The Isis Apocalypse
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|Author||: William McCants|
|Editor||: St. Martin's Press|
The Islamic State is one of the most lethal and successful jihadist groups in modern history, surpassing even al-Qaeda. Thousands of its followers have marched across Syria and Iraq, subjugating millions, enslaving women, beheading captives, and daring anyone to stop them. Thousands more have spread terror beyond the Middle East under the Islamic State's black flag. How did the Islamic State attract so many followers and conquer so much land? By being more ruthless, more apocalyptic, and more devoted to state-building than its competitors. The shrewd leaders of the Islamic State combined two of the most powerful yet contradictory ideas in Islam-the return of the Islamic Empire and the end of the world-into a mission and a message that shapes its strategy and inspires its army of zealous fighters. They have defied conventional thinking about how to wage wars and win recruits. Even if the Islamic State is defeated, jihadist terrorism will never be the same. Based almost entirely on primary sources in Arabic-including ancient religious texts and secret al-Qaeda and Islamic State letters that few have seen - William McCants' The ISIS Apocalypse explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophecy shaped the Islamic State's past and foreshadow its dark future.
|Author||: William McCants|
The so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, has inspired young men and women all over the world to commit horrible atrocities in its name. How has the Islamic State surpassed al-Qaeda to become the most popular jihadist group on the planet? Its goal is not only to revive the Islamic empire but also usher in the End of Times - a final battle that will restore the Muslim community to its medieval glory days. And they will not stop until they achieve their mission.
|Author||: Lawrence Wright|
"Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York, in 2014"--Title page verso.
|Author||: Bronislav Ost?ansky|
|Editor||: Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Apocalypticism and Eschatology|
Focusing on apocalyptic manifestations found in ISIS propaganda, this book situates the group's agenda in the broader framework of contemporary Muslim thought and explains key topics in millennial thinking within the spiritual context of modern Islamic apocalypticism. Based on the group's primary sources as well as medieval Muslim apocalyptic literature and its modern interpretations, the book analyses the ways ISIS presents its message concerning the Last Days as a meaningful, inventive and frightening expression of collectively shared expectations relating to the supposedly approaching the End Times.
|Author||: Feisal al-Istrabadi,Sumit Ganguly|
|Editor||: Brookings Institution Press|
Looking to the future in confronting the Islamic State The Islamic State (best known in the West as ISIS or ISIL) has been active for less than a decade, but it has already been the subject of numerous histories and academic studies—all focus primarily on the past. The Future of ISIS is the first major study to look ahead: what are the prospects for the Islamic State in the near term, and what can the global community, including the United States, do to counter it? Edited by two distinguished scholars at Indiana University, the book examines how ISIS will affect not only the Middle East but the global order. Specific chapters deal with such questions as whether and how ISIS benefitted from intelligence failures, and what can be done to correct any such failures; how to confront the alarmingly broad appeal of Islamic State ideology; the role of local and regional actors in confronting ISIS; and determining U.S. interests in preventing ISIS from gaining influence and controlling territory. Given the urgency of the topic, The Future of ISIS is of interest to policymakers, analysts, and students of international affairs and public policy.
|Author||: Abdel Bari Atwan|
In this timely and important book, Abdel Bari Atwan draws on his unrivalled knowledge of the global jihadi movement and Middle Eastern geopoliti to reveal the origins and modus operandi of Islamic State. Based on extensive field research and exclusive interviews with IS insiders, Atwan offers a comprehensive review of the group’s organisational structure and leadership, strategies, tacti and diverse methods of recruitment. He traces the salafi-jihadi lineage of IS, its ideological differences with al-Qa‘ida, and the deadly rivalry that has emerged between their leaders. Atwan also shows how the group’s rapid growth has been facilitated by its masterful command of social media platforms, the ‘dark web’, Hollywood ‘blockbuster’-style videos, and even jihadi computer games, producing a powerful paradox where the ambitions of the Middle Ages have re-emerged in cyber-space. As Islamic State continues to dominate the world’s media headlines with horrific acts of ruthless violence, Atwan considers the movement’s chances of survival and expansion, and offers indispensable insights on potential government responses to contain the IS threat. ‘A key voice explaining Islamist militancy to the English-speaking world’ Peter Bergen ‘Thank heavens we have writers such as Atwan – who knew the real Bin Laden better than any other journalist’ Robert Fisk, Independent ‘An extraordinarily gifted, experienced and knowledgeable analyst of Arab affairs’ Ann Leslie, Daily Mail ‘Atwan ‘got it’ from the moment bin Laden appeared on the scene’ Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA bin Laden ‘Alec’ unit
|Author||: Shadi Hamid,William McCants|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
The "twin shocks" of the Egyptian coup and the rise of ISIS have challenged conventional wisdom on political Islam, forcing scholars and Muslim activists to reconsider some of the basic assumptions about Sunni Islamist movements. While ISIS and other jihadist groups garner the most media attention, the vast majority of Islamists are of the mainstream variety, seeking gradual change and participating in parliamentary politics when they're allowed to. It is these groups that are the focus of this book. They not only represent the future of what we call "political Islam," but they also - in their own struggles adapting to the changes of recent years - provide a fascinating window into a rapidly changing Middle East. The breadth of the book is expansive, covering the experience of Islamist groups in twelve countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Pakistan, as well as Malaysia and Indonesia. In each of these cases, contributors consider how Muslim Brotherhood and Brotherhood-inspired Islamist movements have grappled with fundamental questions, including gradual versus revolutionary approaches to change, the use of tactical or situational violence, attitudes toward the nation-state, and how ideology and political variables interact. The case studies include authoritarian and democratic states and are not solely focused on the Arab world, allowing readers to consider a greater diversity of Islamist experiences.
