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Book Review: Inside Jihad – How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How To Defeat It by Dr Tawfik Hamid

Book Review: Inside Jihad – How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How To Defeat It by Dr Tawfik Hamid

Book Review: Inside Jihad – How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How To Defeat It by Dr Tawfik Hamid

Book Review: 

Stars: 4.5/5.

Literature Review:

InsideJihadTawfikHamidDr Tawfik Hamid has first-hand experience of Islamist groups – being a former member of Jemaah Islamiyah (or JI), a known terrorist organisation. The book does not only give an inside account of such organisations and how they target certain places such as Medical Schools, Mosques and Madrasas, but an observation and educated opinion on the numerous, and sometimes conflicting, radicalisation theories.

Some of the writing on “root cause” theories include: poverty, discrimination, lack of education, absence of democracy, Western Colonialism and Imperialism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, US Foreign Policy. The authour also compares numerous Islamist and non-Islamist groups, and makes astute comparisons between the national terrorist groups such as the IRA, secular terrorist groups such as the LTTE, and Islamic terrorist groups, namely Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Some of the theological findings give meaning into terms such as Salafi, Sufi, Secular Islam and Wahhabism. Some societal findings give insight into the common trend of denialism and rejection within Muslim communities on these issues, the blame games and the concept of a “moderate” Muslim. The book goes even further than that, it discusses general Islamic issues such as women’s issues within Islam, the suppression of critical thinking within Islam, and so forth. It is an enjoyable read for those interested!

The book is available here from Amazon for Kindle.

Pros:

  • This book covers in detail, and with first-hand account, the world of Islamism. Why do Islamists target specific places such as Medical Schools or Madrasas? The answer is within. Why are doctors so enticed by Islamism? The answers are within.
  • The book goes further, applying reasoning to various radicalisation theories and concepts. It is broad and easy-to-understand for the most part. Anything from discrimination, racism, poverty, hero worship models… it’s all in here!

Cons:

  • The authour lacks punch in a few of his points, notably in terms of “passive terrorism” and “Western Colonialism”. The authour does not engage with some of the key arguments that we have come across in these regards, and thus lacks the ability to single-handily defeat them. However, his other points tend to hit the mark on the issues and are a good overview for the average reader.

Recommend: Yes. RECOMMENDED READING.

Book Review: Inside Jihad – How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How To Defeat It by Dr Tawfik Hamid

Book Review: Catastrophic Failure – Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad by Stephen Coughlin

Book Review: Catastrophic Failure – Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad by Stephen Coughlin

Stars: 4/5.

Literature Review:

CatastrophicFailureStephenCoughlin

What an amazing and complex insight the authour gives into the life of an intelligence analyst during the earlier phases of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) encompassing both the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. Coupled with the obvious oversights and critical errors of intelligence agencies to call a spade a spade and identify then challenge the issues observed, this book sheds much needed light on such catastrophic failures by our own governmental agencies.

The best example of this is the Fort Hood Shooting, in which the official report failed to mention Jihad, Islam, Islamism, Jihadism or any other connection to religious radicalisation and religious terrorism. Instead, the official Department of Defense report named this event as “workplace violence”. Blindfolding common Americans in the face of such obvious religiously-motivated violence.

This book breaks down such events and builds a solid foundation for the Islamic justifications of terrorism as seen by the terrorists themselves. It uses many Islamic references, scholarly sources and schools of jurisprudence to feed into the argument. Anyone who is interested in pan-Islamism, religious justifications for violence and the restrictive nature of current intelligence work has to give this one a read! It was banned by the White House after all!!!

The book is available here from Amazon for Kindle.

Pros:

  • This book is eye-opening and jaw-dropping! There are many Islamic concepts covered that directly relate to Islamism, Jihadism, and thus to terrorism. So, for anyone who wants to get a grasp on the numerous concepts that feed into violence, this is the book for you.
  • Concepts include: Islamic jurisprudence, different schools of thought on set issues; Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki Shafi’i, the concept of Jihad within Islam, the concept of a Caliphate within Islam, Qutbism, Islamism, etc.

Cons:

  • The book is long. Very, very long. It is around 790 pages of intense reading. You have to not only keep up with the content and differing concepts, but how each relate to one another. It is truly an intense but eye-opening read!
  • The book requires constant attention to keep up. Miss a concept and understanding following chapters may be difficult!

Recommend: No. Solely for the reason that it is way, wayyyy too long and complex! Only dedicated readers should give this a shot. Keep a lookout in book stores for Stephen Coughlin’s upcoming books, however, which will include a shorter version of this book called something like “The Red Pill Brief”.

