Review: All the Battles my Maan Abu Taleb

There are things All the Battles by Maan Abu Taleb is not. It is not a cliched story based on a Rocky film. It is not an Arab version of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club in which the protagonist discovers fighting in order to feel “alive”.  Whilst Abu Taleb’s first novel… Read more“Review: All the Battles my Maan Abu Taleb”

Into the Heart of Darkness: Working Notes on Three ISIS Jihadists.

Raqqah has fallen. There are many jihadists who will look at this loss with a sense of bitterness. Some foreign fighters are pragmatic. Is the Jihad over? “It goes on” they say, “till the Day of Judgment.” For some though the fall of Raqqah isn’t good news. From the earth… Read more“Into the Heart of Darkness: Working Notes on Three ISIS Jihadists.”

Political Islam in Tunisia: a History of Ennahda and the Tunisian Exception

One of the most interesting books this summer may be a rather innocuous book by Anne Wolf, a leading Tunisia and North Africa specialist. In Political Islam in Tunisia: A History of Ennahda, Wolf, a University of Oxford researcher, presents the hidden history of Ennahda, Tunisia’s main Islamist movement, from… Read more“Political Islam in Tunisia: a History of Ennahda and the Tunisian Exception”

Mahdi al-Harati: A Libyan Garibaldi?

Sitting across Mahdi al-Harati in the hotel lobby it is difficult to see why anyone would want this quiet Libyan dead. His insulin rests on the low table alongside his sugarless coffee and with him is his over-protective doctor and friend. But you need to look closer, there is his… Read more“Mahdi al-Harati: A Libyan Garibaldi?”

Review: Unwinnable: Britain’s War in Afghanistan 2001-2014 by Theo Farrel

The 9/11 attacks gave birth to a Manichean world which is, as I write this, being played out in Syria and Iraq amongst other places. With this world in mind and the upcoming 9/11 anniversary, Professor Theo Farrel’s Unwinnable is a timely reminder of the consequences of the War on… Read more“Review: Unwinnable: Britain’s War in Afghanistan 2001-2014 by Theo Farrel”

Paradise Lost: The Rise and Fall of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

I entered Najiyeh, a small town of no consequence, without their permission. The town claimed to be an ISIS principality. The claim seemed ridiculous but as we drove in to the town it seemed less so. They had fixed the prices, the markets were bustling, even the gold shops were… Read more“Paradise Lost: The Rise and Fall of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi”

Fading contrasts in the future of global Jihadism: Military strength driven by perceptive tolerance

What follows is Part II of an interview about the Sharia with Al-Maqalaat by Tam Hussein @tamhussein. Part I can be found here The Dawn of Islamic Theocracy: Monumental Sacrifice for Consistent Stability. Background Context of this discourse began when the interviewer tweeted an interesting article, Stoning and Hand Cutting-… Read more“Fading contrasts in the future of global Jihadism: Military strength driven by perceptive tolerance”

Musa al-Qarni on the Afghan Jihad

The Afghan Jihad: An Annotated Interview with Musa al-Qarni about Abdullah Azzam and Ahmed Shah Massoud and the tension with the ‘Afghan Arabs’ In my research into the Arab Afghans I came across this interview which I thought I would share here. This article is important because it shows how… Read more“Musa al-Qarni on the Afghan Jihad”

When Arabic and Hebrew Irregulars Worked Together

After the death of the Prophet Muhammed the early Muslim community became acutely aware of the need to preserve their Prophet’s legacy. This idea of preserving revelation became even more pressing as the nascent Islamicate expanded. Memorisation was not enough since new converts to the faith did not have the… Read more“When Arabic and Hebrew Irregulars Worked Together”

What happened to ‘Man like Fatlum?’: The inside Story of the British Suicide Bomber of Ramadi

Tourists and bohemians love rummaging through the stalls on Portobello Road with its shimmering trinkets and shaggy clothes fit for an art student. To the locals it’s a “joke ting” , a skank to bring tourists from all over the world to sample the latest authentic “efnik” fad. Down the road on… Read more“What happened to ‘Man like Fatlum?’: The inside Story of the British Suicide Bomber of Ramadi”