Even 15-20 years ago, only orientalists could clearly explain what the word "jihad" means. The most common interpretation of "jihad" was this: it is a concept from the Koran, associated mainly with the" holy war " against foreign invaders who came from Europe to the lands of Muslims during the Crusades. Since the end of the last century, the word "jihad"seems to have "detached itself" from the Koran. "Jihad" has come to refer to any confrontation between Muslims and any other "non-religious" (and not necessarily Christian) community.
In this context, the title of the book by the historian M. Y. Krysin "Jihad: from Kashmir to New York "(Veche Publishing House, 2005, 480 p.) more or less accurately reflects the essence of the issue. The armed confrontation between Hindus and Muslims at the beginning of the last century, provoked by the British during the division of the South Asian part of the British Empire, can be fully considered (at least from the point of view of the Muslims of British India) as a form of jihad.
The value of M. Y. Krysin's work is that, unlike many other modern researchers, he tries, on the one hand, to analyze the historical roots of jihad, but on the other hand, he does not go too far into history. He sets himself a very difficult task: to find the time "point of reference" when jihad began to acquire modern features-the features of international terrorism, and to trace its history, starting from this point.
Part 1 of the book, entitled "From Kashmir to Egypt", contains many episodes of the struggle of radical groups of Muslims - already in the first half of the twentieth century they were called" Islamists "- against those whom they considered" non-Believers", not only in purely religious, but also in political terms. India was the first to experience large-scale jihad: Muslim extremists initiated massacres in Punjab, Bengal, and then Kashmir. Then Islamic fundamentalism gained momentum in Pakistan.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, as well as the Islamic Revolution in Iran, became powerful stimulators of the ideas of jihad. Islam's radicals received visible and understandable enemies in the face of Russians (in Afghanistan) and Americans (in Iran) - with a different skin tone, with a different faith, with different moral attitudes, etc. M. Y. Krysin devotes a whole section to the role of Afghanistan in strengthening the ideas of world jihad - "The Big Game" in Afghanistan" in which the author tells how the Americans both openly and secretly supported the ideologues of jihad opposing the USSR, without knowing what problems they were creating for themselves in the future.
According to the author, the beginning of jihad in the Middle East is October 16, 1981, when an attempt was made on the life of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The killers belonged to the Islamic extremist organizations At-Takfir wal-Hijra and Al-Jihad, which professed extreme radicalism - armed jihad. The author of the book describes in detail how this and other acts of radical Islam were prepared, which were subsequently committed under the leadership of the PLO, the Hamas movement, and others.
Finally, the final chapter of the work is devoted to modern jihad, which has developed in unprecedented ways since the events of September 11, 2001 in New York. As you read this chapter, you can't help but feel that you are learning about the history of some very large corporation that "turns" billions of dollars.
Krysin's book does not answer all the questions that arise for those who are interested in international Islamic terrorism. Where is the line between jihad and a just national liberation war? What is the correct way to assess what are the most well-known terrorist groups that profess the ideas of jihad? Who is the true "supreme" organizer and coordinator of their activities? It is now quite clear that" blaming " everything on Osama bin Laden is, to say the least, naive.
However, the advantages in the book of M. Y. Krysin are clearly more than the disadvantages. I will mention two of them. Although it was released in the popular, even, one might say, mass series " Special Archive. Declassified", this is a serious work, which, in particular, is evidenced by the list of sources - there are 1062 of them (!), and most of them are foreign.
The second advantage is that it is not only a fascinating "fictionalized" read, but also a largely reference publication. The book contains biographical data of several dozen political and public figures who are somehow related to the topic of the work: G. Hekmatyar, S. A. Gelani, M. N. Mohammadi, S. Mojaddedi, A. Sadat, A. Sharon, M. Begin, A. R. Dostum, J. Bush, Prince Philip and many others. In addition, it provides detailed information about the history and current activities of many organizations: the Beit ul-Ansar (House of Followers) terrorist recruitment centers, the Islamic Peshawar Bureau, the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan (NIDA)-Jumbish - i-Milli, and Hezbollah (HezbollahThe Party of Allah), the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Fatah armed forces, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs ' Brigades, and others.
That is why M. Y. Krysin's book may well become a useful tool for researchers of international terrorism in their daily work.
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