Dictionary of the History of Ideas, "Christianity in History," Herbert Butterfield
Christianity: the religion which grew out of the Jewish faith as transformed by the worship of Jesus Christ
after the Resurrection, and which, by combination with Greek culture and the conversion of a great part of
the Roman Empire, took a systematized form as “historical Christianity,” having its chief basis in Europe and
presiding over the development of Western civilization until recent centuries.
A Concise History of the Middle East, Arthur Goldschmidt, Jr. (Note: 8th edition, 2005, is with
Lawrence Davidson), Dept. of Religious Studies, Penn State University, Chapter 8 “Islamic Civilization”
Now that you have been taken -- or dragged -- through almost seven centuries of political history, it is time to
look at the civilization as a whole. But what should we call it? Scholars are divided between the terms "Islamic"
and "Arabic." Some say the civilization was Islamic because the religion of Islam brought together the various
peoples -- mainly Arabs, Persians, and Turks -- who took part in it. The religion also affected its politics,
commerce, life-style, ideas, and forms of artistic expression. But, for much of the period you have studied so
far, Muslims were still a minority within the lands of Islam. Since the Muslims were relatively unlettered at first,
it is hardly surprising that many of the scholars and scientists active within the civilization were Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, or recent converts to Islam whose ideas still bore the stamp of their former religions. The civilization evolving in
the Middle East drew on many religious and philosophical traditions. The alternative name, "Arabic civilization,"
emphasizes the importance of Arabic in the development of the culture. Not only because of its prestige as the
language of the Quran and of the conquering elite, but also because it could easily assimilate new things and
ideas, Arabic became the almost universal language of arts, sciences, and letters between 750 and 1250. But
do not assume that all the artists, scientists, and writers were Arabs. The builders of the civilization came from
every ethnic group within the ummah. Although many were Arabized Berbers, Egyptians, Syrians, and Iraqis
whose present-day descendants would call themselves Arabs, only a few were wholly descended from Arab
tribesmen. Because "Islamic" is a more comprehensive term than "Arabic", I have chosen the title "Islamic
Civilization" for this chapter.
"The Strategies of Terrorism," Andrew H. Kydd and Barbara F. Walter, International Security, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Summer 2006), pp. 49–80
Terrorism often works. Extremist organizations such as al-Qaida, Hamas, and the Tamil Tigers engage in terrorism because it frequently delivers the desired response. The October 1983 suicide attack against the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, for example, convinced the United States to withdraw its soldiers from Lebanon.1 The United States pulled its soldiers out of Saudi Arabia two years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, even though the U.S. military had been building up its forces in that country for more than a decade.2 The Philippines recalled its troops from Iraq nearly a month early after a Filipino truck driver was kidnapped by Iraqi extremists.3 In fact, terrorism has been so successful that between 1980 and 2003, half of all suicide terrorist campaigns were closely followed by substantial concessions by the target governments.4 Hijacking planes, blowing up buses, and kidnapping individuals may seem irrational and incoherent to outside observers, but these tactics can be surprisingly effective in achieving a terrorist group’s political aims.
"The al-Qaida Strategist Abu Mus‘ab al-Suri: A Profile," By Brynjar Lia, PhD, Senior Researcher, Head of The Transnational Radical Islamism Project, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), Presentation OMS-Seminar 15 March 2006 Oslo – Norway 1
In early July, 2005, shortly after the first wave of the London bombings had ended, a Washington Post article reported that investigations into recent al-Qaida operations in European countries, from London and Madrid to Casablanca and Istanbul, had nabbed only ‘the hands’, not the ‘brains’ behind these attacks.1 At the same time, a little known Syrian-born jihadist, known as Abu Mus‘ab al-Suri, was suggested as being the mastermind behind the London attacks on 7 July 2005. This echoed previous media reports in late 2004 and subsequent statements in 2005 by the head of a European intelligence service that al-Suri was the strategist behind the bombings in Madrid on 11 March 2004. In late 2004, other media reports based on interviews with antiterrorism investigators and intelligence officials, suggested that al-Suri had played a role in assisting the 9/11 hijackers, referring to his and his deputies’ meetings with the hijackers in Germany and Spain, the last of which was the crucial Tarragona meeting in July 2001, where Muhammad Atta was given authority to carry out the attacks. Mustafa bin Abd al-Qadir Setmariam Nasar (b.1958), who is perhaps best known by pen names Abu Mus‘ab al-Suri and Umar Abd al-Hakim, has been known in radical Islamist circles for at least a decade. However, little has been written about him in Western scholarship, and media reporting on al-Suri has been relatively scant. To a Western audience, he first became widely known in late 2004 when Spanish investigations into the Madrid train bombings (also known as M-11) pointed to his role as the mastermind of the attacks. A Syrian militant with Spanish citizenship, al-Suri served as a military instructor and lecturer in the Afghan-Arab training camps from 1987-92. He spent several years in Spain and the United Kingdom, before he moved back to Afghanistan in 1998 where he ran an al-Qaida affiliated training camp and a media center. Al-Suri has been wanted by Spanish authorities since November 2001. His name also occurred in the media in late 2004 following the announcement by the US State Department on 17 November 2004 of a $5 million reward to anyone who provided information leading to his arrest. At that time, the US administration considered him among the most dangerous al-Qaida terrorists at large. Similarly, the head of the private investigation on behalf of the September 11th victims, Jean-Charles Brisard, described al-Suri as ‘one of the Salafist terrorists representing the highest potential for harm in the Middle East’. A few expert commentaries have also emphasized al-Suri’s role as a ‘pen-jihadist’, pointing to his considerable intellectual contribution that he has produced in the service of the jihadist movement, in particular his voluminous book Da‘wat al-muqawamah al-islamiyyah al-‘alamiyyah (‘The Call for an International Islamic Resistance’). Internet commentaries on Arab discussion forums have called him al-Qaida’s Fukuyama, and have emphasised the importance of 1 This article is an excerpt of a forthcoming book on Abu Mus‘ab al-Suri and his writings. The study is entirely based on publicly available sources. All footnotes and references are available upon request.
