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Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists Hardcover – October 19, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Atran (In Gods We Trust) examines the motivations of terrorists in this sprawling and timely study. Drawing upon years of travel among Muslim communities from Indonesia to Morocco, extensive interviews with would-be martyrs and holy warriors, and detailed surveys, the author concludes that young jihadists aren't merely motivated by political or religious fervor--they are powerfully bound to each other, they were campmates, school buddies, soccer pals, and the like, who become die-hard bands of brothers. Besides the importance of group dynamics in spawning terrorists, the author highlights the role of sacred values --core cultural values--that often trump other values, particularly economic ones. Within this context, Atran argues that the best measures against today's terrorist threat--which is more opportunistic, more scattered and disjointed, than it was before 9/11--are soft-power initiatives to provide alternative heroes and hopes within Muslim communities and to reframe sacred values. Atran's intellectual reach is prodigious; his analysis of the underpinnings of terrorism is instructive, if often unconventional; and his provocative prescriptions merit debate and consideration.
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“Talking to the Enemy is Atran’s impassioned call for evidence-based policy, but it’s also an ambitious survey of culture and violence. Research is the trump card here, played often and well.” (David Shariatmadari, The Guardian)
“Talking to the Enemy is about far more than violent extremism. One of the most penetrating works of social investigation to appear in many years, it offers a fresh and compelling perspective on human conflict. ” (John Gray, Literary Review)
“Talking to the Enemy is recommendable not just for its vivid insights into the motivation of terrorists, butalso for its study of Islamic radicalisation and the anthropology of religion in general.” (Michael Bond, New Scientist)
“Talking to the Enemy is an important book, by turns fascinating, dense, scientific, debatable, illuminating.” (David Aaronovitch, The Times)
“Scott Atran is one of the world’s most important and innovative thinkers on the local and global dynamics of violent Islamist extremism. . . . Required reading for those trying to understand and address the problems of terrorism in the 21st century.” (Juan Zarate, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism 2005 - 2009)
“What can be done to undo future jihadist networks? renowned anthropologist Scott Atran has carried out a very thorough study with surprising findings on what motivates those who kill and die.” (Luis Miguel Ariza, El Pais)
“Atran has given us a remarkably honest book, demonstrating that down-to-earth field work can give us a far superior understanding of what makes terrorists‘tick’ than whole armies of armchair counter-terrorist ‘experts.’” (Perspectives on Terrorism)
“This deeply researched, wide ranging, and very timely study provides a compelling and often surprising account of what lies behind the jihadi phenomenon . . . . It should be read carefully, and pondered.” (Noam Chomsky)
“Atran explores the way terrorists think about themselves and teaches us, at last, intelligent ways to think about terrorists. He puts the threat in perspective and provides keys to winning the fight against violent zealotry.” (Christopher Dickey, Newsweek Middle East Editor and author of SECURING THE CITY)
“The stories Atran brings back from talking to jihadists and their supporters are gripping, and the result of his experiments that probe their sacred values are compelling. The insights he gains tell us more than we knew before about what it means to be human.” (Robert Axelrod, Walgreen Professor for the Study of Human Understanding at the University of Michigan, author of The Evolution of Cooperation, and recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nu)
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For people like me who want the facts, check out this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1573317608/
The book in itself can be tedious if your not used to academic writing styles.
But it is also a learning experience, which will let you have a more detailed view about terrorists.
Usually highly rational progressive people can resort to conservative FUD when debating alternative Mohamedic religions.
Scott Atran is one of the few people who can distinguish Muslims, and provide a quantized set of characteristics for the subset Muslims that resort to terroristic acts. Based on his anthropological research, threat indicators can be a lot more effective.
It was quite a paradigm shift, when you only hear the rethoric on cable news or the internet.