Extremists in Our Midst: Confronting Terror by Abdul Haqq Baker:
‘…it [the book] challenges a popular stereotype of Salafi Islam, prevalent among many experts and many Muslims and non-Muslims alike, who fail to distinguish between mainstream and violent Salafism, equating all Salafis with violent Jihadists.
Too often popular discourse plays of so-called ‘‘moderate’’ Muslims over and against Salafi Muslims, simply equating Salafism with religious extremism and terrorism. Thus, for many Western secularists, moderate Muslims are those who advocate secular liberalism. Conservative or traditionalist Muslims are regarded as fundamentalists: theologically closed-minded, suspicious, or extreme. Liberal or self-styled progressive Muslims often fall into a similar trap, appropriating the term ‘‘moderate’’ solely for themselves and using the term Salafi and ‘‘fundamentalist’’ to dismiss or ridicule those espousing more conservative and theological positions.
In a world which continues to be threatened by foreign and domestic acts of terrorism, and in which Western governments and societies, are challenged to counter the growth of extremism and “homegrown” terrorists, Extremists in Our Midst: Confronting Terror is a “must read.”’ Foreword from John Esposito
The paperback edition was released on 11 November 2015. Details can be found via the following link:
This book served as an apt road map to understanding the transitioning influences effecting reverts to Islam, particularly when the reversion occurs in an environment that is unwilling to accept the change and where there is little or no support. Hence, the convert is vulnerable, indeed gullible, to influences of those who portray themselves as fonts of Islamic knowledge. The insights are founded on sociology, not theory, and resonate well in real life cases. I represented an individual charged with a terrorism crime in the U.S. Dr. Baker’s work provided a solid basis of understanding of the spiritual path my client faced that I may have otherwise been unable to acquire.
Counter-Terrorism: Community-Based Approaches To Preventing Terror Crime, edited by Basia Spalek
‘This book examines community-based approaches to counter-terrorism through an analysis of the notions of community, partnership, engagement, gender and religion in order to shed new light on the potential of and drawbacks to these approaches.
Excerpt from Abdul Haqq’s Chapter 4 – ‘Engagement and Partnership in Community-Based Approaches to Counter-Terrorism’, page 77:
‘A significant proportion of the young Muslim population in Britain continues to view the police and other statutory authorities with mistrust. Negative pre-conversion experiences of African-Caribbean converts add to this sense of mistrust due to indelible impressions and scars to the racial psyche of such individuals…post conversion experiences and similar Islamophobic attitudes…have only served to reinforce pre-existing mistrust and suspicions.’
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Global Salafism: Islam’s New Religious Movement, edited by Roel Meijer
“Salafism” and “jihadi-Salafism” have become significant doctrinal trends in contemporary Islamic thought, yet the West has largely failed to offer a sophisticated and discerning definition of these movements. The contributors to Global Salafism carefully outline not only the differences in the Salafi schools but the broader currents of Islamic thought that constitute this trend as well. They examine both the regional manifestations of the phenomenon and its shared, essential doctrines. Their analyses highlight Salafism’s inherent ambivalence and complexitites–the ‘out-antiquing the antique’ that has brought Islamic thought into the modern age while maintaining its relationship to an older, purer authenticity. Emphasising the subtle tensions between local and glocal aspirations within the “Salafi method”, Global Salafism investigates the movement like no other study currently available.
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The Making of Salafism: Islamic Reform in the Twentieth Century (Religion, Culture, and Public Life), edited by Henri Lauzière
Some Islamic scholars hold that Salafism is an innovative and rationalist effort at Islamic reform that emerged in the late nineteenth century but gradually disappeared in the mid twentieth. Others argue Salafism is an anti-innovative and antirationalist movement of Islamic purism that dates back to the medieval period yet persists today. Though they contradict each other, both narratives are considered authoritative, making it hard for outsiders to grasp the history of the ideology and its core beliefs.
Introducing a third, empirically based genealogy, The Making of Salafism understands the concept as a recent phenomenon projected back onto the past, and it sees its purist evolution as a direct result of decolonization. Henri Lauzière builds his history on the transnational networks of Taqi al-Din al-Hilali (1894–1987), a Moroccan Salafi who, with his associates, participated in the development of Salafism as both a term and a movement. Traveling from Rabat to Mecca, from Calcutta to Berlin, al-Hilali interacted with high-profile Salafi scholars and activists who eventually abandoned Islamic modernism in favor of a more purist approach to Islam. Today, Salafis tend to claim a monopoly on religious truth and freely confront other Muslims on theological and legal issues. Lauzière’s pathbreaking history recognizes the social forces behind this purist turn, uncovering the popular origins of what has become a global phenomenon.
