Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007 - History - 328 pages
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Fawaz Gerges is one of this country's leading scholars of and media commentators on the Middle Eastern. Starting in the late 1990s, Gerges went to Cairo on a McArthur Fellowship, to interview (Arabic is his first language) those involved in the Jihadist Movement, which had begun in the 1970s as a fight against the secularization of Arab countries, hence was national rather than international in scope. But events--the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian Revolution, war in Iraq—began to extend its influence. The new Jihadists were not looking now merely to affect local but worldwide change. In Cairo, Fawaz began a long series of conversations with Kamal al-Said Habib was one of the founders of the modern Jihadist movement and one of its key spokesman. Habib had been jailed after Anwar Sadat’s assassination—organized by the Jihadist Movement—and then become allied with Osama bin Laden’s fringe group, which he subsequently renounced, before the 9-11 attacks. Habib’s life-story emerges as a counterpart to those events and forms the basis of this book. JOURNEY OF A JIHADIST gives readers a look at religious extremism from the inside—from the point of view of someone who founded, shaped, and changed with a movement. The Koran uses "jihad" figuratively to refer to humanity's lifelong struggle with the dictates of faith. This book gives us Habib’s quest, among others, personalizing issues that would otherwise seem inexplicable. It also gives us Fawaz Gerges’ quest. Gerges family was forced out of Lebanon by Muslim extremists during the Civil War, and his brother—a Lebanese army officer—was killed in fighting. He offers a gripping, accessible, even visceral account of the force with which we have been dealing since 9-11 and its aftermath, but which still seems so alien to most Americans.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dougwood57 - LibraryThing

In ‘Journey to the Jihadist’, Fawaz Gerges, a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Sarah Lawrence College, provides extremely valuable insight into the mindset of Islamic jihadist. Or more correctly ... Read full review

Journey of the jihadist: inside Muslim militancy

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this fascinating and highly informative account of the development of militant Islamist praxis and ideology in the contemporary Middle East, Gerges (Middle Eastern studies, Sarah Lawrence Coll.;The ... Read full review


Portrait of a Jihadist The First Generation
Things Fall Apart
The Warriors of God The Second Generation
The Great Satan Near and Far
Under Middle Eastern eyes
Jihad Dispora
Selected Bibliography

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Dissent from War
Robert L. Ivie
Limited preview - 2007
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About the author (2007)

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.

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