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Radical Origins: Why We Are Losing the Battle Against Islamic Extremism and How to Turn the Tide

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More than thirteen years ago after the "War on Terror" was declared, many in the West now feel less secure than ever before. Many security experts believe global Jihad is on the rise throughout the West, and yet these same experts do not know how to stop the rising tide. Military action abroad and police action at home have only attended to the symptoms of terrorism, not th More than thirteen years ago after the "War on Terror" was declared, many in the West now feel less secure than ever before. Many security experts believe global Jihad is on the rise throughout the West, and yet these same experts do not know how to stop the rising tide. Military action abroad and police action at home have only attended to the symptoms of terrorism, not the cause. The root, according to Dr. Ibrahim, is actually the extreme ideology of Wahhabism—the puritanical, reactionary, isolationist, xenophobic, and bigoted sect of Sunni Islam that has been the ideological bedrock of the state of Saudi Arabia since its original rise in the 18th Century. Foreign policy, socio-economic factors, alienation, and identity are often invoked in explaining the rise in radicalization, and while they do have a role to play, these are secondary factors. The primary cause is ideology, and Dr. Ibrahim places the origins of this radical extremism in historic context in a cogent manner, while also articulating specific policy goals and social action points going forward.  Much of it hinges on altering decades of geopolitics regarding Saudi Arabia. In his groundbreaking Radical Origins, Dr. Ibrahim will provide an accessible primer on radicalism, an understanding of jihadist history, and a way forward, debunking misconceptions about Islam and this jihadist offshoot along the way. This remarkable work culminates in a powerful body of evidence about how to contain, reduce, and stop the spread of radicalization once and for all.


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More than thirteen years ago after the "War on Terror" was declared, many in the West now feel less secure than ever before. Many security experts believe global Jihad is on the rise throughout the West, and yet these same experts do not know how to stop the rising tide. Military action abroad and police action at home have only attended to the symptoms of terrorism, not th More than thirteen years ago after the "War on Terror" was declared, many in the West now feel less secure than ever before. Many security experts believe global Jihad is on the rise throughout the West, and yet these same experts do not know how to stop the rising tide. Military action abroad and police action at home have only attended to the symptoms of terrorism, not the cause. The root, according to Dr. Ibrahim, is actually the extreme ideology of Wahhabism—the puritanical, reactionary, isolationist, xenophobic, and bigoted sect of Sunni Islam that has been the ideological bedrock of the state of Saudi Arabia since its original rise in the 18th Century. Foreign policy, socio-economic factors, alienation, and identity are often invoked in explaining the rise in radicalization, and while they do have a role to play, these are secondary factors. The primary cause is ideology, and Dr. Ibrahim places the origins of this radical extremism in historic context in a cogent manner, while also articulating specific policy goals and social action points going forward.  Much of it hinges on altering decades of geopolitics regarding Saudi Arabia. In his groundbreaking Radical Origins, Dr. Ibrahim will provide an accessible primer on radicalism, an understanding of jihadist history, and a way forward, debunking misconceptions about Islam and this jihadist offshoot along the way. This remarkable work culminates in a powerful body of evidence about how to contain, reduce, and stop the spread of radicalization once and for all.

42 review for Radical Origins: Why We Are Losing the Battle Against Islamic Extremism and How to Turn the Tide