Sufis, Salafis and Islamists: The Contested Ground of British Islamic Activism (Library of Modern Religion), edited by Sadek Hamid
British Muslim activism has evolved constantly in recent decades. What have been its main groups and how do their leaders compete to attract followers? Which social and religious ideas from abroad are most influential? In this groundbreaking study, Sadek Hamid traces the evolution of Sufi, Salafi and Islamist activist groups in Britain, including The Young Muslims UK, Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Salafi JIMAS organisation and Traditional Islam Network. With reference to second-generation British Muslims especially, he explains how these groups gain and lose support, embrace and reject foreign ideologies, and succeed and fail to provide youth with compelling models of British Muslim identity. Analyzing historical and firsthand community research, Hamid gives a compelling account of the complexity that underlies reductionist media narratives of Islamic activism in Britain.
The Making of a Salafi Muslim Woman: Paths to Conversion, by Anabel Inge
The spread of Salafism–often referred to as “Wahhabism”–in the West has intrigued and alarmed observers since the attacks of 9/11. Many see it as a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam that condones the subjugation of women and fuels Jihadist extremism. This view depicts Salafi women as the hapless victims of a fanatical version of Islam. Yet in Britain, growing numbers of educated women–often converts or from less conservative Muslim backgrounds-are actively choosing to embrace Salafism’s literalist beliefs and strict regulations, including heavy veiling, wifely obedience, and seclusion from non-related men. How do these young women reconcile such difficult demands with their desire for university education, fulfilling careers, and suitable husbands? How do their beliefs affect their love lives and other relationships? And why do they become Salafi in the first place?
Anabel Inge has gained unprecedented access to Salafi women’s groups in the United Kingdom to provide the first in-depth account of their lives. Drawing on more than two years of ethnographic fieldwork in London, she examines why Salafism is attracting so many young Somalis, Afro-Caribbean converts, and others. But she also reveals the personal dilemmas they confront. This ground-breaking, lucid, and richly detailed book will be of vital interest to scholars, policy-makers, journalists, and general readers.
Roots of Religious Extremism, The: Understanding the Salafi Doctrine of Al-Wala’ Wal Bara’ (Insurgency and Terrorism), by Mohamed Bin Ali
One of the issues in contemporary Islamic thought which has attracted considerable attention amongst Muslim scholars and within the Muslim community is the valid and appropriate attitude of Muslims to relationships with non-Muslims. A major source of confusion and controversy with regards to this relationship comes from the allegation that Muslims must reserve their love and loyalty for fellow Muslims, and reject and declare war on the rest of humanity — most acutely seen through the Islamic concept of Al-Wala’ wal Bara’ (WB) translated as “Loyalty and Disavowal”, which appears to be central in the ideology of modern Salafism.This book investigates the dynamics and complexities of the concept of WB within modern Salafism and aims to understand the diverse interpretation of this concept; and how modern Salafis understand and apply the concept in contemporary religious, social and political settings. The book discovers that the complexities, diversities and disputes surrounding the concept in modern Salafism often revolve around issues of social, political and current realities.The significance of this book lies in the fact that comprehending modern Salafis’ conception of WB, its realities and complexities has become an urgent priority in the lives of Muslims today.
The Islamic State in Britain: Radicalization and Resilience in an Activist Network (Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences), by Michael Kenney
Drawing on extensive field research with activists on the streets of London, Michael Kenney provides the first ethnographic study of a European network implicated in terrorist attacks and sending fighters to the Islamic State. For over twenty years, al-Muhajiroun (Arabic for ‘the Emigrants’) strived to create an Islamic state in Britain through high-risk activism. A number of Emigrants engaged in violence, while others joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Kenney explains why young Britons joined the Emigrants, how they radicalized and adapted their activism, and why many of them eventually left. Through an innovative mix of ethnography and network analysis, Kenney explains the structure and processes behind this outlawed network and explores its remarkable resilience. What emerges is a complex, nuanced portrait that demystifies the Emigrants while challenging conventional wisdom on radicalization and countering violent extremism.
Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, The (MAXNotes Literature Guides), by Anita J. Aboulafia
MAXnotes offer a fresh look at masterpieces of literature, presented in a lively and interesting fashion. Written by literary experts who currently teach the subject, MAXnotes will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the work. MAXnotes are designed to stimulate independent thought about the literary work by raising various issues and thought-provoking ideas and questions.
MAXnotes cover the essentials of what one should know about each work, including an overall summary, character lists, an explanation and discussion of the plot, the work’s historical context, illustrations to convey the mood of the work, and a biography of the author. Each chapter is individually summarized and analyzed, and has study questions and answers.
