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Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam Paperback – 22 Mar 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (22 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846687640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846687648
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

As much of history is appropriated by the media and we are beckoned into an era of endless war, this superb book could not be more timely. Sensational in the best sense, it examines the darkest corners of the imperial past to reveal the truth behind today's news (John Pilger)

Unearthing this largely hidden history is a contribution of the highest significance, and could hardly be more timely. (Noam Chomsky)

This valuable and important book by Mark Curtis, the result of painstaking and extensive research into declassified files on British policy towards the Islamic world over the last half century, presents a far more accurate and balanced picture than the shallow simplicities fed by Bush?s so-called war on terror.

It shows in extensive detail how Britain and the US have repeatedly sided with radical Islamic forces in the Middle East and elsewhere as counterweights to check the rise of nationalism, as shock troops to bring about pro-Western regime change, and as proxies to fight wars against the West?s enemies. There is no war between civilizations (Bush), no Manichaean struggle between the good and evil forces of Islam (Blair), rather the ever-present serpentine thread of shifting alliances to maintain British control of key energy resources and Britain?s place in a pro-Western global financial order centred on Saudi Arabia.

This is a fascinating account which can change outlooks and deepen comprehension of a hugely misunderstood drama, and it should be compelling reading before any further Middle East wars are set in train.

(Michael Meacher, MP)

Secret Affairs deserves to become a key reference point in the debate over terrorism and Middle East policy (Metro)

a work of great importance and sobering conclusions (Tribune)

enthralling, encyclopedic and damning (Chartist)

Gripping stuff (Sunday Business Post)

Book Description

A freshly updated and revelatory investigation into Britain's secret collaboration with radical Islam

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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Chris J. Newman on 12 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The thousands of pieces of evidence that Curtis has amassed and structured into this remarkably coherent book, present a convincing picture of a country that has been (and continues to be) put at risk through the machinations of unseen and unaccountable people working for secret organisations, whose motives and strategies are as opaque as they are questionable. Yet, even if their purposes remain opaque, there has been an remarkable consistency in the nature of their plottings over the century since the break-up of the Turkish Ottoman empire and the establishment of the nations of the Middle East that were created largely by the British in pursuit of a "divide and rule" policy designed to retain control over the oil wealth in the region.

Curtis presents clear evidence that throughout its post-colonial history, beginning even as far back as the 1920s, British governments and Civil Service have exploited Islam and Islamic fundamentalism for its own (obscure) purposes - from the establishment of the Saudi kingdom; the division of India in 1948 to create the strategically useful Muslim state of Pakistan; to the support of the Muslim Brotherhood during Nasser's control over Egypt; to the backing of both sides during the Israeli-Palestinian wars; to the active support of terrorists (including Bin Laden) during the Afghan-Russian war; to the support of KLA and other terrorists during the Bosnian and Kosovan wars. Even after the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks, Britain continued to harbour known terrorists on its shores, giving them a safe-haven from American, French and other prosecutors.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on 28 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
In this stunning book, historian Mark Curtis details the British state's collusion with Islamic terrorists and their state sponsors.

Britain is allied with the two major sponsors of Islamist terrorism, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia funded Al Qa'ida and Pakistan funded the 7/7 bombers. As the interim report of the 9/11 Commission said, "Pakistan, not Iraq, was a patron of terrorism."

Britain was the second largest investor in Pakistan, which received Britain's third largest aid programme in Asia. By 2001, 900 British citizens were visiting Kashmir for military training every year.

London is a base for many jihadist groups including Algeria's Armed Islamic Group, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and Osama bin Laden's front, the Advice and Reformation Committee. After 9/11, the Terrorism Act made it an offence to send someone abroad for terrorist training, yet Abu Hamza wasn't touched for years.

In 2004, MI5 heard the London bombers `talking about jihadi activity in Pakistan and support for the Taliban', but as they weren't talking about terrorist attacks in Britain, MI5 left them alone. Britain, like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, tries to get its own terrorists to attack only targets abroad.

In April 2005, three months before the London bombings, the Joint Intelligence Committee said that the war in Iraq `has exacerbated the threat from international terrorism'. The bombings stemmed from the terrorist bases set up by the Pakistani state, backed by the British state. British governments accuse Iran of what Saudi Arabia and Pakistan do - backing and training terrorists.

The war in Afghanistan in the 1980s was Britain's biggest covert operation since 1945.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Lamu Hermit on 6 Feb. 2011
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I have recently returned from a four week holiday to Iran. Whilst this beautiful country is full of very friendly people, who apologized endlessly for their country's poor relations with the rest of the world, they all asked me why the UK and US keep "scheming behind the scenes" in the Middle East and Central Asia. This book substantiates this belief, but from a European perspective, and goes a long way to explaining how it is that the UK Government, which claims every day to be here to protect its citizens from terrorism, was the principal sponsor if not creator of Islamic terrorism. What a sad world we live in!! The saddest part is, having chosen its friends, the UK Government can not even be loyal - look at the speed with which David Cameron dumped his buddy Mr Mubarak. This book explains all in simple terms and with a lot of detailed evidence. It joins the dots between well know events and fills in the missing parts to make a coherent story. My only (small) complaint is that Mr Curtis does not clearly explain reason the Islamic terrorists turned on their sponsors (the UK and US) in the early 1990s. I recommend this book.
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Mark Curtis following up from the highly recommended "Web of Deceit" has with "Secret Affairs" provided a comprehensive and powerful expose of the UK governments collusion with extremist & radical Islam in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Gulf states, Indonesia, the former USSR, the Balkans, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Iran etc often in order to overthrow moderate secular regimes. All in order to control oil and sell weapons and other dodgy trade deals.

Read this book to understand what our governments real policy is so we can start to hold them to account to stop this madness.
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