This book provides the historical and political context to explain acts of terror, including the September 11th, and the bombing of American Embassies in Nairobi and Dar as Salaam and the West's responses. Providing a brief history of Islam as a religion and as socio-political ideology, Dilip Hiro goes on to outline the Islamist movements that have thrived in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, and their changing relationship with America. It is within this framework that the rising menace of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaida network is discussed.
The Pentagon's amazingly swift victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan is examined along with implications of the Bush Doctrine, encapsulated in his declaration, 'so long as anybody is terrorizing established governments, there needs to be a war' - a recipe for war without end.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Islam 1. The Rise of Islam: Sunnis and Shias 2. Orthodox Islam and Sufism 3. Islam in Modern Times Part 2: Islamic Ideologies and Fundamentalist States 4. Egypt: The Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots 5. Saudi Arabia: The Oldest Fundamentalist State 6. Afghanistan: Fundamentalism Victorious with American Backing Part 3: Islamist Terrorism and Global Response 9. Ongoing War Against Terror: An Uncharted Territory 10. Summary and Conclusions
'The strength of Hiro's book lies in his providing a clear context for events, thus illustrating the extent and depth of the crisis that now exists between the Islamists led, inspired or influenced by bin Laden and the Western nations now at war with him.' - The Financial Times
'This is an immensely useful compendium of the background to the new world that we face ... it should become compulsory reading, not so much for the diplomatic professionals, but for their political masters.' - Middle East International
'Hiro uses simple argument and backs it with a mathematician's logic.' - The Hindu