Book Review: Inside Jihad – How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How To Defeat It by Dr Tawfik Hamid

Book Review: Engineers of Jihad – The Curious Connection between Violent Extremism and Education by Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog

Book Review: Engineers of Jihad – The Curious Connection between Violent Extremism and Education by Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog

EngineersofJihad

Stars: 4/5.

Literature Review:

This book is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in extremism and terrorism theories. Have you ever heard the tired old assertion that “poverty causes terrorism“? Or that “terrorists are dumb”? This book takes those assumptions and throws them in the garbage! It debunks both armchair theories and clearly displays the facts through obtained statistics and polls. What are the facts you ask? Well, for one, many Islamists and Islamic terrorists are highly educated with degrees in engineering, medicine and Islamic studies dominating their ranks. And poverty is only in a facilitative relationship with terrorism, that is that poverty is a relative factor related to economic, government and developmental issues that feed an environment of frustration and political opposition. The aforementioned Islamists and terrorists with degrees often come from well-off backgrounds and even leave their potential or actual careers to fight. These areas highlight the weakness of previous theories on poverty and terrorism. Don’t believe us? Give it a read. It will give you a great lead in these issues.

The book is available here from Amazon for Kindle.

Pros:

  • The authors have done a fantastic job in presenting the statistics and facts within this book. Compounding this, they have displayed the theories in a well-written way which really cements them with the presented evidences.
  • This book goes beyond “Engineers” and “Jihad”, it gives the reader great insight into multiple radicalization, terrorism and extremism theories including relative deprivation theory as opposed to absolute deprivation theory.

Cons:

  • For new readers, the book is a little bit “academic”. It attempts to display the facts as found through statistical analysis and hypothesizing on these trends which some readers will find difficult to grasp – at least initially.
  • The book requires constant vigilance, paying attention to the posed academic and research questions and the selected answers. The book therefore can be easily summarized within a number of bullet points. I suggest that those interested in these theories get their head stuck into such a book, however those that are finding it difficult can skip it entirely and go straight to the conclusion for the highlighted facts. I will still keep it within the recommended reading category as serious readers will really enjoy it!

Recommend: Yes. RECOMMENDED READING.

Book Review: Inside Jihad – How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How To Defeat It by Dr Tawfik Hamid

Book Review: The Story of Mohammad – Islam Unveiled by Harry Richardson

Book Review: The Story of Mohammad – Islam Unveiled by Harry Richardson

StoryofMohammedIslamUnveiledHarryRichardson

Stars: 4.5/5.

Literature Review:

The Story of Mohammad gives clear insight into Early Islam and life under the Prophet Muhammad. It gives the reader a clear choice of interpretation – it allows the reader to consider snippets of the sacred texts for themselves. Is this text peaceful and compatible with the modern standard of society, or is it at odds with it? The book features many challenging ideas such as slavery, women’s issues, family and issues.

The author refrains from obnoxiously inserting his own opinion on every piece of text and at every junction as seen in other Islam-Critical pieces. The author delivers only what is needed, and nothing beyond, to inform the reader of Islam’s injustices; allowing the readers own conviction and morality to lead the way. The author also gives a clear indication of the type of person Mohammad most likely was, and it leads the reader with many questions–should this man be the perfect resemblance for humanity for all times to come?

The sooner people absorb the information presented, the clearer the current political environment around them will be. This book gives a snapshot of the large framework of belief that is Islam, but a snapshot that is easily edible for all non-Muslims out there and people who want to understand the issues.

The book is available here from Amazon for Kindle. We also sell on this website physical copies via our Shop function.

Pros:

  • The author recognizes the potential for bias and separates his opinion into ‘author’s comments’ sections. This allows the reader to make up his or her own mind about the topic.
  • Each separate chapter is split into the priority issues with Islam – the issues that differentiate it from other religions and societal structures. This allows the reader to get a clear impression of numerous presented topics.
  • The author identifies clear differences between Western or modern standards and Islamic standards and Judeo-Christian religious foundation from Islamic foundation allowing the reader to critique it with those standards in mind. This is a fun intellectual pursuit in making such societal comparisons.

Cons:

  • Center for the Study of Political Islam (CBPI) Publications has a tainted reputation as it is ran and owned by Dr Bill Warner. Some people see Dr Bill Warner as a propagandist and pseudointellectual in Islamic studies or circles.
  • Dr Bill Warner is also referenced throughout the book, and this decreases the verifiability. The author should have referenced solely Islamic sources through Dr Bill Warner’s books. For example any Hadith that Dr Bill Warner mentioned should have been directly quoted, as opposed to referencing solely Dr Bill Warner’s book. Such inaccuracies with referencing and sourcing specific information make the content less impacting. Hence the penalty of losing half a star.

Recommend: Yes. RECOMMENDED READING.

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