|Author||: Haroro J. Ingram,Craig Whiteside,Charlie Winter|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
In the wake of its "Caliphate" declaration in 2014, the self-described Islamic State has been the focus of countless academic papers, government studies, media commentaries and documentaries. Despite all this attention, persistent myths continue to shape--and misdirect--public understanding and strategic policy decisions. A significant factor in this trend has been a strong disinclination to engage critically with Islamic State's speeches and writings--as if doing so reflects empathy with the movement's goals or, even more absurdly, may itself lead to radicalisation. Going beyond the descriptive and the sensationalist, this volume presents and analyses a series of milestone Islamic State primary source materials. Scholar-practitioners with field experience in confronting the movement explore and contextualise its approach to warfare, propaganda and governance, examining the factors behind its dramatic evolution from failed proto-state in 2010 to standard-bearer of global jihadism in 2014, to besieged insurgency in 2018. The ISIS Reader will help anyone--students and journalists, military personnel, civil servants and inquisitive observers--to better understand not only the evolution of Islamic State and the dynamics of asymmetric warfare, but the importance of primary sources in doing so.
|Author||: Jean-Pierre Filiu|
|Editor||: Univ of California Press|
Explores the belief in Muslim countries that the end of the world is at hand, uncovers the role of apocalypse in Islam, and examines the widespread fear of Christian Zionist domination as an impetus to jihad.
|Author||: Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens,Seamus Hughes,Bennett Clifford|
|Editor||: Bloomsbury Publishing|
How big is the threat posed by American ISIS supporters? How many Americans have joined ISIS and how many want to return to the United States? Compared to participation by Americans in other jihadist groups, the scale of American involvement in jihadist activity today is unprecedented. This book, from one of the leading counter-terror centres, draws on first-hand interviews with former American Islamic State members and law enforcement officials who tracked them, and includes detailed analysis of the court cases against them and their social media presence. Homegrown reveals how and why ISIS was able to radicalize and recruit a new generation of jihadist sympathizers in America.
|Author||: Mehdi Semati,Piotr M. Szpunar,Robert Alan Brookey|
What is ISIS? A quasi-state? A terrorist group? A movement? An ideology? As ISIS has transformed and mutated, gained and lost territory, horrified the world and been its punch line, media have been central to understanding it. The changing, yet constant, relationship between ISIS and the media, as well as its adversaries’ dependency on media to make sense of ISIS, is central to this book. More than just the images of mutilated bodies that garnered ISIS its initial infamy, the book considers an ISIS media world that includes infographics, administrative reports, and various depictions of a post-racial utopia in which justice is swift and candy is bought and sold with its own currency. The book reveals that the efforts of ISIS and its adversaries to communicate and make sense of this world share modes of visual, aesthetic, and journalistic practice and expression. The short tumultuous history of ISIS does not allow for a single approach to understanding its relation to media. Thus, the book’s contributions are to be read as contrapuntal analyses that productively connect and disconnect, providing a much-needed complex account of the ISIS-media relationship. This book was originally published as a special issue of Critical Studies in Media Communication.
|Author||: John R. Hall,Philip D. Schuyler,Sylvaine Trinh|
Apocalypse Observed is about religious violence. By analyzing five of the most notorious cults of recent years, the authors present a fascinating and revealing account of religious sects and conflict. Cults covered include: * the apocalypse at Jonestown * the Branch Davidians at Waco * the violent path of Aum Shinrikyo * the mystical apocalypse of the Solar Temple * the mass suicide of Heaven's Gate. Through comparative case studies and in-depth analysis, the authors show how religious violence can erupt not simply from the beliefs of the cult followers or the personalities of their leaders, but also from the way in which society responds to the cults in its midst.