  1. 4 out of 5

    Phillip

    3.75 / 5.0 Premise of book is that Islamic Extremism has its global roots in Salafist Wahhabist fundamentalist Islamic Theology that defines the other as any sect or religion that fails to adhere to their interpretation of the faith. Argument is basically how this core belief is so easily co-opted by radical extremists and used to justify terrorist activities in it's pursuit of an idealized pure Islam embodied in a Modern Caliphate. Places important secondary blame on House of Saud for its courti 3.75 / 5.0 Premise of book is that Islamic Extremism has its global roots in Salafist Wahhabist fundamentalist Islamic Theology that defines the other as any sect or religion that fails to adhere to their interpretation of the faith. Argument is basically how this core belief is so easily co-opted by radical extremists and used to justify terrorist activities in it's pursuit of an idealized pure Islam embodied in a Modern Caliphate. Places important secondary blame on House of Saud for its courting and financing Wahhabism in order to achieve and maintain sectarian power in Saudi Arabia. Enabling Ideology + Enabling Financing + Marginalized Individuals + Economic Insecurity + Persecution Complex + Group Identity = Islamic Extemist. Simple pathway is investigated and well argued and seems logical as such. Suggestions as ways to intervene in Pathway are a touch wishful thinking. Struggles, as we all seem to do, to convey nuance of cultural mores and environment on individual behavior particularly when dealing with the increase or decrease in the frequency of low frequency events. In this case thread is better stated as: Saudi financial support of Wahhabist teaching both internally and internationally, spreads an Interpretation of Islam that sees itself as the persecuted other, and regards other others as heretical. This breeds a sense of resentment in adherents when faced with troubles attributed to the other and combined with a sense of powerlessness. This feeling prompts are small fraction of adherents to radical resistance, and a smaller subset to Islamic Extremism, and smaller subset to active terrorism including suicide bombings etc. As the original pool is enlarged globally with the financing of Saudi Oil money, the pool at each subsequent stage enlarges proportionately. Probably butchered this theme but reason I rated this 3.75 was because author had same problem elucidating and making explicit this theme.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stoned nINJA

    I've read a number of books on this subject and this is one of the best surely . Author does a great job in making sense of all the noise we hear around jihad and salafism . AL Saud family may hire a hit-man for Dr azeem but if they do they wouldn't have read the book completely, its not a outright critique of them and do have a balanced approach to extremism . Dosen't mean he goes soft on war mongers . A brief history of Muhammad and early Islam is also very INTERESTING . Chapters on Balkans a I've read a number of books on this subject and this is one of the best surely . Author does a great job in making sense of all the noise we hear around jihad and salafism . AL Saud family may hire a hit-man for Dr azeem but if they do they wouldn't have read the book completely, its not a outright critique of them and do have a balanced approach to extremism . Dosen't mean he goes soft on war mongers . A brief history of Muhammad and early Islam is also very INTERESTING . Chapters on Balkans and Saudi family are especially worth a read . Its an insider look into a world we only see in headlines and one minute story bytes . Its a good read specially after binge reading Christoper hitchens . NOTES ---------------

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wren

    DNF @ pg 74. I'm really interested in the topic but the author's writing style is so dry and boring. I also think he isn't fully honest and sees early Islam through rose-coloured glasses. While I 100% support highlighting the good and peaceful parts of Islam that most Muslims live by in order to critique violent fundamentalism, I don't support pretending that Islam is, in its so-called "pure " form, perfect (because no religion is!). His bias is super evident. For example, he acts like destroyin DNF @ pg 74. I'm really interested in the topic but the author's writing style is so dry and boring. I also think he isn't fully honest and sees early Islam through rose-coloured glasses. While I 100% support highlighting the good and peaceful parts of Islam that most Muslims live by in order to critique violent fundamentalism, I don't support pretending that Islam is, in its so-called "pure " form, perfect (because no religion is!). His bias is super evident. For example, he acts like destroying important pagan religious items is somehow no big deal....that is literally a culture! That is not ok! The author needs to be more critical in general. I will give the author props for challenging fundamentalism without demonizing Muslims in general though, as that is very important.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    I didn't find this book interesting. It couldn't hold my attention. I didn't find this book interesting. It couldn't hold my attention.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hosanna Galea

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dl

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emma Scupp

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gail

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marvin Jones

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nader Rizkalla

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  14. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ishani Reddy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Krzysiek (Chris)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  18. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  20. 4 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melly Mel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wanda C

  23. 4 out of 5

    Meghann

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Taylor-Cruz

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amber Griffith

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Durham

  27. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Hensley

  28. 4 out of 5

    Haris Mohammad

  29. 4 out of 5

    Manya

  30. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

  31. 4 out of 5

    Paige Kinnamon

  32. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  33. 5 out of 5

    Allen Patterson

  34. 5 out of 5

    LAURI CRUMLEY COATES

  35. 5 out of 5

    Melkor von Moltke

  36. 5 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  37. 5 out of 5

    Joy Yerkie

  38. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  39. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  40. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Maddox

  41. 4 out of 5

    Rhett Dobberstein

  42. 4 out of 5

    Katharine Adams

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