Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam” as Want to Read:
Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  191 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon left us stunned, angry, and uncomprehending. As it became clear that these horrifying acts had been committed in the name of religion, the media, the government, and ordinary citizens alike sought answers to questions about Islam and its adherents. In this level-headed and authoritative book, John L. Espos ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published March 22nd 2002)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Unholy War, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Unholy War

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 395)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
If George Bush knew how to read I would recommend this to him. It's relevant and I think it would set quite a few people straight.
Jan 15, 2009 Erick rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who know absolutely nothing about Islam.
I had to read this book for the first day of my Law & the War on Terror class being taught by my law school. At 160 pages, it is not meant to be an in-depth historical, cultural and social analysis of one of the world's oldest and largest religions much less its interplay with one of the most complex wars the United States is fighting. What the book is designed to tell you, however, is the general overview of hundreds of years of history leading up to radical Islamic groups such as al-Qaeda ...more
Kamil Yilmaz
My review:
Esposito, J. (2002). Unholy War, Terror in the name of Islam. Oxford University Press. 196pp. ISBN 0-19-516886-0. $13.96

John Esposito (2002) reviews in his book the relationship between Islam and Global Terrorism. I read this book first at a time of its early release, about one year after the September 11 attacks. I witnessed the second plane crash on September 11. It was one of the most unforgettable and heartbreaking experiences in my life. I was totally shocked and flabbergasted. A
A decent primer on the Islamic concept of jihad, although I wish more had been said about the greater jihad (the struggle to improve oneself) in addition to the lesser jihad (military struggle).

I liked Esposito's bios of three Muslim advocates of intercivilizational dialogue. I also appreciated that alongside his calls for reforms in Muslim-majority countries, he also called on the USA (and other Western countries) to take a good hard look in the mirror, particularly in regards to their foreign
It reads like a Master's Thesis, but very interesting. Chocked full of interesting Islam facts.
Damian Doyle
I dipped into sections of this book a couple of years ago for uni, and decided it was a good time to re-read it in full. Written in response to American soul-searching following the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks of 2001, this book is still relevant - perhaps moreso. Esposito writes with clarity, balance, and knowledge built over a long career studying Islam. It is a shame that Australia lacks an authoritative voice such as Esposito's, especially when public discussion of Islam and other matters of ...more
Jeremy Baker
This book, published in 2002, is a perfect example of why most Americans are so misinformed about Islam in general and Wahhabism in particular: Saudi Arabia pays people like Esposito to whitewash their history and present their totalitarian regime, as well as their violent religious colonialism, as a moderating force in the Arab world.

In case you haven't been paying attention since 9/11, the Saudi government is not and has never been our friend. Aramco's friend, sure, but even if you ignore the
Fadwa Sakr
The book has a very insightful and original view of Islam as a faith, a way of life and an act of worship that can even be new to Muslims leave alone non Muslims. The author succeeded in giving a good argument and interpretation of the true meaning of Jihad in Islam and how, when and why it should be conducted. The background he gave about the Muslim world and the political and economical climate that had an impact on why the Muslim world is in the state it is in nowadays. The brief biography he ...more
Informative and useful. One has to be careful in what he says about this subject if he is in the middle of it all.

liked this book, recommend to read it!

very descriptive, it provides history of many several famous parties
that are waging war and using the word Jihad to get things done or some other beliefs
depending on the environment! how the concept of Jihad is used in many ways
and so later understood in bad different ways which creates a blurred pic about it ,
it brought the war against the source of this concept i.e Islam and Muslims !
Hassan Mahfooz
This is a brilliant and well researched book that puts the "Muslim terrorism" in its perspective and explains the underlying reasons of extremism. The author argues in a persuasive way that the Western Foreign Policy has played a big role in causing instability in the Muslim world and religious extremism is a fruit of the Western oppression.
Denise Junker
I liked this book. It is now a bit old but gives a nice history. I felt more could have been said at the end about how we are seen and why these reactions. Yet, overall, this conflict is about what has gone on throughout history and still continues today: power struggles and getting stabilized.
Belinda doni
jihad is the holy spirit of moslem way to exist and to defend themselves. islam is not terror or terrorism, if you saw or heard something bad about islam it causes by the man,not Islam itself. islam is rahmatan lil'alamin
Timothy R.
I read this book alongside one on the same topic by Bernard Lewis. I much preferred Esposito's analysis. And when I attended a lecture of his the next year in grad school, I admired his speaking style, too.
This was good, but the only new thing I found was how he outlined the basic beliefs of radical Islamsists and how that affects their thought processes.
A pretty good summary of the background to global islamic terrorism as well as future challenges both for the muslim and western societies.
Craig J.
Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam by John L. Esposito (2003)
Timely ... a serious expose ...
Review to come later.
Britt marked it as to-read
May 22, 2015
Loren marked it as to-read
May 20, 2015
Daisy added it
Apr 27, 2015
Joel Trono-Doerksen
Joel Trono-Doerksen marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2015
Ij marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2015
Marijana Kardum
Marijana Kardum marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2015
Muhammad Alshoker
Muhammad Alshoker marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden
  • 1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI--the Untold Story
  • The Multiple Identities of the Middle East
  • Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill
  • Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America
  • Tell Me How This Ends: General David Petraeus and the Search for a Way Out of Iraq
  • The Age of Sacred Terror: Radical Islam's War Against America
  • The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush
  • The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq
  • War of the Flea: The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare
  • Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction
  • The Siege of Mecca: The Forgotten Uprising in Islam's Holiest Shrine and the Birth of al-Qaeda
  • The Roaring Nineties: A New History of the World's Most Prosperous Decade
  • Rewriting History
  • The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists
  • The Portable Conrad
  • Islam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia
He is a professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. He is also the director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal center for Muslim-Christian understanding at Georgetown University.

Esposito was raised a Roman Catholic in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City, and spent a decade in a Catholic monastery. After taking his first degree he worked as a manage
More about John L. Esposito...
Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think Islam: The Straight Path What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam The Oxford History of Islam The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?

Share This Book