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on 14 June 2007
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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on 13 June 2013
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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on 15 April 2007
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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on 25 May 2017
Brilliant exposition of the origins and history of modern Islamic jihad/terrorism, primarily with a focus on the subcontinent - India, Pakistan and Afghanistan - its anti-colonialist (British Raj) roots and connection with Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabism. This is an important story about so-called Islamic terrorism that is relatively unknown, showing that the origins of today's "Wahhabis" are diverse, although most have been aided and abetted by the doctrines, teaching and money from the historical Wahhabis in oil-rich Saudi Arabia.
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on 10 February 2008
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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on 6 August 2014
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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on 21 June 2014
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.
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on 27 May 2007
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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on 28 July 2016
This is Allen's well-written story about another dramatic episode in the bloody history of Islam, but with fatal mistakes. The most vital mistake is that Muslims are Allah's terrorists, not those of God. Allah is not God/Ilah in Arabic, the Quran and Sharia.
Allah is always and only called Allah is Arabic and English. Ilah-Almighty God is Al-Rahman, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious in the Qur'an. Therefore the Qur’an was named The Criterion, the criterion between good and evil.
Islam Q&A [...] Question 114, 179, 6703, 11819, 20239, 20815
The other fatal mistake is to blame a specific Muslim group for Jihad: the only cause and reason for Jihad is Islam, and the example of its founder, Muhammad and his followers, who were the first and best Muslims, whom it is obligatory for all Muslims to follow. And as the history, the Qur'an, the stories-hadith and Islamic law prove, Jihad is the highest ideal of Islam and obligatory for all good Muslims.
Qur’an 9:111 Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah's cause, so they kill and are killed.
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on 19 February 2016
A book based on careful and extensive research. The author's prose is of a high standard and readily digestible.
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