HOLY TERROR: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism by Amir Taheri

HOLY TERROR: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A timely look at the international terrorist movement that emanates from the arcane world of Islam; by the author of The Spirit of Allah (1986), an acclaimed biography of Khomeini. Taheri, an expatriot Iranian and former editor of that country's largest daily newspaper, looks behind the scenes to the motives of the fanatic fundamentalists who have terrorized the civilized world. He argues that the driving force behind Muslim terrorists is the same as their centuries-old aim--i.e., to create a world-wide Islamic state. Taheri sees a crucial distinction between groups such as the PLO (whose aims are basically political) and the religiously-inspired Islamic terrorists. Does Islam contain this terror in its roots? Taheri implies not: ""The fundamentalists, terrorized by their vision of the contemporary world, seek safety and protection in a past that did not exist as they imagine it today. . .They long to return to the womb of history, where they hope to feel warm once more in a cold world."" Consequently, Khomeini and his henchmen have set up organizations that take violence to its limits. Taheri depicts a military camp where students undertake a regimen composed of a ""mixture of theology and target practice,"" and where students learn a particular brand of self-image that is based upon the concept of ""I kill, therefore I am."" Despite all this, Taheri finds hope both in the failure of the fundamentalists to improve the lives of their people and of Holy Terror economists to offer a credible alternative to either capitalism or communism, and in the fact that millions of Muslims have been educated in the West and retain a soft spot for democratic ways. Perceptive reporting on a critical issue.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1987
Publisher: Adler & Adler--dist. by Harper & Row