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Philip Smucker makes an impassioned argument for understanding and reconciliation. Traversing a broad swath of the world''s great Islamic societies, from northern Africa to Indonesia, he mingles a multitude of personal experiences with insights and analysis. The ultimate goal is peaceful resolution of the great ''war on terror'' that pits U.S.-led forces against a wide range of enemies. He avoids demonizing either or any side in a search for a better way of both waging war and making peace. As the title suggests, our enemies also are our brothers, and the war will end only when we recognize our common bond as people with similar yearnings, hopes, and fears.... The author himself sides only with a desire to resolve conflict. He suggests how in a final section devoted to sensitive and colorful first-person reporting from the battlegrounds of Afghanistan. Moving from there to the plain at West Point, he offers criticism and advice that those closest to the war zone may want to consider seriously.-Donald Kirk, Asia expert, correspondent, Christian Science Monitor, author of Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and the Struggle for SunshineIn this kaleidoscopic tour behind the frontlines of the war of ideas, veteran investigative journalist Philip Smucker-the author of the acclaimed Al Qaeda''s Great Escape-assesses US efforts to persuade Muslims that Americans respect their rights and interests, while we fight wars and promote our interests. He draws on extensive travels in the Muslim world through interviews with a cross-section of the population including students, intellectuals, insurgents and politicians. For an American perspective, the author examines the threat of terrorism and the challenges of winning the peace through candid interviews with US military officers, diplomats, and regional experts.Smucker describes turmoil within the Islamic realm and our efforts to project soft power into a world that remains misunderstood. He assesses both our failures and successes in Israel and Palestine, Egypt, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saharan Africa.In contrast to Western fearmongers who use hyperbolic rhetoric about a clash of civilizations and our war with Islamic fascism, Smucker asserts that such language targeting a would-be enemy has only aided and abetted al Qaeda''s recruiting drive and hardened attitudes against America among average Muslims.Several themes resonate through Smucker''s interviews. One is that the Muslim world is looking for consistent engagement from the United States, particularly in regard to Israeli-Palestinian peace. After decades of paying lip service to the ideal of peace in the Middle East, Smucker shows why it is crucial for the Obama Administration to push forcefully for a two-state solution. Another is that the US must discontinue its policy of backing authoritarian regimes that oppress their people. In the eyes of everyday Muslims, such tactics make a mockery of our claim to be the champion of individual liberty. Muslims, many of whom already support democratic change, will only be convinced of America''s good will, says Smucker, if our actions speak louder than our words. Finally, Smucker makes the case that as long as Americans and Muslims view one another with blanket suspicions and as potential enemies, neither side can hope to persuade his brother to see the world in another light. Though there are no silver bullets, pacification, development, and democratic progress should be approached through shifts in American foreign policy, he argues.This revealing, vividly told narrative by a daring and experienced journalist with firsthand knowledge of the events and people in conflict areas offers unforgettable insights into the Muslim world''s hopes and fears as well as our own crucial diplomatic overtures and military campaigns across the Islamic world.Philip Smucker (Alexandria, VA) is the author of the highly acclaimed Al Qaeda''s Great Escape, which broke the story of Osama''s Bin Laden''s escape. A seaso
Hailed in The New York Times Book Review as "the doyen of Middle Eastern studies," Bernard Lewis has been for half a century one of the West's foremost scholars of Islamic history and culture, the author of over two dozen books, most notably The Arabs in History, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, The Political Language of Islam, and The Muslim Discovery of Europe. Eminent French historian Robert Mantran has written of Lewis's work: "How could one resist being attracted to the books of an author who opens for you the doors of an unknown or misunderstood universe, who leads you within to its innermost domains: religion, ways of thinking, conceptions of power, culture--an author who upsets notions too often fixed, fallacious, or partisan." In Islam and the West, Bernard Lewis brings together in one volume eleven essays that indeed open doors to the innermost domains of Islam. Lewis ranges far and wide in these essays. He includes long pieces, such as his capsule history of the interaction--in war and peace, in commerce and culture--between Europe and its Islamic neighbors, and shorter ones, such as his deft study of the Arabic word watan and what its linguistic history reveals about the introduction of the idea of patriotism from the West. Lewis offers a revealing look at Edward Gibbon's portrait of Muhammad in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (unlike previous writers, Gibbon saw the rise of Islam not as something separate and isolated, nor as a regrettable aberration from the onward march of the church, but simply as a part of human history); he offers a devastating critique of Edward Said's controversial book, Orientalism; and he gives an account of the impediments to translating from classic Arabic to other languages (the old dictionaries, for one, are packed with scribal errors, misreadings, false analogies, and etymological deductions that pay little attention to the evolution of the language). And he concludes with an astute commentary on the Islamic world today, examining revivalism, fundamentalism, the role of the Shi'a, and the larger question of religious co-existence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. A matchless guide to the background of Middle East conflicts today, Islam and the West presents the seasoned reflections of an eminent authority on one of the most intriguing and little understood regions in the world.
