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on 23 July 2009
This book is a valuable addition to the library of somebody sincerely seeking a balanced perspective on the Current and temporal (if not Cosmic) state of affairs between the West and the Middle East.

Of importance to the reader is the definitions that Aslan provides. Of note is the differentiation between Islamist- A body of Muslims focussed on producing social change and social justice in their own Countries, and the Jihadist. A transnationalist whose focus rooted in Salafism and with the development of Takfir ( the ability of any Muslim to self-appoint himself as a denouncer of other Muslims), sees Jihad as a means to social change beyond the confines of 'nation' - a term that is increasingly defunct in the modern format of Europe, and always was defunct in the Middle East- the source of conflict as a Western imposed concept in the Post-Ottoman period.
Aslan argues that Islamists moreso than Jihadists are capable of Responsible government i.e Democratic ( with caution ) , where to Jihadists to quote Al Zawahiri, a Muslim who is a Democrat is a Kaffir.
He argues that in an increasingly borderless world Zionism, Fundamental Christianity and Islam as Religious Nationalisms are inevitable, and may offer genuine opportunities for meaningful political development, taking on a role of National Identity where Nationhood and Ethnicity have been made increasingly less relevant, under the pressures of mass migration, multiculturalism and globalisation, whether it be through the internet or via cultural exchange, (never achieved to this degree in previous history).

That America is clearly under the sway of its own Fundamentalism should be a red warning light to all of us. The deliberate targeting of the Military cadre with Evangelising organisations such as the ' Faith Force Multiplier' whose stated mission is to create a 'Christian Army' quoting its founder Lietenant William G Boykin- should send shudders down the spines of all God-fearing secularists.
Aslan gives a broad overview of the History of Christian Fundamentalism- (a word originally designated for American Christians) with their 'uncompromising belief in the infallible, inerrant and absolutely literal nature of the bible...'
There are too many good points to this book, but to sumamrise it .
The Cosmic War is a construct of all three of the Monotheistic faiths in the advent of the Globalising world, with transnational communities binding evermore closely by Religious affiliation. An answer from the old world to the Modern Worlds problems of cross cultural changes.
It is clear from this reading that it is not only Islam that has extremists, but also Christians and Jews, and it is they whose capacity for destruction is truly terrifying, the reader may conclude, with the vast Military Industrial Complex at their disposal.
The solution for winning a Cosmic War?

By refusing to fight in one.
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on 13 October 2014
very comprehensive and intelligent history and discussion of the problems of Islam and the `Middle East'. This writer has a thorough understanding of his subject and is able to put very opposite and entrenched positions into a proper perspective.
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on 19 May 2009
Simply put, this is an outstanding piece of work. Aslan tackles so many big issues in a relatively short space and accomplishes the monumental task of making difficult issues highly engrossing and easily accessible. The preface and introduction feature so much food for thought that in the hands of a less capable writer it would take a whole series of books to convey. Superb. I pray this is on President Obama's nightstand.
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on 26 June 2014
Highly recommended reading if you are interested in religious history, a primer on religious strife and warfare, and want some idea of how, of even if, we can get out of the conflicts that fill the news today. (Short answer: It's complicated.)
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on 22 March 2015
Excellent book and was delivered rather quickly. I recommend for anyone that is interested in religions and the current situations in the world. The author has a way of explaining things that will be easy even for those with little knowledge of the topic.
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on 28 November 2014
Reza Aslan's work is highly readable and very persuasive. His arguments are balanced yet don't shirk from conclusions. Highly recommended!
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on 15 June 2015
Interesting book and eye opening discussions. However, could benefit from being a bit more structured. Although, Aslan's story telling capability made the book more readable, it was a bit too 'flowy' in parts.
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on 17 January 2014
NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE "ONLY WAY FUNDAMENTALISTS."

"How to win a cosmic war" by Reza Asian
is a good account of 9/11 on from the standpoint of an open minded Muslim..
It is also been issued as BEYOND FUNDAMENTALISM.

i am putting it on the background reading list for the 20-30 August 2014 Interfaith events
in Birmingham, England. This includes the 24-27 August Congress of the International Assoc. for Religious Freedom, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN THE DIGITAL AGE. <[...]>

Richard Boeke, Horsham, UK
Chair, British Chapter International Assoc. for Religious Freedom (IARF - founded 1900).
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on 6 October 2014
A voice of reason. A must read.
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on 8 April 2015
This book is a must read for anyone who really wants to understand how we have ended up with the polarisation of Islam.
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