Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America by Walid Phares

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Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America by Walid Phares

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Category: Politics and Society
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Dave Martin
Reviewed by Dave Martin
Summary: Despite the authors arrogance and patronising writing style, this is an interesting account of the reasons behind terrorism.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: November 2005
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 1403970742

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Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America is fundamentally a reference book on the history and progression of Jihad from its foundations in Islamic religion to the political movement it has become today. The author, Walid Phares, uses his twenty five years of research to explain the reasons behind Jihad and why Western states such as the United States are its inevitable targets.

Undoubtedly in-depth, this is not a book for someone with only a passing interest in politics. There is some heavy reference material in here and Future Jihad reads more like a textbook than anything else. Phares assumes that readers are largely ignorant on the subject of Islam and Jihadism in particular. Those presuming this to be an intriguing account of the impending actions of the Jihad-driven community and Al Qaeda may be left disappointed.

Phares does give some conjecture on the likely future of groups such as Al-Qaeda, but the book really concentrates on the reasoning behind terrorist actions such as the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11. He claims that by understanding the motives behind such events, we can project future attacks and defend ourselves more appropriately. While his claim that ignorance, rather than Al-Qaeda itself, is the enemy is all too true, his arrogance and "in hindsight" approach to this book does leave me with a degree of irritation. He seems to be tarring his entire readership with the same brush of idiocy and his "it's your own fault" attitude grates the further into the book you progress.

However, this patronising tone does not make Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies of America any less of an important read. Phares is undoubtedly knowledgeable on his subject and clearly an expert in this field. The writing throughout is as dry as you would expect from a book that is, in essence, a religious and political teaching session, but the chapters are well segregated and the use of question and answer and sub-headings allows a clear train of thought. I can say I learned something new throughout.

As a learning experience, this is an invaluable resource for someone, like myself, who knows little about the religious or political motivations of Al-Qaeda and their followers. It is not what you'd call an enjoyable reading experience but it is one that benefits from perserverance and an invaluable resource. Unsurprisingly, this is one to keep on the bookshelf for reference, not for enjoyment.

Thank you to the people at Palgrave Macmillan for the copy of this book.

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Buy Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America by Walid Phares at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America by Walid Phares at Amazon.com.

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