A liberal Muslim and critically acclaimed author explores the historical, political, and theological basis for centuries of Muslim animosity towards Jews, debunking long-held myths and tracing a history of hate and its impact today. More than nine years after 9/11 and 60 years after the creation of the state of Israel, the world is no closer to solving, let alone understanding, the psychological and political divide between Jews and Muslims. While countless books have been written on the subject of terrorism, political Islam, and jihad, barely a handful address the theological and historical basis of the Jew—Muslim divide. Following the terrorist attacks on Mumbai in November 2008, in which Pakistani jihadis sought out and murdered the members of a local Jewish centre, Tarek Fatah began an in-depth investigation of the historical basis for the crime. In this provocative new book, Fatah uses extensive research to trace how literature from as early as the seventh century has fueled the hatred of Jews by Muslims. Fatah debunks the anti-Jewish writings of the Hadith literature, takes apart the Arab supremacist doctrines that lend fuel to the fire, and reinterprets supposed anti-Jewish passages in the Quran. In doing so he argues that hating Jews is against the essence of the Islamic spirit and suggests what needs to be done to eliminate the agonizing friction between the two communities. From the Hardcover edition.
The author links the spread of leftist ideas, secular values, and American pop culture to the rise of anti-American sentiment around the world, as well as to such terrorist acts as the 9/11 attacks.
Khorramshahr, Iran, May 1982—It was the bloodiest battle of one of the most brutal wars of the twentieth century, and Najah, a twenty-nine-year-old wounded Iraqi conscript, was face to face with a thirteen-year-old Iranian child soldier who was ordered to kill him. Instead, the boy committed an astonishing act of mercy. It was an act that decades later would save his own life. This is a remarkable story. It is gut-wrenching, essential, and astonishing. It’s a war story. A love story. A page-turner of vast moral dimensions. An eloquent and haunting act of witness to horrors beyond grimmest fiction, and a thing of towering beauty. More importantly, it is a story that must be told, and a richly textured view into an overlooked conflict and misunderstood region. This is the great untold story of the children and young men whose lives were sacrificed at the whim of vicious dictators and pointless, barbaric wars. Little has been written of the Iran-Iraq war, which was among the most brutal conflicts of the twentieth century, one fought with chemical weapons, ballistic missiles, and cadres of child soldiers. The numbers involved are staggering: —All told, it claimed 700,000 lives—200,000 Iraqis, and 500,000 Iranians. —Young men of military service age—eighteen and above in Iraq, fifteen and above in Iran—died in the greatest numbers. —80,000 Iranian child soldiers were killed, mostly between the ages of sixteen and seventeen. —The two countries spent a combined 1.1 trillion dollars fighting the war. Rarely does this kind of reportage succeed so power- fully as literature. More rarely still does such searingly brilliant literature—fit to stand beside Remarque, Hemingway, and O’Brien—emerge from behind “enemy” lines. But Zahed, a child, and Najah, a young restaurateur, are rare men—not just survivors, but masterful, wondrously gifted storytellers. Written with award-winning journalist Meredith May, this is literature of a very high order, set down with passion, urgency, and consummate skill. This story is an affirmation that, in the end, it is our humanity that transcends politics and borders and saves us all.

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