Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role in Terrorism Paperback – September 9, 2003
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“Schwartz provides much valuable information and insight. [His] case against Saudi Arabia and its foreign policy is irrefutable.” –The Wall Street Journal
“A major and welcome contribution on a topic that will only become more relevant. It is must reading for anybody who wants to know what exactly we are facing in the war on terror.” —National Review
“A powerful indictment of Saudi-Wahhabi duplicity. . . . A valuable study of a religious culture that could well end up in open conflict with the West (if it’s not already).” —The Washington Post
“The urgency for Americans is to place the news in context, and toward that end there is no better guide than Stephen Schwartz. . . . No writer has done more to expose Wahhabism than Mr. Schwartz has.” —Dallas Morning News
From the Inside Flap
Since its formation in 1932, Saudi Arabia has been ruled by two interdependent families. The Al Sa'uds control politics and the descendants of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab impose Wahhabism--a violent, fanatical perversion of the pluralistic Islam practiced by most Muslims. Stephen Schwartz argues that Wahhabism, vigorously exported with the help of Saudi oil money, is what incites Palestinian suicide bombers, Osama bin Laden, and other Islamic terrorists throughout the world.
Schwartz reveals the hypocrisy of the Saudi regime, whose moderate facade conceals state-sponsored repression and terrorism. He also raises troubling questions about Wahhabi infiltration of America's Islamic community and about U.S. oil companies sanitizing Saudi Arabia's image for the West. This sharp analysis and eye-opening expose illuminates the background to the September 11th terrorist attacks and offers new approaches for U.S. policy toward its closest ally in the Middle East.
Top customer reviews
This book is definitely polemic concerning the branches of Islam, and their impact on the worldscene. Certainly, this got all the world's attention on 9/11.
Whether Schwartz's polemics accusing the Wahhabi branch of Islam are true or not remain for others more schooled in the history and ways of Islamic branches to help the rest of us sort out.
As analogy, it is like someone not familiar with all the Christian confessions believing the lie that all of them are the same. To believe the supposition that all Christian confessions believe in the physical violence some provide on abortion clinics is to seriously misunderstand and misquote the majority of Christian branches.
If Schwartz's analysis of Islam is true, Wahhabism is not representative of all Islam, but is responsible for much of the terrorist activity from this part of the world. Responsible for this support and propogation, so this book states, is Saudi Arabia.
Shocking the charges he files against the US government and its naivity and approach to such if true.
Chilling read and this reviewer will await and seek other voices as this gets shifted out.
Thus, ayatollah Homeini gets away with a mild rebuke simply because he was a Shiite and pro-Sufi. The author somehow fails to mention that the practice of suicidal martyrdom was not invented by the Wahhabites. It goes a long way back with the Shiites and was widely practiced during the Iran-Iraq war. Iranian revolution, even though not exportable per se because tainted with Shiism, was an idea and an example that went a long way.
Furthermore, Schwartz gives very different treatment to rather similar secular regimes. He professes great dislike for Kemal Ataturk but deals gently with Nasser of Egypt, pretty ugly character. Everything clears up once we recall that Ataturk banned Sufi orders, whereas Nasser who was fighting Wahhabi-like Moslem Brotherhood, left the Sufis alone. And so forth.
The history of Wahhabism and its present day worldwide influence deserve to be widely known, and Schwartz is apparently well served by his Sufi sources. Still, terms like "diabolical" do not belong in a book that purports to retain some objectivity.
To conclude, the title itself is wrong. It suggests that the diabolical face of Wahhabism is somehow balanced by the angelic face of Sufism. No, it is not - and not only because Sufism, thanks to its horizontal structure, is far from uniform and does not possess a hierarchy to speak for itself. Every major religion can possess only one merit in the eyes of those who are not its adherents: it could leave them alone. In other words, it could be either intrusive or ignorable. Islam, whatever its historical deserts, today does not pass this test.