Catholic Encyclopedia, War, Charles Macksey
War, in its juridical sense, is a contention carried on by force of arms between sovereign states, or communities having in this regard the right of states. The term is often used for civil strife, sedition, rebellion properly so called, or even for the undertaking of a State to put down by force organized bodies of outlaws, and in fact there is no other proper word for the struggle as such; but as these are not juridically in the same class with contentions of force between sovereign states, the jurist may not so use the term.
Ten Counterinsurgency Commandments from Afghanistan, by Greg Mills, April 2007
From Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, Colombia to Kashmir, Congo to Iraq, the question of how to deal with insurgency is being asked. Finding the answer has so far involved scrutinizing past campaigns from Algeria to Zimbabwe, and especially Malaya and Vietnam.
The Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Umma Will Pass, Abu Bakr Naji, Translated by William McCants
In a previous essay, I wrote about the substantive preparations undertaken by that group of Islamic activists whom I consider to be carrying out the command of God in this age – that group which, with God’s permission, will be granted victory. The essay touched on the program that the group advocates for extricating the Umma from the degradation that afflicts it, so that the Umma may once again steer humanity toward the path of divine guidance and salvation. The essay compared this program with the programs that have been advocated by other groups of Islamic activists and that have confused the Islamic youth.
The New Republic, Truth and Consequences, by David Nirenberg, Issue date: 12.11.06
Review of: There Is No Crime For Those Who Have Christ: Religious Violence in the Christian Roman Empire, Michael Gaddis (University of California Press, 396 pp., $49.95)
The words "religion" and "violence" very often accompany each other these days, but in predominantly Christian Europe or the Americas they are rarely associated with the words "Christ" or "Christianity." On the contrary, a rough caricature of our common knowledge on the subject might look something like this: the God of the Hebrew Bible was a vengeful enforcer of law, and the God of the Koran sent prophets with swords, but the Christian God demands only love. "God is love," Pope Benedict XVI declared in his first encyclical. In this account, suasion and gentle reason, not coercion or authoritarian force, are now and have always been the appropriate paths to faith in this God, as the same pontiff reminded the world in his controversial speech at Regensburg a short while ago. That speech aroused Muslim protest because of the way it seemed to associate the history of Islam with unreason and the violent coercion of faith. But the pope's association of Christ and Christian history with love, reasoned persuasion, and uncoerced faith proved thoroughly uncontroversial.
E-Notes, "Understanding Terror Networks," by Marc Sageman, November 1, 2001
After leaving the CIA, I was happy in my naive belief that I had left all that behind me. But after 9-11, like everyone, I wanted to do something. What people were saying about the perpetrators shortly after the attacks was simply not consistent with my own experience. I began to apply the principles of evidence-based medicine to terrorism research, because there really was no data on the perpetrators. There were theories, opinions, and anecdotal evidence, but there was no systematic gathering of data.
Jewish Encyclopedia, "War," Executive Committee of the Editorial Board – M. Seligsohn
The earliest war recorded in the Old Testament is that of the Elamitic king Chedorlaomer and his allies against the five kings of Sodom and its adjacent cities (Gen. xiv. 1et seq.). The result of the conflict was the destruction of the vanquished army in the field and the captivity of all the non-combatants, whose possessions became spoils of war. In the battle the troops were arranged in order (Gen. xiv. 8, R. V.), and the King of Sodom and his four allies displayed a certain degree of strategy by fighting in a valley, although their plan proved unsuccessful. Some modern scholars infer from the obscure passage II Sam. xi. 1 that wars were regularly begun in the spring. In many instances negotiations were carried on through messengers or ambassadors to avert bloodshed (Judges xi. 12-28; I Sam. xi. 1-10; I Kings xx. 2-11); and the Hebrews were expressly forbidden to make an attack without first demanding the surrender of the enemy (Deut. xx. 10 et seq.). The only instance in which war was declared without previous negotiations was that of the war between Amaziah, King of Judah, and Jehoash, King of Israel (II Kings xiv. 8).
Future Warfare Series - occasional papers by the USAF Counterproliferation Center, No. 32 - Osama's Wake: the Second Generation of al Qaeda - by Blake D. Ward
The National Security Strategy (NSS) of the United States inadequately defines the threat which on September 11, 2001, propelled the United States towards a Global War on Terrorism and redirected the nation's security efforts.