Thursday, November 08, 2012

Top ten books on militant Islamism

Jason Burke is the south Asia correspondent of the Guardian and the Observer newspapers. His books include The 9/11 Wars and Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam. Lee Konstantinou called Burke’s Al-Qaeda" a really eye-opening look at how the terrorist organization was born and how it really operates."

Burke named a top ten list of books on militant Islamism for the Guardian, including:
Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam by Gilles Kepel

I read this in Pakistan, over a period of weeks shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Its sweep across the broad landscape of radical Sunni activism was a revelation. The book is one of the few genuinely rigorous academic overviews of the social and historical roots of the phenomenon of modern Muslim extremism – ranging geographically from the far east to Europe, and chronologically from the 1960s onwards – that also remains readable. Its primary thesis – that violent Islamic militancy is in large part a response to the failure of political Islamist activism – has stood the test of time. Kepel is famous in France but almost unknown outside. This is a shame. A classic.
Read about another title on the list.

See Burke's five top books on Islamic militancy.

--Marshal Zeringue