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Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia Hardcover – 22 Jan 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st Edition edition (22 Jan. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9694023610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300093452
  • ASIN: 0300093454
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 184,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Every dog may have its day, but after over 20 years reporting from countries people barely knew, and cared about even less, correspondent Ahmed Rashid must have thought his had passed him by. Jihad, however, is the deeply impressive and instructive follow-up to his international bestseller Taliban, and in time could well prove equally influential, as in turning his sights to the desolate steppes of Central Asia, Rashid describes a region that harbours the potential to explode just as disastrously as its southern neighbour. Boundaried by rivers, mountains and desert, with a tolerant and liberal Islamic tradition, Rashid traces the region's history over the past two millennia, which included conquest by Alexander, Tamerlane, Genghis Khan, and most recently tsarist and Soviet Russia. It was Stalin who divided up the former Turkestan into the five new countries--Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Takjikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan--indifferent to geographic or ethnic lines. After perestroika and the break-up of the Soviet Union, however, as with post-colonial Africa, the countries' new leaders merely exploited the structures of authoritarian oppression, leading to pan-Islamic underground movements such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, led by Juma Namangani, and the Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami.

Obviously, the events of September 11 have changed the gameplan significantly, and Rashid assesses their impact on the five countries, and the looming presence of Russia, China and the USA, all jostling for military and economic advantage behind a strategic alliance intent on defending the "territorial integrity" of administrations that were actually most to blame for the rise of militant Islam. A pivotal time, with further extremist guerrilla militancy inevitable, the oil on which Central Asia uncomfortably sits remains the future hope, potentially providing pipes of peace for troubled lands, enabling regional cooperation and economic restructuring. A work of clear and persuasive vision, rather than rehashing old pieces Ahmed Rashid's superbly balanced analysis brings in from the Cold War a deeply unfashionable yet critical region that more than ever remains central to world peace. --David Vincent

Review

"For many years now, Ahmed Rashid has been the journalistic interpreter of the changing nature of Islam in Central Asia." -- Robert D. Kaplan, author of Warrior Politics

"Jihad is but the latest of Ahmed Rashid's insightful books on religion and politics in South and Central Asia." -- John L. Esposito, author of Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?

'Jihad hits the ground running...it draws, as Rashid's earlier book did, on fearless research plus 'moments of illumination'.' -- Michael Church, The Independent, 6 February 2002

'Rashid pulls the threads of history together in prosaic fashion.' -- Tom Walker, Sunday Times, 3 February 2002

'Rashid skilfully chronicles the development of Islamic militancy in Central Asia' -- Professor Efraim Karsh, The Sunday Telegraph, 10 February 2002

'This concise, lucid volume offers three books in one, and it is a tribute to Rashid's skills' -- Frank McLynn, The Glasgow Herald, 9 February 2002

'a book of enormous authority' -- Michael Binyon, The Times, 6 February 2002

'a valuable survey [which] deserves to be widely read' -- The Economist, 15 March 2002

'an important, authoritative and timely book.' -- Hazhir Teimourian, The Literary Review, March 2002

'another masterful commentary...Jihad combines the research of a skilled investigative journalist with an academic's clear-headed and weighty analysis.' -- Justin Marozzi, Financial Times, 2 February 2002

'the most influential journalist in the world.' -- Alex Spillius, The Daily Telegraph, 21 January 2002

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THE HISTORY OF ISLAM is a story of change and adaptation. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CM Weston on 17 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover
While slightly dated now - the book was written in 2002, I think it is worth reading particularly with an eye to recent events and future developments in the area ie the decision by Kyrgyzstan to close the US base in Manas that serves as supply point for the forces in Afghanistan - allegedly at the behest of a Russian loan, as well as the interplay of the major powers - China, US, Russia in the region.
At the heart of the book is the growing radicalisation of people who have rediscovered their religious roots following the breakup of the Soviet Union and which has been exacerbated by successor government crackdowns on Islamists. From this potent brew has emerged the Al - Qaeda affiliated IMU, who post US invasion in Afghanistan have now found their way to another front in Pakistan.
Mr Rashid takes the US to task for not exercising greater influence to promote democracy and civil rights in the area although he ignores the pressures of "realpolitik" - the US need those bases more than the locals and Russia/China need them.
Another area of interest is the state of relations between the larger state of Uzbekistan and its neighbours, with the former, by virtue of its size, seeking to wield influence over the others.
Overall, a usful read about an area that is increasingly likely to find its way into the news over the coming years with more moves likely in this new version of the 'Great Game'.
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16 of 25 people found the following review helpful By s baksh on 27 Mar. 2002
Format: Hardcover
In one chapter on the islamic group Hizb-ut-tahrir the writer shows his lack of research which casts doubts on the reliability of the information on the rest of the book. He says the group was founded in saudi arabia, which is incorrect and anyone who bothered to look at the website of this group would know it was not founded in saudi arabia. He claims the movement doesnot have any details on what it is trying to achieve, again their are number of books on the website. His fascinating interview with a "leader" of this movement, who he can't name seems a figment of his imagination, as what he reports from this person contradicts what the movement stands for. These are some of the many errors in the book.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Imran Waheed on 15 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback
Since the collapse of communism in Central Asia, an Islamic political resurgence has been seen. Unfortunately, Rashid's book provides little insight into the reality of that resurgence. He has relied upon hearsay it and anonymous sources, rather than heavyweight academic investigation. This has led to some glaring factual inaccuracies, especially in regard to the Islamic political movement Hizb ut-Tahrir. He makes little reference to the main pieces of research about the movement, and prefers to rely upon personal sources. I expected much more from this book which failed to meet my expectations
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Feb. 2002
Format: Hardcover
People interested in knowing more about this part of the world are already informed of the interesting work of this author. I feel very attracted by all these places and populations, all stories of old travellers, the Silk Road and the political developments due to the fall of the Soviet Union.
If you want to know something more on this question, this is a good tool.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
It is hard not to sympathize with someone who been caricatured by V.S Naipaul, but Rashid's rather simplistic journalism leaves little alternative. Rashid is trapped in nineteenth century understanding of history and finds it impossilbe to go beyond the limits of that genre. This is a careless piece of work that fails both as analysis and as description.
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