240 pages, 7.97 × 5.14 × 0.59 in
April 6, 2010
Random House Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0812978307
ISBN - 13: 9780812978308
About the Book
Originally published as How to win a cosmic war by Random House in 2009.
Read from the Book
Part OneThe Geography of IdentityChapter OneThe Borderless SelfBen-Gurion International Airport is a brash, beautiful, strikingly confident construction that, like much of Tel Aviv, looks as though it might have sprouted fully formed from the desert sands of the old Arab port city of Jaffa. Named after the surly general and chief architect of the state, the airport is a testament to Israel’s self-ascribed position as a bastion of social and technological advancement amid a sea of inchoate enemies. In fact, Ben-Gurion’s primary function seems to be to filter out those very enemies by tightly controlling access to the state. This is true of all international airports, I suppose, as anyone who has undergone the humiliation of being scanned, fingerprinted, and photographed to be allowed entry into the United States post-9/11 can attest. In the modern world, airports have become a kind of identity directory: the place where we are most determinately defined, registered, and catalogued before being apportioned into separate queues, each according to nationality.Still, Israel has, for obvious reasons, taken this process to new and unprecedented heights. I am not two steps off the plane when I am immediately tagged and separated from the rush of passengers by a pimpled immigration officer in a knitted yarmulke.“Passport, please,” he barks. “Why are you here?”I cannot tell him the truth: I want to sneak into Gaza, which has been sealed off for months. In 2006, when Palestinians were o
From the Publisher
The wars in the Middle East have become religious wars in which God is believed to be directly engaged on behalf of one side against the other. The hijackers who attacked America on September 11, 2001, thought they were fighting in the name of God. According to award-winning writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan, the United States, by infusing the War on Terror with its own religiously polarizing rhetoric, is fighting a similar war—a war that can’t be won.
Beyond Fundamentalism is both an in-depth study of the ideology fueling al-Qa‘ida, the Taliban, and like-minded militants throughout the Muslim world and an exploration of religious violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. At a time when religion and politics increasingly share the same vocabulary and function in the same sphere, Aslan writes that we must strip the conflicts of our world of their religious connotations and address the earthly grievances that always lie at its root.
How do you win a religious war? By refusing to fight in one.
Featuring new content and updated analysis
Originally published as How to Win a Cosmic War
About the Author
Reza Aslan is assistant professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, and Senior Fellow at the Orfalae Center for Global and International Studies at U.C. Santa Barbara. His first book, No god but God, has been translated into thirteen languages and was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award.
From the Hardcover edition.
“[A] thoughtful analysis of America’s War on Terror.”
—The New Yorker
“Offers a very persuasive argument for the best way to counter jihadism.”
—The Washington Post
“[Reza] Aslan dissects a complex subject (terrorism and globalization) and distills it with a mix of narrative writing, personal anecdotes, reportage and historical analysis.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Aslan is not only a perspicuous, thoughtful interpreter of the Muslim world but also a subtle psychologist of the call to jihad.”
—Los Angeles Times
“[A] meaty analysis of the rise of Jihadism . . . dispels common misconceptions of the War on Terror age.”
—San Jose Mercury News
“It is Aslan’s great gift to see things clearly, and to say them clearly, and in this important new work he offers us a way forward. He is prescriptive and passionate, and his book will make you think.”
—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion