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Jihad, Radicalism, and the New Atheism
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    Jihad, Radicalism, and the New Atheism
    • Online ISBN: 9781108377263
    • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108377263
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Book description

Is Islam fundamentally violent? For influential New Atheists such as Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Richard Dawkins, the answer is an emphatic yes, largely because of the Islamic doctrine of jihad. According to this view, when al-Qaeda plotted 9/11 or ISIS planned any one of its recent terrorist attacks, they were acting in accord with Islamic scripture. Jihad, Radicalism, and the New Atheism scrutinizes this claim by comparing the conflicting interpretations of jihad offered by mainstream Muslim scholars, violent Muslim radicals, and New Atheists. Mohammad Hassan Khalil considers contemporary Muslim terrorism to be a grave problem that we must now confront. He shows, however, that the explanations offered for this phenomenon by the New Atheists are highly problematic, and that their own interpretations of the role of violence in Islam exceed those of even radicals such as Osama bin Laden. In showing all of this, Khalil offers critical insights on a most pressing issue.

Reviews

'Mohammad Khalil’s critique of the 'new atheists' is compelling, rational, and hard-hitting without veering into polemics. The result is a highly lucid, carefully argued and engaging book on a very timely topic that has been begging for such a level-headed, scholarly treatment.'

Asma Afsaruddin - Indiana University

'… [N]o work has to this point looked at jihadist discourses on war and New Atheist discourses on Islam together as a shared narrative around what it means to be genuinely motivated by religion in modern Islam. Mohammad Khalil’s book does just that, and it should be required reading for anyone looking for a way out of the Manicheanism of both jihadism and certain kinds of anti-religious discourse.'

Andrew F. March - Law and Social Change Fellow, Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School, Massachusetts

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