Are you looking for something to read? Here’s the “good” books I read this year. In 2019 I was most heavily interested in 4 main topics: urban America, WW2, Delaware and business/economy.
Maybe The Best Book I’ve Ever Read:
With the growing appeal of ISISism in the Middle East, the importance of an effective US diplomatic focus on religious freedom, with new paradigms that take into account the gravity of the situation, is only growing. Last week I attended an important conference hosted by the University of Notre Dame that did a great job at helping take that discussion to a new level.
And on a related note, over the weekend, I finished this new book on ISIS:
In a nutshell, should you read this book and why?
Below I have translated a February 13th article in Alaph newspaper titled “Daesh and the Muslim Brotherhood Call Upon Their Followers to Kill the Sheikh of Al-Azhar.”
It highlights the extent to which the political violence associated with Jihadist movements everywhere in the Muslim World is best understood using this paradigm:
Establishment versus Anti-Establishment
The basic divides as relates to Egypt in particular:
(Group A) Establishment Islam:
My translation of some solid analysis on a major CT issue by one of the Middle East’s top experts Egypt’s top experts:
I’ve got a piece out for a great new website on National Security.
I make the basic policy argument that a US prioritization of economic empowerment policies in the Middle East is ultimately the best way to combat the inter-related problems of the EU migration crisis and the rising appeal of Jihadism.
For Christmas I received this history of the British SAS during the Second World War. Yesterday I finished reading and highly recommend it. The book is based on first-rate primary source research and is very well-written. For anyone who’s ever lived in Cairo it will at times read like a walk down memory lane.
To be continuously updated
Below are 19 books that I consider essential reading* for understanding the nature of the Jihadism** problem and formulating the toughest and most strategic CT approach (as opposed to only tactical) during the new administration.
As a doctor will say, correctly diagnosing the cause of a problem is the key to figuring out how to stop it from happening.
I am reposting this piece that I wrote in November 2015.
As policy makers focus on what to do about the Islamic State over the coming months — you will hear people talking about the role of the Wahhabi version of Islam of Saudi Arabia, and what connection it has to the spread of this new wave of terrorism everyone is talking about.
For decades, there has been a school of thought that blames the Saudis for Al-Qaeda, or Salafism, and now, the Islamic State, as a result of some conscious strategy by the Saudi ruling class to “export” their version of Islam.
How Saudi Arabia Exported the Main Source of Global Terrorism
Central to this idea is that, if the Saudis did not take these actions to export their version of Islam, different things would be happening. Such as:
- Islam as practiced in many Arab countries would be more moderate
- Certain radical mosques in say France, wouldn’t exist
- Fewer Belgians would have traveled to fight in Syria.
- Radical clerics would have less followers on Twitter.
I have always argued — and will argue in this post — that the spread of more conservative Islamic views across the Middle East, and amongst Muslims in the West, both now, and over the course of the last several decades, cannot be blamed on any conscious strategy by people or organizations inside Saudi Arabia.
It is merely a natural reflection of the “demand” for more conservative religious views. People chose more conservative Islam because it is logical to them based on their personal surrounding environment.