand#160;Al Qaeda a new lease on life.

The jihadist journey has led through bloodshed and turmoil. It did not begin on September 11th and it will not end in Baghdad. This crucially important and timely book maps the direction jihadism will take in the months and years ahead by showing whereand#151;and with whomand#151;it all started.

Book News Annotation:

Gerges (Middle Eastern studies, Sara Lawrence College) conducted interviews with scores of both militant Islamists and jihadists beginning in 1999, on such topics as the role of government, the use of force at home and abroad, and economic and foreign policies. Their answers reflected a broad political spectrum from the extreme left to the extreme right, he says, but what struck him most was how much their views resembled those of their secular opponents. He concludes that, like people all over the world, many radical Muslims use religion as a means to political ends rather than for any reason of faith. This is a revised edition of a 2006 book. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Fawaz Gerges is one of this country's leading scholars of and media commentators on the Middle Eastern. Starting in the late 1990s, Gerges went to Cairo on a McArthur Fellowship, to interview (Arabic is his first language) those involved in the Jihadist Movement, which had begun in the 1970s as a fight against the secularization of Arab countries, hence was national rather than international in scope. But events--the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian Revolution, war in Iraq—began to extend its influence. The new Jihadists were not looking now merely to affect local but worldwide change. In Cairo, Fawaz began a long series of conversations with Kamal al-Said Habib was one of the founders of the modern Jihadist movement and one of its key spokesman. Habib had been jailed after Anwar Sadats assassination—organized by the Jihadist Movement—and then become allied with Osama bin Ladens fringe group, which he subsequently renounced, before the 9-11 attacks. Habibs life-story emerges as a counterpart to those events and forms the basis of this book. JOURNEY OF A JIHADIST gives readers a look at religious extremism from the inside—from the point of view of someone who founded, shaped, and changed with a movement. The Koran uses "jihad" figuratively to refer to humanity's lifelong struggle with the dictates of faith. This book gives us Habibs quest, among others, personalizing issues that would otherwise seem inexplicable. It also gives us Fawaz Gerges quest. Gerges family was forced out of Lebanon by Muslim extremists during the Civil War, and his brother—a Lebanese army officer—was killed in fighting. He offers a gripping, accessible, even visceral account of the force with which we have been dealing since 9-11 and its aftermath, but which still seems so alien to most Americans.

Synopsis:

"For more than a decade, militant Islamists have confronted the United States and, yet, successive American administrations have failed to understand who—or what—their adversary is . . . Journey of the Jihadist is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the world of militant Islam—a subject that has never seemed more relevant."—Mary Anne Weaver, author of Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan

In this important work, now with a new afterword, renowned Middle Eastern expert Fawaz A. Gerges takes us into the mind-set of the jihadi—or holy warrior—that lies behind so many headlines yet remains nearly impenetrable to us. Using his firsthand knowledge of the "Arab street," he brings to life the stories of Kamal al-Said Habib, a founder of the Jihadist Movement, as well as dozens of other Islamic fundamentalists, as they struggle with the battle being waged for the soul of Islam—a battle that affects us all.

"Many of the shortcomings of the war on terrorism can be viewed as stemming from the failure to understand the motives and belief systems of jihadist Muslims . . . Fortunately, there are academics like Fawaz Gerges."—Village Voice

 

"The stories [Gerges] tells, sensitively and incisively, uncover complexities that belie the simplistic assumptions Western governments so often bring to their analysis and action."—Globe and Mail

"Fascinating and highly informative . . . One of the best, most useful, and most timely volumes for nonspecialist readers."—Library Journal (starred review)

FAWAZ A. GERGES holds the Christian A. Johnson Chair in Middle Eastern Studies at Sarah Lawrence College, and has taught at Harvard and Oxford. A regular commentator for ABC News and NPRs Morning Edition, Gerges has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as on CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera. He lives in northern New Jersey.

Synopsis:

Renowned Middle Eastern expert Fawaz A. Gerges takes us into the mind-set of the jihadi—or holy warrior—that lies behind so many headlines yet remains nearly impenetrable to us. Using his firsthand knowledge of the "Arab street," he brings to life the stories of Kamal al-Said Habib, a founder of the Jihadist Movement, as well as dozens of other Islamic fundamentalists, as they struggle with the battle being waged for the soul of Islam.Journey of the Jihadist puts a human face to events of the last thirty years—from the civil war in Lebanon to the war in Iraq to the conflict in Lebanon today. This important work, now with a new afterword addressing the rise of Hezbollah, will join the ranks of those by Thomas L. Friedman, Fareed Zakaria, and Bernard Lewis.
 
