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The Siege of Mecca: The 1979 Uprising at Islam's Holiest Shrine Paperback – September 9, 2008
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Trofimov opens with a brief, but concise, history of both the Saudi royal family, emphasizing its 20th Century history and, especially, of the fundamentalist Sunni Islam sect known as Wahhabism; a sect which has been preaching Islamic Jihad (`Holy War") against the Western infidels encroaching upon Middle Eastern land for centuries.Read more ›
Mixing with the locals inside the mosque were 100,000 Muslims from all over the world. Hidden among them were hundreds of rebels, mostly Saudis of Bedouin stock. They smuggled in arms inside caskets supposedly carrying dead relatives brought for blessing.
Ragged-looking rebels chained shut and guarded all 51 gates as soon as the regular prayers ended. Machine-gun nests were set up atop the shrine's 7 minarets. The Saudis imposed a communications blackout and its soldiers were reluctant to act for fear of condemnation for fighting fellow Muslims in a holy place. Obtaining that essential religious support required that the Saudi rulers commit to stricter Islamic observation - no more women on TV, billions to be spent spreading rigid Wahhabi Islam around the world, etc.
The Saudi Army then blasted the snipers out of the minarets (using U.S. Army TOW missiles), and then brought in armored personnel carriers to clear out the rebels in the above-ground portion of the mosque. Unfortunately, the mosque had a seemingly impenetrable underground labyrinth of rooms and tunnels that still housed rebels, and the Saudis were unable to dislodge them.
Jordan volunteered help, but was declined because of the site's history - originally taken from Jordan.Read more ›
The book is a quick read, well paced and well-researched, Trofimov relying both on perviously hard to obtain offical records regarding the uprising and his own extensive rearch and interviews. He has provided a great service in assembling good research in a book that is accessible to anyone with interest.
But most important are the lessons that are learned from the book. Trofimov reminds us that, while we are rarely gifted with the gift of foresight in our involvement in world affairs, it pays to learn from the past. The raw ideological materials for al-Qaeda were present 30 years ago, but the imminent concerns of the Soviet Union and the Ayatollah's Iran prevented this seemingly isolated incident to be recognized as the eventual world threat that it would turn into. With the fate of our future involvement in the Iraq war looming and with many in our nation preferring isolationism and the satisfaction of our imminent concerns over our participation in the world scene, it would do us good to remember that, like it or not, there's a world out there that's aware of us even if we are not aware of it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An incredible, important book to help understand what is going on in Saudi Arabia. And after the events this year in Mecca, what can be said is "It happened again," maybe... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Graddy
It gives an excellent background on the rise of Sunni fundamentalism.Published 19 days ago by Grady Warren
having been there in the 60's when americanophobia just about started i find this very true and comprehensive. Read morePublished 21 days ago by fred debros
This book documents the fact that Saudi Arabia is the source of modern Islam-based hatred of all non-Muslims and the call to murder them. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Roadhouse
Extremely well written and researched. Very hard to put down. I now understand that the the Muslim extremists just want to wipe out all non-Muslims, without pity or remorse.Published 2 months ago by David
The book tells a very interesting story about an important event that got little or no coverage in the US media. It explains the ties between that event and recent terrorists.Published 5 months ago by James Kepler
I just finished reading "The Siege of Mecca." This book is very well put together and is a must read for any one who want to understand how people minds can easily be... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Tariq A. Shabazz
A gripping account of one of modern history's seminal, yet forgotten events. Essential reading.Published 6 months ago by Chris Tharp
I have to say, this is a thoroughly researched and well-documented look into the 1979 Grand Mosque seizure at the hands of Wahhabist militants in an attempted uprising against the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by John