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May 23 , 2011

Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism

The Theological and Ideological Basis of al-Qa‘ida’s Political Tactics


Beginning with an examination of medieval Islamic fundamentalist movements such as Kharjism, Ibadism, Hanbalism, and Wahhabism, Sayed Khatab looks at the similarities and differences between them and present organizations such as al-Qa‘ida. It may be surprising that many of the radical narratives embraced by modern groups have not emerged recently. Identifying these roots can lead to a better understanding of al-Qa‘ida’s theological and intellectual narratives, and how they effectively indoctrinate youths and attract many of them to violent acts of terrorism. The book then focuses on al-Qa‘ida’s theology, ideology, and tactics; the geographic contours and implications of al-Qa‘ida’s political strategy in relation to the western and eastern countries which are considered enemy states; the impending clash of cultures; and the ideological war within al-Qa‘ida. Innovative in its concept, examining political Islamic thought from a historical to a contemporary perspective, Islamic Fundamentalism generates new understanding of the many complexities of political Islam, and the role of violence and terrorism.

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