 

About the Author

Fawaz Gerges teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, where he holds the Christian A. Johnson Chair in Middle Eastern Studies. He has also taught at Harvard and Oxford. Gerges is a senior analyst and regular commentator for ABC News and NPR's Morning Edition, and has been a guest on The Charlie Rose Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as on CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera. He lives in northern New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Contents

Prologue  1

Portrait of a Jihadist:  The First ­Generation           19

Things Fall ­Apart   61

The Warriors of God:

The Second ­Generation           93

The Great Satan, Near and ­Far               143

Under Middle Eastern ­Eyes   183

Jihad ­Diaspora        231

Afterword               273

Notes      278

Glossary 285

Selected ­Bibliography             288

Acknowledgments  293

Index       295

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156031707
Author:
Gerges, Fawaz A.
Publisher:
Harvest Books
Subject:
Terrorism
Subject:
Islam
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
Islam - General
Subject:
Political Ideologies - General
Subject:
Islamic fundamentalism
Subject:
Jihad
Subject:
Middle East
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20070331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Black-and-white illustrations and maps
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.71 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » Middle East » General History
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Peace and War
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East
Religion » Islam » General

Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy New Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156031707 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Fawaz Gerges is one of this country's leading scholars of and media commentators on the Middle Eastern. Starting in the late 1990s, Gerges went to Cairo on a McArthur Fellowship, to interview (Arabic is his first language) those involved in the Jihadist Movement, which had begun in the 1970s as a fight against the secularization of Arab countries, hence was national rather than international in scope. But events--the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian Revolution, war in Iraq—began to extend its influence. The new Jihadists were not looking now merely to affect local but worldwide change. In Cairo, Fawaz began a long series of conversations with Kamal al-Said Habib was one of the founders of the modern Jihadist movement and one of its key spokesman. Habib had been jailed after Anwar Sadats assassination—organized by the Jihadist Movement—and then become allied with Osama bin Ladens fringe group, which he subsequently renounced, before the 9-11 attacks. Habibs life-story emerges as a counterpart to those events and forms the basis of this book. JOURNEY OF A JIHADIST gives readers a look at religious extremism from the inside—from the point of view of someone who founded, shaped, and changed with a movement. The Koran uses "jihad" figuratively to refer to humanity's lifelong struggle with the dictates of faith. This book gives us Habibs quest, among others, personalizing issues that would otherwise seem inexplicable. It also gives us Fawaz Gerges quest. Gerges family was forced out of Lebanon by Muslim extremists during the Civil War, and his brother—a Lebanese army officer—was killed in fighting. He offers a gripping, accessible, even visceral account of the force with which we have been dealing since 9-11 and its aftermath, but which still seems so alien to most Americans.

"Synopsis" by ,
"For more than a decade, militant Islamists have confronted the United States and, yet, successive American administrations have failed to understand who—or what—their adversary is . . . Journey of the Jihadist is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the world of militant Islam—a subject that has never seemed more relevant."—Mary Anne Weaver, author of Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan

In this important work, now with a new afterword, renowned Middle Eastern expert Fawaz A. Gerges takes us into the mind-set of the jihadi—or holy warrior—that lies behind so many headlines yet remains nearly impenetrable to us. Using his firsthand knowledge of the "Arab street," he brings to life the stories of Kamal al-Said Habib, a founder of the Jihadist Movement, as well as dozens of other Islamic fundamentalists, as they struggle with the battle being waged for the soul of Islam—a battle that affects us all.

"Many of the shortcomings of the war on terrorism can be viewed as stemming from the failure to understand the motives and belief systems of jihadist Muslims . . . Fortunately, there are academics like Fawaz Gerges."—Village Voice

 

"The stories [Gerges] tells, sensitively and incisively, uncover complexities that belie the simplistic assumptions Western governments so often bring to their analysis and action."—Globe and Mail

"Fascinating and highly informative . . . One of the best, most useful, and most timely volumes for nonspecialist readers."—Library Journal (starred review)

FAWAZ A. GERGES holds the Christian A. Johnson Chair in Middle Eastern Studies at Sarah Lawrence College, and has taught at Harvard and Oxford. A regular commentator for ABC News and NPRs Morning Edition, Gerges has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as on CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera. He lives in northern New Jersey.

"Synopsis" by ,
Renowned Middle Eastern expert Fawaz A. Gerges takes us into the mind-set of the jihadi—or holy warrior—that lies behind so many headlines yet remains nearly impenetrable to us. Using his firsthand knowledge of the "Arab street," he brings to life the stories of Kamal al-Said Habib, a founder of the Jihadist Movement, as well as dozens of other Islamic fundamentalists, as they struggle with the battle being waged for the soul of Islam.Journey of the Jihadist puts a human face to events of the last thirty years—from the civil war in Lebanon to the war in Iraq to the conflict in Lebanon today. This important work, now with a new afterword addressing the rise of Hezbollah, will join the ranks of those by Thomas L. Friedman, Fareed Zakaria, and Bernard Lewis.
 
 
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