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God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad.

God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad. Charles Allen. Little, Brown. [pounds sterling]20.00. xv + 349 pages. ISBN 0-316-72997-3. Charles Allen is noted for his work on Indian history. Here he turns to one of the mainsprings of the modern terror advocated by extremist sections in the Mohammedan world. He shows that this sect has been as important as American support for Israel or Anglo-American involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Wahhabi sect first became a factor in Indian life in the 1850s. It was a puritanical movement which saw itself as uniquely possessing the truth of Islam: it was at war not just with the British but with all non-Mohammedans and, in fact, with the bulk of its fellow religionists. While Mr Allen is mainly concerned to explain how this body began and grew, he is also at pains to show how it has survived until the present day and how it is involved in the current upsurge of Mohammedan fundamentalism. It is not for nothing that Osama bin Ladin's power base is near that old Northwest Frontier where the Wahhabi cult had its origins. History has never been more relevant and this study shows why this is the case. (T.B.)
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Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 22, 2007
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