This is an absolute important book to understand today’s current affairs, which heavily linked with the rise of Islamic terrorism. The book is written by an ex-CIA analyst stationed in the Middle East, whom possess an incredible clarity over the geopolitics dynamics on the ground.
The premise of this book is to picture a world without Islam. How different it would have been, how the butterfly effects that never happened would turned out to be, and it’s very sobering. This, in effect, becomes a book about the history of the world that has nothing to do with Islam.
Chapter 2 and 3 cover the antagonism between Rome and Constantinople, which created the divisions between Western Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, with very extensive details that could make this book easily becomes the history of the split within the Christian powers. This scism, according to Graham E. Fuller, was the predecessor of today’s East’s (especially Russia’s) resentment towards the West.
The proceeding chapters cover pretty much every single problematic interactions with Islam in the world, including the best analysis on the current problem immigrant Muslims have in Europe, the best statistics-heavy analysis on the Hindu-Muslim violence in India, including the root-cause of the tension in Kashmir, and why Muslims in America are generally more established compared with their European counterparts.
The book also covers Muslim-China relationship, including the root-cause of today’s tension in north west China till this day, and the fact that Muslims built the capital Beijing. Chapter 12 in particular is a masterpiece, analysing straight to the heart of the world’s problem today. And like most books analysing political Islam, this book also covers the complex problem in Israel-Palestine, which according to Fuller wasn’t rooted with Islam, but with Western European persecution of European Jews.
This is the perfect book to give to Islamophobic or anti-theists who think that religion is always the underlying problem. It is also a perfect book to read to understand the arguments about state and religion, and how religion is being used for political gains. Its conclusion gives the best answer to the immediate problems arises in the Middle East. But judging from the reason why the US is in the Middle East to begin with, these brilliant solutions would probably go unnoticed.
Never in my life that I have been so wrong about judging a book by its cover (and title). When purchasing the book I intended to read what the Islamophobics are saying about the religion, but right from the first couple of paragraphs I was in for a surprise. I did not even suspect this to be a very comprehensive book. But oh I have never been this happy to be dead wrong!
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