Violence and Islam

Unholy War: Terror in the name of Islam By John Esposito, 2003.

  • The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon left us stunned, angry, and uncomprehending. As it became clear that these horrifying acts had been committed in the name of religion, the media, the government, and ordinary citizens alike sought answers to questions about Islam and its adherents. In this level-headed and authoritative book, John L. Esposito, one of the world’s most respected scholars of political Islam, provides answers. He clearly and carefully explains the teachings of Islam–the Quran, the example of the Prophet, Islamic law–about jihad or holy war, the use of violence, and terrorism. He chronicles the rise of extremist groups and examines their frightening worldview and tactics. Anti-Americanism (and anti-Europeanism), he shows, is a broad-based phenomenon that cuts across Arab and Muslim societies. It is not just driven by religious zealotry, but by frustration and anger at U.S. policy. It is vital to understand, however, that the vast majority of Muslims are appalled by the acts of violence committed in the name of their faith. It is essential that we distinguish between the religion of Islam and the actions of extremists like Osama bin Laden, who hijack Islamic discourse and belief to justify their acts of terrorism. This brief, clear-sighted book reflects twenty years of study, reflection, and experience on the part of a scholar who is equally respected in the West and in the Muslim world. It will prove to be the best single guide to the urgent questions that have recently forced themselves on the attention of the entire world.

 

The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality, By John Esposito, 1999

  • Are Islam and the West on a collision course? From the Ayatollah Khomeini to Saddam Hussein, the image of Islam as a militant, expansionist, and rabidly anti-American religion has gripped the minds of Western governments and media. But these perceptions, John L. Esposito writes, stem from a long history of mutual distrust, criticism, and condemnation, and are far too simplistic to help us understand one of the most important political issues of our time. In this new edition of The IslamicThreat: Myth or Reality?, Esposito places the challenge of Islam in critical perspective. Exploring the vitality of this religion as a global force and the history of its relations with the West, Esposito demonstrates the diversity of the Islamic resurgence – and the mistakes our analysts make in assuming a hostile, monolithic Islam. This third edition has been expanded to include new material on current affairs in Turkey, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Southeast Asia, as well as a discussion of international terrorism.

Islam denounces terrorism: Harun Yahya, 2002.

  • One of the unfortunate effects of 9/11 was the misperception that terrorism has divine approval in Islam. Islam Denounces Terrorism thoroughly debunks this notion by looking at both the Qur’an and the historical record. With extensive color illustrations, the book covers such timely topics as Islamic morality, how the Qur’an views war, the real face of the terrorists who act in the name of religions, and much more.