cover image Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism: A Call to Action

Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism: A Call to Action

George Weigel, . . Doubleday, $15.95 (195pp) ISBN 978-0-385-52378-3

Addressing Islamic terrorism and America’s response as a global leader, Catholic commentator Weigel (senior fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, and author of Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II) argues that “[t]he great human questions, including the great questions of public life, are ultimately theological.” This short book, comprising 15 “lessons” in sections entitled “Understanding the Enemy,” “Rethinking Realism” and “Deserving Victory,” covers such topics as key strands of Islamic thought, the dangers of Western “appeasement” of terrorists and the case for regime change in Iran as well as the development of alternative transportation fuels and the elimination of nuclear weapons. Weigel asserts that jihadism arises not from poverty or the existence of the state of Israel but from Islamic fundamentalism’s “theological roots.” He presents a cogent case that winning the war against terrorism means winning the war of ideas: America must overcome its “self-contempt” because cultural confidence, he insists, is key. Unsurprisingly, Weigel rejects so-called postmodernist relativism and uncritical multiculturalism; his idea of what constitutes realism—such as President Bush’s post 9/11 foreign policy or the existence of objective moral truths—may not be shared by those with different political convictions, but this book contains thought-provoking analysis. (Dec. 26)