October 21st 2017


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Reality of family unit must underlie tax system

EDITORIAL Christianity today: the challenges ahead

CANBERRA OBSERVED Xenophon: a Mr Fixit or a political yo-yo?

DRUGS POLICY Science elbowed aside in rush for latest silver bullet: 'medical marijuana'

TRANSGENDER MARRIAGE Decoys to revolutionary laws redefining sex and marriage

FOREIGN AFFAIRS What is the way out of the Catalan crisis?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Our barmy Army: all politically correct

FAMILY AND SOCIETY The child as weapon in Family Court process

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Faiths and the global future

KOREA Hermit Kingdom versus the Land of Morning Calm

MUSIC Hi-tech lo-fi: Resistance is futile

CINEMA Blade Runner 2049: A cypher unlocking a mystery

BOOK REVIEW The rebels

BOOK REVIEW An attempt to break through the fog

POETRY

HUMOUR More excerpts from the forthcoming revision of Forget's Dictionary of Inaccurate Facts, Furphys and Falsehoods

LETTERS

EUTHANASIA Victoria's death bill: questions that need answers

TRANSGENDER MARRIAGE: George Christensen calls Parliament's attention to activists' end-game

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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