The New Frontiers of Jihad: Radical Islam in Europe

Alison Pargeter, Author University of Pennsylvania Press $34.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-8122-4146-4
Rejecting the conventional wisdom that the European jihad is monolithic and rooted in local conditions (alienation, marginalization), Pargeter argues that it is instead ""plagued by division, petty infighting, and battles of ego,"" and is ""shaped by powers outside the continent."" The book's careful analysis demonstrates that the initial wave of radical Islam in Europe in the 1980s was rooted in political struggles against secular governments in the Middle East and that the continent evolved over time into a base ""to assist the struggle back home."" Even after 9/11, the author claims that the popular notion of a global jihad remains a myth, and after analyzing the terror attacks in Madrid and London, concludes that the evidence linking the perpetrators with al-Qaeda is speculative at best. Pargeter is careful to note that the radicals are a minority within a minority, and her prescription for understanding and combating radical Islam in Europe is to look first to ""conditions in the Islamic world."" Local ""counter-radicalization strategies,"" she argues, can not work in isolation. Provocative, timely and well-reasoned, Pargeter's iconoclastic views deserve a wide audience.
Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 244 pages - 978-1-84511-391-9
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-8122-2273-9
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