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The Mirage is an expression of His Excellency Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi's perspective that the struggle in which many Arab and Muslim countries are currently engaged against extremist groups and organizations is not limited to the realm of military and security operations; it is also an extended war of an essentially intellectual nature that requires long-term planning, which is no less important indeed, perhaps even more so than planning in military and security terms. Academic scholarship plays a vital role in protecting the security of nations and societies via rigorous analysis of challenges and threats and the subsequent presentation of appropriate solutions. The role of scholars in times of historic conflict is to be at the forefront of the defenders of human and civilizational values against extremists and radical militants. It is to this end that the author has written this book.
The book examines this phenomenon from multiple research angles: intellectual, political, ideological, cultural and social, exploring political religious thought in its various manifestations, and explaining the intellectual and organizational disparities between relevant groups. The book tracks the history of this phenomenon, tracing it to its peak in the early 2010s, revealing the intellectual and ideological characteristics of these groups for interested researchers, decision makers and the public in an effort to deconstruct the various obstacles they pose to civilizational progress and development in Arab and Muslim countries.
Every chapter reflects the author's conviction that political religious groups represent neither the true face of Islam nor its moderate values, and that yielding to the claims of these groups is a serious affront to religion and its essential values of moderation and tolerance.
The Mirage also employs an insightful research vision in its approach to political religious groups and their various practices and manifestations. It tracks their historical evolution and studies particular examples from their inception up until the recent failure of the Muslim Brotherhood-inspired governments that took power in certain Arab and Muslim countries, identifying the causes of their failure, exposing the fallacy of an 80-year legacy of pretentious slogans that attracted such veneration among these groups and their sympathizers not least among the Muslim Brotherhood itself.
Readers will recognize that various elements of current realities in Arab and Muslim countries show similarities with the backwardness of certain aspects of the European Middle Ages particularly in terms of the ideologies and practices of political religious groups in the Arab and Muslim worlds in the modern era, and specifically their intellectual and political structures, the relationship between religion and politics, the role of clergy, as well as the prevailing philosophies in Europe and the Arab and Muslim worlds.
This gives rise to several questions: are the Arab and Muslim worlds today fighting a similar battle to that experienced by the Europeans around five centuries ago? Does this mean that five centuries separate European and Islamic civilizations? And if so is there any way to overcome such a schism? Are backwardness and modernity inevitably sequential, whereby one becomes a prerequisite to the other? Why is modernity viewed as the antithesis of religiosity an implicit rejection of religion and its teachings? Why do some groups in the Arab and Muslim societies think that talk about religion ends where talk about progress and development begins? Why have referential concepts disappeared and given way to destructive ideas like those espoused by political religious groups?
About the Author:
Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi is a UAE intellectual, writer and strategic expert, and is the Director General of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) since 1994 till the present time. He earned his BS degree in political science from Kuwait University in 1981 and his MA and Ph.D. degrees in political science from the University of Wisconsin in 1985 and 1990, respectively. In 1992, he became a visiting lecturer at the University of Wisconsin where he taught a course on the Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. He was also a Professor in Political Science Department at the UAE University in Al Ain (1991-2000) where he taught different courses and seminars.
Dr. Al-Suwaidi has authored several books, including From Tribe to Facebook: The Transformational Role of Social Networks (2013) which featured on the best-seller list of the Emarat Al Youm newspaper. Dr. Al-Suwaidi is a board member of Georgetown University s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) in the U.S, in addition to his membership of the board of research consultants of the Institute for Foreign policy Analysis (IFPA) in the U.S. He is a former Chairman of the Board for the Emirates National Schools and former Council Member at Zayed University. In 2009, he was appointed Chairman of the Higher Committee for the preparation of the National Strategy for Childhood and Motherhood in the United Arab Emirates. He was granted Membership for the International Advisory Board of The E-City for HM King Hamad Ibn Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain in January 2010. Dr. Al-Suwaidi is a trustee of the Emirati-Swiss Friendship Platform and a member of the Advisory Board of Casa Arabe of Spain. In 2012, he was named as a member of the Supreme Council for the National Defence College. On May 19, 2015, Dr. Al-Suwaidi was appointed Chairman of the Founding Committee for the Care of Cancer Patients by Decree No. (13) for the year 2015, issued by the Secretary-General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
Dr. Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi has been awarded a number of awards and medals the Legion of Merit (Commander Degree) from the late King Hassan II of the Kingdom of Morocco in 1995, the French Order of Merit (First Class) by the French Republic President in 2002, the Emirates Appreciation Award for Science, Arts and Literature in its Third Round for 2008 and the Abu Dhabi Medal by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces in 2012. In 2012, he received the Unique Leadership and Futuristic Vision Award from the Emirates Identity Authority. In 2013, he was awarded the Key to the City of Fez. In 2013, the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan presented the Head of State Merit Award to Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi for the second time in recognition of his patriotism and sincere achievements and as a role model for upholding the Values of Giving. In 2014, he received the Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy from the Fondazione Mediterraneo. The award was conferred in recognition of his efforts and contributions toward bringing nations closer and promoting the concept of cultural diplomacy based on knowledge and thought. On 28 September 2014, he was awarded the Key to the City of Alexandria in recognition of his efforts in supporting culture. In 2015, he received the Knight of Arab Studies Award from the Arab Producers Union, an affiliate of the Arab League. Dr. Al-Suwaidi also received the Arab Social Media Influencers Award 2015 Politics Category for Institutions granted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research. On May 28, 2015
Title: The Mirage (Hardcover)
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Book Description Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, 2015. Condition: Very Good. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory # GRP81745717
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Book Description Emirates Center For Strategic Studies And Research. Hardcover. Condition: New. 9948230760 Except for minor wear bottom edge back of dust jacket, book's as if brand new condition. INCLUDES 2 DVD's. Lovely silk ribbon book mark. 3rd Impression, 2015. Inconspicuous remainder-like marking, bottom text block. Seller Inventory # SKU1016005