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Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  228 Ratings  ·  20 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. Esposi
Paperback, 196 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published March 22nd 2002)
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Feb 05, 2007 Hannah rated it it was amazing
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 really liked it
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
Aug 30, 2014 Kamil Yilmaz rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 27, 2008 AFBonanno rated it liked it
It reads like a Master's Thesis, but very interesting. Chocked full of interesting Islam facts.
Damian Doyle
Feb 03, 2015 Damian Doyle rated it really liked it
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
M.F. Moonzajer
Jan 24, 2016 M.F. Moonzajer rated it really liked it
Unholy War: Terror in the name of Islam, John L. Esposito (Book Review)
Read the review at
Unholy war: Terror in the name of Islam, John L. Esposito, Oxford University Press: 2002, New York. ISBN: 0-19-515435-5. Review:


John Louis Esposito is an American professor of International Affairs and Islamic studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He is also the director of the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim- Christian Understanding at Georgetown.

Esposito foun
Jeremy Baker
Aug 01, 2008 Jeremy Baker rated it it was ok
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
Sep 05, 2014 Fadwa Sakr rated it liked it
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
May 17, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative and useful. One has to be careful in what he says about this subject if he is in the middle of it all.
Aug 07, 2011 Buthaina rated it it was amazing

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
Oct 04, 2013 Hassan Mahfooz rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 16, 2015 Denise Junker rated it really liked it
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
Jul 24, 2007 Belinda doni rated it liked it
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.
Sep 15, 2007 Timothy R. rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 28, 2008 Scott rated it it was ok
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.
Nov 28, 2013 Annika rated it liked it
A pretty good summary of the background to global islamic terrorism as well as future challenges both for the muslim and western societies.
Craig Bolton
Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam by John L. Esposito (2003)
Apr 24, 2008 Ron rated it liked it
Timely ... a serious expose ...
Nov 27, 2007 Blake rated it it was ok
Review to come later.
Mischa Victor
Mischa Victor rated it really liked it
Oct 05, 2016
ALI rated it did not like it
Sep 27, 2016
Hannah Amos
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Sep 26, 2016
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Sara Khan rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2016
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Sep 07, 2016
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Sep 04, 2016
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Qamar Iqbal marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2016
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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
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