Journey of the Jihadist by Fawaz A. Gerges
Inside Muslim Militancy

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Synopsis

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 America’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 movement’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 present—from the civil war in Lebanon, which Gerges and his family endured, to the war in Iraq that is giving 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 where—and with whom—it all started.
 

About Fawaz A. Gerges

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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.
 
Published May 8, 2006 by Harcourt. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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But then came the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, and there, Gerges writes, with haunted knowledge, came the third crucible, pitting fundamentalists against fundamentalists and elevating the pariah to hero.

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In September 2005, Gerges, an academic turned news commentator, published a rare and thoughtful piece of scholarship, The Far Enemy , that sought to map the different views within militant Islam's explosive underworld.

Feb 20 2006 | Read Full Review of Journey of the Jihadist: Insi...

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