Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jihad: A Matter of Love and Hate

Really enjoyed Terrorists in Love: Real Lives of Islamic Radicals by Ken Ballen because it presented a look at jihadists that few have attempted before.

 It’s easy to view every terrorist as a monster, but Ballen went deeper and delved into the lives of five Islamic radicals and discovered that rather than burning hatred motivating jihadists, there was an overarching, all consuming love that motivated them to commit their acts of hatred. This love either took the romanticized form of Islam practiced by Al Qaeda and related groups or the actual loss of a love that radicalized them.

I’ll admit the perspective Ballen takes had never occurred to me before reading this book. I belonged to the school of thought that treated terrorists as though what motivated one, motivated all. Ballen broke through this static view and showed the variation that can exist from one jihadists to another.

 Ballen accomplishes this feat without sounding over sympathetic or apologetic for the terrorist actions. I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s interested in understanding something about the motivations of terrorists and maybe just a little something about us in the process.

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1451609213

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