Jim Coughenour's Reviews > Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East

Beyond Terror and Martyrdom by Gilles Kepel
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's review
Dec 29, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: politicalinsight
Read in December, 2008

Beyond Terror and Martyrdom offers an intelligent, compact analysis of the debacle in the Middle East. If you have a hard time keeping track of the differences between Shia and Sunni or Zarqawi and Zawahiri (who doesn't?), Kepel proves an excellent guide to the confusing landscape of Islamic and Western ideologies and their associated developments. His concise overview alone is worth the price of the book.

In addition, Kepel demonstrates that the grand narratives of Bush's "war on terror" and bin Laden's jihad against the West have both collapsed – the reality of the situation, from Israel to Pakistan, or from Washington to Europe, is far more complex. He also provides the best overview of the checkered fate of "multiculturalism" in the West – developing the main insight from Ian Buruma's Murder in Amsterdam: specifically (my simplification) that assimilation and inclusion offers the best hope for everyone – both within a specific society, as well as at the level of the global economy.

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