God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad

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9780306815706: God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad
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What are the roots of today's militant fundamentalism in the Muslim world? In this insightful and wide-ranging history, Charles Allen finds an answer in an eighteenth-century reform movement of Muhammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab and his followers-the Wahhabi-who sought the restoration of Islamic purity and declared violent jihad on all who opposed them. The Wahhabi teaching spread rapidly-first throughout the Arabian Peninsula, then to the Indian subcontinent, where a more militant expression of Wahhabism flourished. The ranks of today's Taliban and al-Qaeda are filled with young men trained in Wahhabi theology. God's Terrorists sheds much-needed light on the origins of modern terrorism and shows how this dangerous ideology lives on today.

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About the Author:

Charles Allen is an acknowledged authority on British Indian and South Asian history. His most recent books include Soldier Sahibs and The Buddha and the Sahibs. He lives in London.

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British author Allen (Soldier Sahibs) argues persuasively that violent Islamic extremism isn't as new as we might think, but unfortunately, his book doesn't do much to explain the phenomenon. Carefully drawing distinctions between mainstream Islam and the fanaticism that spawned al-Qaeda (which he calls "as much a threat to Islam as to the West"), Allen goes back to the 18th-century founding of Wahhabism, a strain of Islam fostered in the Arabian desert that now serves as the Saudi state religion. Fixated on removing any hint of deviation from their interpretation of Muhammad's teachings, violent Wahhabists have traditionally killed more Muslims than non-Muslims. A Central Asia expert, Allen focuses on the form of Wahhabism that developed against the backdrop of waning British imperialism in that area, gradually leading up to Osama bin Laden's arrival. But his rapid-fire account is littered with names and battles, explaining little about how an ideology always rejected by most Muslims, and whose proponents were nearly annihilated on many occasions, managed to survive so spectacularly. Nor does he explain why Wahhabists' anger has shifted from supposed infidels in their midst to citizens of the West. (Sept.)
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9780349118796: God's Terrorists

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ISBN 10:  0349118795 ISBN 13:  9780349118796
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9780306815225: God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad

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9780316729970: God's Terrorists

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