|Author||: William F. McCants|
|Editor||: Princeton University Press|
From the dawn of writing in Sumer to the sunset of the Islamic empire, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations traces four thousand years of speculation on the origins of civilization. Investigating a vast range of primary sources, some of which are translated here for the first time, and focusing on the dynamic influence of the Greek, Roman, and Arab conquests of the Near East, William McCants looks at the ways the conquerors and those they conquered reshaped their myths of civilization's origins in response to the social and political consequences of empire. The Greek and Roman conquests brought with them a learned culture that competed with that of native elites. The conquering Arabs, in contrast, had no learned culture, which led to three hundred years of Muslim competition over the cultural orientation of Islam, a contest reflected in the culture myths of that time. What we know today as Islamic culture is the product of this contest, whose protagonists drew heavily on the lore of non-Arab and pagan antiquity. McCants argues that authors in all three periods did not write about civilization's origins solely out of pure antiquarian interest--they also sought to address the social and political tensions of the day. The strategies they employed and the postcolonial dilemmas they confronted provide invaluable context for understanding how authors today use myth and history to locate themselves in the confusing aftermath of empire.
|Editor||: Canongate Books|
The final book of the Bible, Revelation prophesies the ultimate judgement of mankind in a series of allegorical visions, grisly images and numerological predictions. According to these, empires will fall, the "Beast" will be destroyed and Christ will rule a new Jerusalem. With an introduction by Will Self.
|Author||: Brian H. Fishman|
|Editor||: Yale University Press|
An incisive narrative history of the Islamic State, from the 2005 master plan to reestablish the Caliphate to its quest for Final Victory in 2020 Given how quickly its operations have achieved global impact, it may seem that the Islamic State materialized suddenly. In fact, al-Qaeda’s operations chief, Sayf al-Adl, devised a seven-stage plan for jihadis to conquer the world by 2020 that included reestablishing the Caliphate in Syria between 2013 and 2016. Despite a massive schism between the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, al-Adl’s plan has proved remarkably prescient. In summer 2014, ISIS declared itself the Caliphate after capturing Mosul, Iraq—part of stage five in al-Adl’s plan. Drawing on large troves of recently declassified documents captured from the Islamic State and its predecessors, counterterrorism expert Brian Fishman tells the story of this organization’s complex and largely hidden past—and what the master plan suggests about its future. Only by understanding the Islamic State’s full history—and the strategy that drove it—can we understand the contradictions that may ultimately tear it apart.
|Author||: Fawaz A. Gerges|
|Editor||: Princeton University Press|
An authoritative introduction to ISIS, from a leading authority on jihadism The Islamic State has stunned the world with its savagery, destructiveness, and military and recruiting successes. What explains the rise of ISIS and what does it portend for the future of the Middle East? In this book, one of the world's leading authorities on political Islam and jihadism sheds new light on these questions as he provides a unique history of the rise and growth of ISIS. Moving beyond journalistic accounts, Fawaz Gerges provides a clear and compelling account of the deeper conditions that fuel ISIS. The book describes how ISIS emerged in the chaos of Iraq following the 2003 U.S. invasion, how the group was strengthened by the suppression of the Arab Spring and by the war in Syria, and how ISIS seized leadership of the jihadist movement from Al Qaeda. Part of a militant Sunni revival, ISIS claims its goals are to resurrect a caliphate and rid "Islamic lands" of all Shia and other minorities. In contrast to Al Qaeda, ISIS initially focused on the "near enemy"—Shia, the Iraqi and Syrian regimes, and secular, pro-Western states in the Middle East. But in a tactical shift ISIS has now taken responsibility for spectacular attacks in Europe and other places beyond the Middle East, making it clear that the group is increasingly interested in targeting the "far enemy" as well. Ultimately, the book shows how decades of dictatorship, poverty, and rising sectarianism in the Middle East, exacerbated by foreign intervention, led to the rise of ISIS—and why addressing those problems is the only way to ensure its end. An authoritative introduction to arguably the most important conflict in the world today, this is an essential book for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the social turmoil and political violence ravaging the Arab-Islamic world.
|Author||: Lawrence Wright|
Several "pieces first published in The New Yorker recall the path terror in the Middle East has taken from the rise of al-Qaeda in the 1990s to the recent beheadings of reporters and aid workers by ISIS ... They include an ... impression of Saudi Arabia, a kingdom of silence under the control of the religious police; the Syrian film industry, then compliant at the edges but already exuding a feeling of the barely masked fury that erupted into civil war; [and] the 2006-11 Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, a study in disparate values of human lives. Others continue to look into al-Qaeda as it forms a master plan for its future, experiences a rebellion from within the organization, and spins off a growing web of terror in the world"--
|Author||: Pankaj Mishra|
|Editor||: Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
A New York Times Notable Book of 2017 • Named a Best Book of the Year by Slate and NPR One of our most important public intellectuals reveals the hidden history of our current global crisis How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world—from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century before leading us to the present. He shows that as the world became modern, those who were unable to enjoy its promises—of freedom, stability, and prosperity—were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. The many who came late to this new world—or were left, or pushed, behind—reacted in horrifyingly similar ways: with intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the nineteenth century arose—angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally. Today, just as then, the wide embrace of mass politics and technology and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have cast many more billions adrift in a demoralized world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity—with the same terrible results. Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other.