Professor Johannes J.G. Jansen, arguably The Netherland’s leading contemporary scholar of Islam—whose The Neglected Duty: The Creed of Sadat’s Assassins and Islamic Resurgence in the Middle East (New York: Macmillan, 1986), and The Dual Nature of Islamic Fundamentalism (London: Hurst & Company, 1997) remain defining works on the Islamic movements that gave rise to Al Qaeda, in particular—has reviewed my first (released October, 2005) book for (the obviously backlogged!) The Winter 2008, Middle East Quarterly.
This belatedly published, but much appreciated brief review, reproduced below, serves as a useful segue to “announce” that the paperbound 2008 edition of “The Legacy of Jihad,” with an updated Preface I have recently written, should be released sometime this spring.
Dr. Jansen’s review:
The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims
Bostom, an associate professor of medicine at
Jihad has been extremely effective and has served Islam well. In the light of this success, it can hardly be expected from Muslim leaders that they renounce jihad for more peaceful methods for propagating their faith. Renunciation of jihad would simply not be in the interest of Islam.
Bostom not only presents us with classical mainstream Islamic sources and their justifications for jihad, plus witness reports from victims that survived by accident, etc., but he also quotes contemporary Muslim clerics. For example: Yusuf al-Qaradawi (b. 1926) discusses “martyrdom operations,” a relatively new tactic of jihadists. Are such operations jihad or suicide? This is an important question because Islam forbids suicide. Luckily Qaradawi, regarded by many in the West as a moderate, knows the exact difference between suicide and a martyrdom operation. Someone who kills himself is “too weak to cope with the situation” in which he finds himself. “In contrast, the one who carries out a martyrdom operation does not think of himself. He sells himself to Allah in order to buy
If this is how the moderates reason, what can we expect from the radicals?