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Al Qaeda Reader

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The global war on terror is not just a military conflict but a war of ideas. Indeed it is in some respects primarily an ideological struggle. Yet it is a war we cannot win without a broader understanding of al-Qaeda's goals and motives.
What do our enemies believe? What motivates their war against the West? What is their vision of the ideal Islamic society? Surprisingly, m...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published August 7th 2007 by Doubleday Books (first published 2007)
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Varmint
"They hate us because we don't know why they hate us."

only Bill Maher could say something so stupid.


Turns out they hate us because they're psychotic religious fanatics. And we're standing in their way. It's not poverty, racism, or even global warming. Ibrahim does a good job of translating the fatwas into something that reads. Probably not an easy job. Will never be considered a light summer book. But can be gone through in stages. And well worth the time.

Amber
This is the only book of it's kind. It provides translations of original Al Qaeda documents, those meant for Westerners and those meant only for Islamist eyes. If you have ever wondered what it is that drives people to blow up buildings half way around the world this is your book. It is not the easiest reading. There is only so much "we need to kill Americans and here are the reasons why" I could stand at a time and translating from Arabic has its difficulties. However, the insight the book prov...more
Erin
Very well organized and translated. Worth the read to better understand what al Qaeda is trying to achieve and to what extent we can ever expect its followers to make peace with the West.
Gary Patton
Jul 15, 2014 Gary Patton rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who wish to know the truth about Islamic radical, violent jihadism
Recommended to Gary by: Raymond Ibrahim, the author
This short and readable book will scare the living daylight out of you.

It will do so because it documents the truth, in English, of what was available, in Arabic, ...even before the 9/11... on the shelves in the Library of Congress. It was there for those tasked to protect North America to read. But they didn't read them!

Raymond Ibrahim, who I have gotten to know and trust, did read them. He translates some key documentation regarding the anti-Infidel and anti-western beliefs and the plans of I...more
Shannon Padden
Hands down the best book I have ever read describing what drives Al Qaeda. For anyone remotely interested in this topic I'd call this absolute essential reading. Truly enlightening and somewhat horrifying hopeless in our chances of ever establishing peace with such a group.
Peter
A very interesting look into some of Al-Qaeda's public messages. This book is essentially a collection of some of the key pieces of propaganda and communication coming from Al-Qaeda to their supporters and detractors.

The book offers some rarely, if ever before, translated texts from Osama Bin-Laden as well as his 2nd in command Aymam al-Zawahiri. From the lengthy retort aimed at Arab governments who cooperate with America, to the brief clip taken from various news articles and web postings, the...more
Ashley
Apr 03, 2008 Ashley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students, academics, concerned citizens, religions scholars
Recommended to Ashley by: professor
Shelves: what-i-study
Ibrahim's politics is clear from the outset, but if you can look beyond his own pro-war(ish) stance there is a lot of useful information in this book.

It is divided between theological and "propaganda" documents. I was most interested in the theological arguments because they outline the ideology of Al Qaeda that is implemented in terrorist acts and espoused in the propaganda.

This isn't exactly an easy book to read-- bin Laden and his associates are hardly excellent writers and, of course, there...more
Anthony  Kirk
For anyone who wants a better understanding of Al Qaeda and their philosophy, this is the perfect book.
Michael Griswold
The Al Qaeda reader should be required reading for any student of Political Science who wants to understand terrorism. In their own words, Al Qaeda tells the western world why they are attacking Western interests and what they want. The question needs to be asked if the United States did everything Al Qaeda wants, would the jihad be over, or would Al Qaeda just find something else about the West they could hate? As with most readers or collection of speaches, themes are repeated at nausea, but a...more
Fred
Great book. This is a collection of the texts, letters, news releases, etcetera that have never before been published or translated in English. It really gives you an insight into exactly how crazy the organization and its leadership really is. Anyone who has a copy of the Quran around will want to keep it handy when reading this so that you can reference it and see exactly how Al'Qaeda takes things out of context and manipulates what is written.
Yana Shevkirova
It wasn't a mind-blowing account of what is the aim and driving force behind radical organizations, such as AQ. However, it was interesting to read as an addition, since it adds up to the picture of grievances, accumulated during the last 20 years within the people in the Middle East. So UBL's statements do confirm what the mainstream theory behind the terrorists' motives is.
Sean Rife
I say I "liked it", but that's probably an understatement. I should clarify... if you want to understand Takfirism/Wahhabism/Qutbism (the terminology here seems to be changing regularly, and I'm having trouble keeping up), this book is essential. The Communist Manifesto of my generation.
Mike Edwards
A collection of excerpts from the teachings of radical Islamists. The book is incredibly important in a "know thine enemy" sort of way, and it gives some very useful insights into al Qaeda's struggle to reestablish a global caliphate based upon strict Islamist principals.
Molly
Mr. Ibrahim was born in Egypt and is fluent in Arabic. He personally translated speeches from Al Qaeda leaders and compared them to the English versions and found there were major differences. This is an eye-opening book that every American should read.
Michael Powell
If you are still trying to figure out why so many "extremists" around the world do not understand Islam to be the peaceful religion that Presidents Bush and Obama claim, READ THIS BOOK. Preferably along with your own copy of the Quran.
Jaime
Feb 19, 2008 Jaime is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
you got it..it's for work! well recommended by coworker; it's a compilation of translated AQ documents that explain the groups genesis, ideologies, etc. Bonanno, you'd probably like it.
Jukka
The Al Qaeda Reader - Raymond Ibrahim
This is to go with Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Christopher Hurtado
The Al Qaeda Reader by Raymond Ibrahim (2007)
Chloe
Very interesting and intriguing...
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RAYMOND IBRAHIM is a widely published author, public speaker, and Middle East and Islam expert. His books include Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings, translations, and observations have appeared in a variety of publications, including Fox News, Financial Times, Jerusalem Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times Syndicate, Unit...more
More about Raymond Ibrahim...
Crucified Again: Exposing Islam�s New War on Christians The al-Quaeda Reader The Battle of Yarmuk

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