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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting Today's Headlines into Historical Context
This is a fascinating read. In a world dominated by sound-bites of a few seconds, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that every new event must have its root causes in the recent past. Nowhere is this assumption more prevalent than when that epitome of 21st century phenomena - Islamic terrorism - is discussed. There seems a consensus among commentators that the...
Published on 14 Jun. 2007 by MB

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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing the point
This is a well-written book about Islamic Jihad and the emergence of the Wahhabi Cult. Or is it? Certainly Charles Allen writes exceedingly well and seems to have researched his subject matter thoroughly, albeit not the subject matter indicated in the book's title.

However, one cannot help feeling a little disappointed having read the book. 90% of God's...
Published on 15 April 2007 by Ulrik Jungersen Walther


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing the point, 15 April 2007
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This review is from: God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad (Paperback)
This is a well-written book about Islamic Jihad and the emergence of the Wahhabi Cult. Or is it? Certainly Charles Allen writes exceedingly well and seems to have researched his subject matter thoroughly, albeit not the subject matter indicated in the book's title.

However, one cannot help feeling a little disappointed having read the book. 90% of God's Terrorists seems to deal with Islamic fundamentalism in India and Afghanistan and very few pages are dedicated to Wahhab himself or the emergence of wahhabism in what is today Saudi Arabia. The book also only makes fleeting connections to the influence wahhabism has had on other fundamentalist Islamic organisations active in the Muslim world today. Any connection between intellectual roots behind wahhabism and Al Qaeda is only superficially explored, leaving the reader somewhat mystified as to the actual strength of the link.

So much more could, and should, have been written about the relationship between the ancient Saud dynasty in Nejd and Wahhab and the way wahhabism has influenced the creation and structure of modern day Saudi Arabia. In fact, having read the book, I am non the wiser as to what wahhabism actually is and how it influences modern terrorism.

I struggled whether to give the book 1 or two stars. I settled for two in recognition of how well the book is written and the very lively and researched account of the spread of fundamentalist Islam in the former Raj. If this is a subject matter that interests you, God's Terrorists is a splendid book, which I am sure you will award five stars. If Saudi Arabia and wahhabism is your thing, you are bound to be disappointed.

Charles Allen is a profound writer on India during the period of the Great Game and it feels as if God's Terrorists is a rushed piece of work utilizing passages and subject matter previously published in other works. A real pity as this could have been a very interesting book very well worth reading.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting Today's Headlines into Historical Context, 14 Jun. 2007
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This review is from: God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad (Paperback)
This is a fascinating read. In a world dominated by sound-bites of a few seconds, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that every new event must have its root causes in the recent past. Nowhere is this assumption more prevalent than when that epitome of 21st century phenomena - Islamic terrorism - is discussed. There seems a consensus among commentators that the actions of al Qaeda and their ilk today are the consequences of recent foreign policy decisions in London and Washington, and by extension that decisions made today can have an immediate impact on such organisations' future plans.

What Charles Allen reminds us is that exponents of Wahhabism, indistinguishable from their modern counterparts in al Qaeda, have been taking up arms against "the West" since the early nineteenth century and that their reasons remain unchanged and, according to their philosophy, both moral and logical.

The author puts today's activities into context, though it is difficult to reach anything but a dark conclusion about what our immediate future holds as a result.

I don't share other reviewers' disappointment at the lack of intricate detail about Wahabbism's local origins, or the concentration on historic rather than current events. Both these aspects are beyond the scope of a book which does exactly what I hoped it would - it explains how we arrived at this point and highlights the naivity of approaching the fight against al Qaeda as a sort of PR-driven election campaign in which the enemy would surrender if only we could get the correct leaflet in front of bin Laden.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Context for current Troubles, 10 Feb. 2008
By 
D. Thomas "David Thomas" (Ormskirk) - See all my reviews
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Charles Allen's book offers helpful insight into the historic roots of the Wahhabi sect, and the relationship between the Wahhabists of Arabia and those of the Indian Sub Continent. His discussion of the early Raj's attempts to deal with the so called Fanatic camp, the relationship between the Wahhabis and the Indian Uprising, together with the contribution of Wahhabi thinking to the Deoband movement and the influence of Deoband Madrassahs is very helpful. An excellent book for those with an interest in Islamic history, and those seeking to give a wide historical context for many of the issues in the news today.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, 27 May 2007
This review is from: God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad (Paperback)
Charles Allen's book is very well written and provides very detailed information for people interested in the historical roots of contemporary fundamentalist Islam (Wahhabism) and how its history has been from the death of Muhammad to the present.

When I bought this book I was expecting more on todays situation, so I was a little disappointed, but I guess that was my mistake.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Islamic Extremism, 6 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad (Paperback)
A very readable account of the rise of Wahhabism in the North West Frontier of India and the Middle East. It is a difficult book to put down and clearly explains the fanaticism of these Islamic extremists.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking., 21 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad (Paperback)
This book should be compulsory reading for all "Western" politicians
everywhere; otherwise they will continue their failure to get to grips
with modern fanatical terrorism.
PR.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another piece of the puzzle, 17 Sept. 2007
By 
Andrew Lale (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad (Paperback)
If, like me, you hadn't thought at all about Islam before 9/11, it has been a long and mostly boring task to read up on it. Most books about Islam seem to fall into one of two categories: flaccid encomiums of various aspects of Islam by Moslems, and ignorant rants against Islam by people incensed by Islamic terrorism. Neither is particularly useful to those with an interest in the historical roots of Islamic terrorism. This book goes some way towards filling that gap. As other reviewers have noted, it deals mostly with the Wahhabist plots in India and Arabia in the nineteenth century. There is some information beyond that, but another book like this is necessary about the twentieth century and specifically the use and abuse of Wahhabism by the House of Saud. The books of Efraim Karsh are superb on the middle east in the early twentieth century- maybe he could write it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars misses many points, 13 Jun. 2013
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Nicky Beet - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad (Paperback)
whilst parts of this book is interesting and very readably,there is very little mention of note regarding the Wahhabi heartland of Saudi Arabia.Even worse are the passages about the Muslim brotherhood in which he states that the brotherhood was started in Saudi Arabia and co-founded by Sayyid Qutb!

After reading that it is hard to believe anything that he has written
i feel cheated and urge you to save your money
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3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misrepresentation of facts!!, 21 Jan. 2008
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Uwais Namaji "namazi" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad (Paperback)
I bought this book after having been informed about Charles Allen's idea that the Indian Mutiny has its link with al-Qaeda. Upon reading relevant sections on Indian revivalism, it becomes more than apparent the book is clearly a hype and mis-representation of many facts. The Author tends to lean more on his imagination and inituitive than historical facts and fails to cite sources for numerous suppositions. His superficial knowledge of many core religious issues leads him to commit grave blunders that primary students would laugh at. All in all, the book is a good read and provides a thought-provoking perspective on how history can be misinterpreted. Read and judge for yourselves...
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