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Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill Paperback – August 17, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is fantastic. I could not put it down. Unlike most books of this sort which by necessity rely primarily on anecdotal evidence, this is serious work. It is closer to hard science in its procedure than most of the rabble rousing goobly gook masquerading as serious books on terrorism.
Prof. Stern is not trying to morally equate anything. She simply tries to expose some terrorist core motivations which are decidedly different from those of a soldier. Traditional phase-line thinking will not win thin war on terrorism. We need more thinkers of Stern's ilk to raise the level of the discourse.
Stern analyzes the different types of reasons for terrorism (humiliation, alienation, demographics, territory, and history) and explains both on the psychological and sociological level how they operate. She also explains how the different methods of terrorism operate to bring about the psychological trance/bliss state, how terrorists become as well as their logistical operations. She describes charismatic leaders, commanders and cadres, lone wolves, and freelance franchises as forms of organization and the sometimes mixed motives of their members. She discusses terrorist organizations' relationships with states, weapons acquistion and type, recruit training, and techniques to enhance commitment.
The book covers much the same territory that Mark Juergensmeyer's "Terror in the Mind of God" covers. He does it more elegantly, with more depth, and with many of the same insights and conclusions, but Stern provides more information on the nature of organizations and a better categorization of motives. This is the broader book.
If you have strong ideological beliefs or interests in parties involved with or affected by terrorism, you probably won't like the book. Christian terrorism and Jewish terrorism exist, albeit on a vastly lower level than Islamic terrorism at the moment, but the forces behind all kinds of terrorism have much in common, as this book points out. If we can't get past emotional reactions and judgments to understand why and how these terrible and tragic events occur, then we only contribute to their perpetuation, not their alleviation.
Sparing a lot of details and personalities, you can discover them for yourself, it is enough to say that Stern has traveled the globe to conduct her interviews and compile her research. From American Fundamentalists with their addiction to targeting abortion clinics for destruction; to Hamas; Indonesians, Pakistanis et al committed to their respective jihads, the author gives a comprehensive, and often eye opening glimpse at the inside operations of a vast cross section of groups.
In establishing a common thread of psychological and economic profiles of the recruits for various terrorist groups, Stern provides useful insight for those wishing to comprehend some of the most menacing ideologues in our modern world. The story is all the more remarkable as Stern is an American professor, female, and Jewish; yet she manages, occasionally at potential risk to her safety, to penetrate conservative Muslim strongholds to obtain her information.
This is scholarly, but still well organized and readable, and I highly recommend it as a first stop for anyone seeking to get a good handle on this important issue.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The title should be TERROR IN THE NAME OF ALLAH.
Allah's holy Law of War is in fact the most important religious duty in Islam, obligatory for all Muslims. Read more
Stern discusses various individuals and groups that kill those who disagree with their beliefs. Her personal interviews with convicted extremists adds to the book in a way which... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Erik Graham
I had checked it out at the library and decided I wanted a copy to keep.Published 3 months ago by sandra e schiml
Fundamentalism seems to be on the rise in the world. Stern circles the globes to talk to men who have committed violence in the name of religion. Read morePublished 10 months ago by C. Townsend
A timely read in this day of ISIS and the slaying of 9 black church members
at the Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston SC by a lone wolf
Jessica Stern is an excellent writer and incredibly well informed on the subjects of her writing. I have read all of her books and Terror in the Name of God maintains her high... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Manjushri
This book is brilliant ,well researched and a must read for politicians, soldiers. theologians and academicians anyone who loves peace and their fellow human beings.Published 16 months ago by AMA