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Opinion & Analysis

Thinking and Writing About Terrorism: Reflections on an Uncertain World

I am writing a book that will be called Confronting Terrorism. It examines the evolution of terrorism that culminates, for now, in the Islamic State’s ability to hold and “govern” substantial amounts of territory. This requires me to immerse myself in both the literature of terrorism and to view, from a distance, the nasty realities of this topic. I do not pretend to be as intimately involved as are the people who must live under terrorism’s darkest shadows every day. But I think a lot about how terrorism’s presence changes our world...

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Roots of Religious Extremism: The Muslim Brotherhood and the Four Faces of Tyranny

One way of getting to the “root causes” of terrorism and religious extremism in the Middle East is to examine the thinking of the mother organization of all groups and movements espousing violence and terrorism. Fortunately, the history of the Muslim Brothers is well researched. The revelations of the organization reflect a great deal of inconsistencies between the general and the specific: public pronouncements and specific documents, theory and practice, English and Arabic.

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Obsessing over Jihadi Otherness: Radicalism’s Evolution and the Failure of the Post-Colonial Arab State

The rise of the Islamic State group (which will be referred to as ISIS), from the perspective of those in the Middle East drawn to it, rather than Europe where the French scholar Olivier Roy has proposed the idea of the “Islamization of radicalism,” can be discussed within the framework of a number of deeper phenomena in Arab societies since the mid-twentieth century.

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