A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America

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Granta, 2002 - Religion - 324 pages
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"In A Fury for God, Malise Ruthven, a scholar of Islamic history and Middle Eastern affairs, traces the religious and intellectual background behind the terrorist attacks on the United States. They were carried out, he argues, by men steeped in "Islamist" ideology: an amalgam of traditional Islamic concepts such as "jihad" and extremist ideas adapted from European leftism, fascism and anarchism." "Ruthven investigates the hijackers' motives, particularly those of their leader, Mohammed Atta - a figure troubled, like many of his contemporaries, by the clash between Islamic and Western values, including unresolved conflicts over gender and sexuality. It would be a mistake, Ruthven insists, to treat these men as medieval fanatics: their attitude to modernity is dangerous and ambivalent." "In an analysis, the author exposes the crucial importance of the Saudi Arabian connection: it is an authoritarian regime responsible for the massive sponsorship of "fundamentalism"; the birthplace of Osama bin Laden, head of al-Qa'ida; and the home of fifteen of the hijackers. At the same time, Saudi Arabia remains America's closest ally in the Arab world, armed and tolerated for its oil. Though Ruthven rejects the thesis that the Western and Islamic worlds are heading inevitably for a clash between "civilizations," he concludes by suggesting that if left unchecked, pressures from religious fundamentalists (both Christian and Jewish) in the United States and Israel, added to the religious forces at work in the Muslim world, might well conspire to produce just such an outcome."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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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

Contents

September nth I
3
Jihad
44
The Aesthetics of Martyrdom
72
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Malise Ruthven is a former editor with the BBC Arabic Service and World Service in London and is the author of "Islam in the World" and "Islam: A Very Short Introduction".

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