Critique of Black Reason (a John Hope Franklin Center Book), by Achille Mbembe
In Critique of Black Reason eminent critic Achille Mbembe offers a capacious genealogy of the category of Blackness—from the Atlantic slave trade to the present—to critically reevaluate history, racism, and the future of humanity. Mbembe teases out the intellectual consequences of the reality that Europe is no longer the world’s center of gravity while mapping the relations among colonialism, slavery, and contemporary financial and extractive capital. Tracing the conjunction of Blackness with the biological fiction of race, he theorizes Black reason as the collection of discourses and practices that equated Blackness with the nonhuman in order to uphold forms of oppression. Mbembe powerfully argues that this equation of Blackness with the nonhuman will serve as the template for all new forms of exclusion. With Critique of Black Reason, Mbembe offers nothing less than a map of the world as it has been constituted through colonialism and racial thinking while providing the first glimpses of a more just future.
Black, Listed, by Jeffrey Boakye
GUARDIAN MUST READ BOOKS OF 2019 FINANCIAL TIMES BOOKS TO READ 2019 NEW STATESMAN MUST READS 2019’A truly radical book, which manages to be unflinching and constantly entertaining’ CAROLINE SANDERSON, THE BOOKSELLER BOOK OF THE MONTH APRIL 2019’This book gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others’ DAVID LAMMY, GUARDIAN *Who is a roadman really What’s wrong with calling someone a ‘lighty’ Why do people think black guys are coolThese are just some of the questions being wrestled with in Black, Listed, an exploration of 21st century black identity told through a list of insults, insights and everything in-between.Taking a panoramic look at global black history, interrogating both contemporary and historical culture, Black, Listed investigates the ways in which black communities (and individuals) have been represented, oppressed, mimicked, celebrated, and othered. Part historical study, part autobiographical musing, part pop culture vivisection, it’s a comprehensive attempt to make sense of blackness from the vantage point of the hilarious and insightful psyche of Jeffrey Boakye. Along the way, it explores a far reaching range of social and cultural contexts, including but not limited to, sport, art, entertainment, politics, literature, history, music, theatre, cinema, education and criminal justice, sometimes at the same time.
Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, by Afua Hirsch
You’re British. Your parents are British. You were raised in Britain. Your partner, your children, and most of your friends are British.
So why do people keep asking you where you are from?
Brit(ish) is about a search for identity. It is about the everyday racism that plagues British society. It is about our awkward, troubled relationship with our history. It is about why liberal attempts to be “color-blind” have caused more problems than they have solved. It is about why we continue to avoid talking about race.
In this personal and provocative investigation, Afua Hirsch explores a very British crisis of identity. We are a nation in denial about our past and our present. We believe we are the nation of abolition, but forget we are the nation of slavery. We are convinced that fairness is one of our values, but that immigration is one of our problems. Brit(ish) is the story of how and why this came to be, and an urgent call for change.
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire – The Sunday Times Bestseller, by Akala
Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century, by Kehinde Andrews
Back to Black traces the long and eminent history of Black radical politics. Born out of resistance to slavery and colonialism, its rich past encompasses figures such as Marcus Garvey, Angela Davis, the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter activists of today. At its core it argues that racism is inexorably embedded in the fabric of society, and that it can never be overcome unless by enacting change outside of this suffocating system. This is an appeal to reclaim Black radicalism, a movement that has been diluted and moderated over time, willfully misrepresented and caricatured by others, and divested of its potency and potential for global change.
Kehinde Andrews explores the true roots of this tradition, and connects the dots to today’s struggles by showing what a renewed politics of Black radicalism might look like in the twenty-first century.
Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World, by Tina Rosenberg
In the style of Nudge or The Spirit Level – a groundbreaking book that will change the way you look at the world. Tina Rosenberg has spent her career tackling some of the world’s hardest problems. The Haunted Land, her searing book on how Eastern Europe faced the crimes of Communism, was awarded both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in the US. In Join the Club, she identifies a brewing social revolution that is changing the way people live, based on harnessing the positive force of peer pressure. Her stories of peer power in action show how it has reduced teen smoking in the United States, made villages in India healthier and more prosperous, helped minority students get top grades in college calculus, and even led to the fall of Slobodan Milosevic. She tells how creative social entrepreneurs are starting to use peer pressure to accomplish goals as personal as losing weight and as global as fighting terrorism. Inspiring and engrossing, Join the Club explains how we can better our world through humanity’s most powerful and abundant resource: our connections with one another.