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.
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(198mm x 129mm x 30mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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UK Kirkus Review »
After the attack on the World Trade Centre on September 11 last year, the American reaction was one of horror - and confusion. 'Why do they hate us?' was the question that one heard over and over again. Many ordinary citizens had little idea of why the attacks happened, and the simplistic attitude of many in the media, painting Osama Bin Laden as a cartoon bad guy who was envious of American economic success, did little to enlighten them. In fact, the writing was on the wall a long time before September 11: the attack on the Twin Towers was merely another stage in a battle that had been going on for centuries, and which had gathered pace over the four years or so leading up to 2001, and was entirely, depressingly predictable to experts in the field of Islamic fundamentalism. It is fascinating to read the analysis of such an expert. Dilip Hiro, author of more than 20 books, has provided a comprehensive historical analysis of the religious and political influences which have led to the ongoing 'War on Terror'. He takes an even-handed and factual approach, and it is not until the epilogue that the reader gains any sense of his frustration at the unilateral and uncompromising stance taken by the United States leadership. To make sense of the motivation of those who flew the hijacked airliners into the buildings, and of those who financed and trained them, Hiro goes right back to basics, tracing the history of Islam back to the seventh century and providing a wealth of information on the various schisms that occurred along the way. He then devotes a chapter each to the rise of fundamentalism in three countries - Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan - before turning his attention to the American campaign in Afghanistan and, finally, the conflicts in Kashmir and Israel. His style is extremely readable and authoritative, and the lay reader will undoubtedly end the book wiser if no more optimistic about the crisis facing the world at the beginning of the 21st century. (Kirkus UK)
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