A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America

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Granta Books, 2004 - Political Science - 346 pages
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The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington were carried out by men steeped in a certain Islamic ideology, which has come to be called Islamism. In A Fury for God, Malise Ruthven reconstructs the events of 11 September and the war in Afghanistan and traces the role of the idea of 'jihad' and examines the permissibility of suicide in Islam. He reconstructs the world-view of Islamist intellectuals like Sayyid Qutb, the Egyptian thinker who has influenced an entire generation of radicals in the Arab world, notably Osama bin Laden. Ruthven highlights their obsessive attention to sexual matters. He also shows that it would be a mistake to treat these people as medieval fanatics: their attitude to modernity is dangerous and ambivalent. The author also exposes the crucial importance of the Saudi connection, the massive sponsorship of 'fundamentalism' by an authoritarian tribal regime that has been tolerated by the international community for the sake of Western economic stability. Ruthven's identification of the ambiguities in Western policy is powerfully provocative.

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User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

Ruthven’s book would make a good follow-up to any introductory book on Islam. (He assumes some knowledge, especially about Shia beliefs, but you can read the book without this.) Written in 2002 and ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Malise Ruthven is the author of Islam: A Short Introduction; Islam in the World; The Divine Supermarket (a study of Christian fundamentalism); and of A Satanic Affair (a book about the Rushdie affair). He is a visiting professor at the University of California at San Diego.

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