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The New Frontiers of Jihad: Radical Islam in Europe Hardcover – 30 Jun 2008
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'I read this book with great interest and consider it to be very good indeed, particularly in highlighting the complexity of the Islamist scene. Its great virtue is that it is based on extensive and detailed research, as the vast range of contacts, interviews and sources make clear. It is also written in an accessible style and has a sense of immediacy that most studies of this kind so conspicuously lack' --Professor George Joffe, King's College London
Following the terrorist attacks on London and Madrid, radical Islam is presumed to be an increasingly potent force in Europe. Yet beneath the media hysteria, very little is actually known about it. What radical movements are there? How do they operate? What is driving them? Who are their recruits? What is their relationship, if any, to Al Qaeda? Alison Pargeter has spent three years interviewing radical Islamists throughout Europe to find answers to these questions. She examines how radical ideology travels from East to West, and how the two contexts shape each other. She finds that contrary to what some analysts have claimed, the European Muslim community has not become radicalised en masse. What has happened is that in a globalised world, Middle Eastern power struggles are now being played out in the mosques of Birmingham, Paris and Milan. This is a must-read book for anyone who wants to know the real story of the jihad which has apparently arrived in our back yard.See all Product description
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The first part of the book serves as an introduction to the history of radical Islam in Europe. With such a broad scope the list of Arabic names and acronyms covered can be a little bewildering to someone new to the topic, and the book might have been better served with an index of the key men and organisations for referral purposes. Nevertheless, it serves as an excellent primer for the various ideological strains of radical Islam, their origins and their proponents.
The second part of the book looks in detail at a number of recent events in Europe, namely the London and Madrid bombings and the Danish cartoon controversy. Despite having read a great deal of commentary about these three events in the newspapers and online after they had occurred, the analysis in the book really helped me to gain a deeper understanding of those who were involved, their grievances and their motivations.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in British government policy towards radical Islam, or to anyone who is interested in the challenges that radical Islam has presented and will present in Europe in the future. It would make a good companion to "The Looming Tower", which focuses on the events leading up to 911. This book provides a different, European, focus and as such certainly fills a hole in the current literature on the topic.