December 16th 2017


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The meaning of Christmas

CANBERRA OBSERVED Parliamentary stampede tramples freedoms

EUTHANASIA Palliative care remains the true solution

FOREIGN AFFAIRS The more Zimbabwe changes, the more it stays the same

AGENDA FOR AUSTRALIA Putting the 'fair' back in the fair go for farmers

OPINION The new Reformation: How Christians found themselves on the 'wrong' side of history

PHILOSOPHY AND SOCIETY Why Marxists will not engage with opponents

ECONOMICS Kim Beazley rides in as a white knight for the TPP

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS Mergers could give unions a striking profile

MUSIC Sounds like ...: A vain search for meaning

CINEMA Casablanca: Contender for the 'perfect film'

BOOK REVIEW Australia behind the scenes in WWII

BOOK REVIEW Political sparks at the 'Friendly' Games

GENDER WARS If children can decide to change their sex can they join the army or marry?

Books promotion page

BEYOND TERRORISM AND MARTYRDOM:
The Future of the Middle East

Gilles Kepel

$39.95


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by Gilles Kepel

(Harvard University Press, 2010)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN: 9780674057319
Price: AUD$39.95

 

Book description

Since 2001, two dominant worldviews have clashed in the global arena: a neoconservative nightmare of an insidious Islamic terrorist threat to civilised life, and a jihadist myth of martyrdom through the slaughter of infidels. Across the airwaves and on the ground, an ill-defined and uncontrollable war has raged between these two opposing scenarios. Deadly images and threats — from the televised beheading of Western hostages to graphic pictures of torture at Abu Ghraib, from the destruction wrought by suicide bombers in London and Madrid to civilian deaths at the hands of American occupation forces in Iraq — have polarised populations on both sides of this divide.

Yet, as the noted Middle East scholar and commentator Gilles Kepel demonstrates, President Bush’s War on Terror masks a complex political agenda in the Middle East — enforcing democracy, accessing Iraqi oil, securing Israel, and seeking regime change in Iran. Osama bin Laden’s call for martyrs to rise up against the apostate and hasten the dawn of a universal Islamic state papers over a fractured, fragmented Islamic world that is waging war against itself.

Beyond Terror and Martyrdom sounds the alarm to the West and to Islam that both of these exhausted narratives are bankrupt — neither productive of democratic change in the Middle East nor of unity in Islam. Kepel urges us to escape the ideological quagmire of terrorism and martyrdom and explore the terms of a new and constructive dialogue between Islam and the West, one for which Europe, with its expanding and restless Muslim populations, may be the proving ground.

 

About the author

Gilles Kepel, one of the world’s foremost experts on the current Middle East, is director of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, and professor at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris.


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