Unholy War by John L. Esposito
Terror in the Name of Islam

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The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon left us stunned, angry, and uncomprehending. As it became clear that these horrifying acts had been committed in the name of religion, the media, the government, and ordinary citizens alike sought answers to questions about Islam and its adherents.
In this level-headed and authoritative book, John L. Esposito, one of the world's most respected scholars of political Islam, provides answers. He clearly and carefully explains the teachings of Islam--the Quran, the example of the Prophet, Islamic law--about jihad or holy war, the use of violence, and terrorism. He chronicles the rise of extremist groups and examines their frightening worldview and tactics. Anti-Americanism (and anti-Europeanism), he shows, is a broad-based phenomenon that cuts across Arab and Muslim societies. It is not just driven by religious zealotry, but by frustration and anger at U.S. policy. It is vital to understand, however, that the vast majority of Muslims are appalled by the acts of violence committed in the name of their faith. It is essential that we distinguish between the religion of Islam and the actions of extremists like Osama bin Laden, who hijack Islamic discourse and belief to justify their acts of terrorism. This brief, clear-sighted book reflects twenty years of study, reflection, and experience on the part of a scholar who is equally respected in the West and in the Muslim world. It will prove to be the best single guide to the urgent questions that have recently forced themselves on the attention of the entire world.

About John L. Esposito

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John L. Esposito is University Professor of Religion and International Affairs and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. A past president of the Middle East Studies Association, he is Editor-in-Chief of the four-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, Editor of The Oxford Illustrated History of Islam, and the author of numerous books, including Islam: The Straight Path and The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? His newest books include What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam and The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Published March 22, 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA. 209 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Travel. Non-fiction

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even then, only the most radical “reject Islamic law’s regulations regarding the goals and means of a valid jihad (that violence must be proportional and that only the necessary amount of force should be used to repel the enemy),” declaring war on civilians without the blessing of an Islamic head...

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Publishers Weekly

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This backgrounder by a leading scholar of Islam serves as a welcome antidote against simplistic attitudes toward Islam.

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Project MUSE

John Esposito's Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam is different from other recent books because it was written by a scholar, an expert on the subject who has several previous books on Islam to his credit.

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India Today

In the name of god: The simplicity of a suicide attack enables an otherwise impotent individual to wreak horrendous carnage John Esposito, founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Washington's elite Georgetown University, a is ge...

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