Chapter 5 and 6—Group 5



“Munafiq is the term reserved for Arab tribes that joined the Muslim community, but only for political or material gain, and ultimately abandoned the new faith and returned to their old tribal ways (Aslan 101).”

“Munafiq – Hypocrite | Islam and Qur’an.” Islam and Quran. Web. 04 Sept. 2011. <>.

A munafiq in Islamic terms is someone who pretends to believe in Allah, whether they know it or not they are considered an unbeliever. This person may sort of believe in Allah or may go halfway in some Islamic traditions but they do not throw themselves into the Islamic faith wholeheartedly.

I believe that a munafiq is critical to Reza Aslan’s book because Jihadists are also against munafiqs. I think that it is crucial to understand this term completely in order to understand the motives of Jihadists they are not only after non-Muslims but also Muslim hypocrites.


“In Jihadism, however, both words have been stripped of their historical context, so that infidel has come to mean anyone who is not a Muslim, while hypocrite mean any Muslim who is not a Jihadist (Aslan 102).”

“Infidel – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.” Dictionary and Thesaurus – Merriam-Webster Online. Web. 02 Sept. 2011. <>.

Scott, Rachel. “An ‘official’ Islamic Response to the.” Carfax Publishing. Web. 02 Sept. 2011. <>.

Infidel is defined in the Merriam Webster online dictionary as “an unbeliever with a respect to a particular religion (Infidel).” Yet the Jihadists believe that infidels are those who do not follow the Islamic faith in other words Christians, Jews, etc. Therefore an atheist is just as bad as a Christian or Jew.

In Reza Aslan’s book he discusses the motives and thinking behind terrorist attacks. He describes the devotion they have to their God and their reasoning behind committing these terrible acts. In the Koran it states that all infidels should be killed and Jihadists take that belief literally, but due to their definition of an infidel they believe that all non-Muslims should be put to death. This information is imperative to help us understand the thinking of terrorists and the reasoning behind the 9/11 attacks.


“As an exclusively Sunni movement, Jihadism reserve particular contempt for the Shi’a (approximately 15 to 20 percent of the Muslim world and centered around Iran, Iraq, and the Levant), whom the Jihadists regard not as Muslims but as rawafidah, or “rejectionists”-heretics who are considered worse than the infidels and hypocrites (Aslan 102).”

“Rawafid”  Oxford Dictionary of Islam. John L. Esposito, ed. Oxford University Press Inc. 2003. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Sweet Briar College.  6 September 2011  <>

Shii (Shia).” A Dictionary of Contemporary History – 1945 to the present. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1999. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Rawafidah is used to describe Shii Muslims. Shii Muslims believe that the caliphate rule belongs to Muhammad and his descendants and that no one else has the right to rule. They refuse to accept anyone else as a ruler and believe that one of the “Twelver” did not die and will come again. This concept is similar to the concept of Jesus Christ in Christianity. Rawafidah stands for “those who refuse (“Rawafid”).”

This additional information is imperative to the reader who can use this to reveal the different sects in Islam and where they stand in the eyes of Jihadism. Without this information the reader only knows that rawafidah is a rejectionist, but with a deeper understanding of rawafidah the reader can appreciate the history of Shii Muslims and realize their reasons for believing what they believe.


Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
“The Jordanian Jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a petty thief and barely literate brute who was, until his death in 2006, the leader of al-Qa’ida in Iraq, argued that the Shi’a were a far graver threat to Islam than even the Americans (Aslan 102).”

“Global Jihad – Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.” Global Jihad – GLOBAL-JIHAD HOME PAGE. Web. 04 Sept. 2011. <>.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was raised in Jordan and began life with an independent nature. This carried on into his work with al-Qa’ida. Although Zarqawi was loyal to the terrorist group by nature he did things his way. He was responsible for many attacks through Europe, the Middle East, and Iraq. He fought the US troops in his own particular way when America invaded Iraq; instead of fighting directly he attacked Shiites, which he believes are worse than Americans, but this in turn made chaos for the Americans.

I believe that to understand Aslan’s book completely you must realize that Jihadists were passionate about their work and beliefs they not only strategized but also put a lot of thought into their plans and procedures. I believe that Zarqawi shows that even a “petty thief who is barely literate (Aslan 102)” can be a great leader in al-Qa’ida, this proves that it is not a great mind that al-Qa’ida seeks but a passionate heart.


“It was the last day of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, a holiday like no other in Islam, when friends and families gather to exchange gifts and break the month long fast together (Aslan 102).”

“Diversity Calendar: Ramadan (Islamic, Moslem, Muslim).” The University of Kansas Medical Center. Web. 04 Sept. 2011. <>.

In the Islamic faith Ramadan is the most revered holiday that believers celebrate. It is a holiday full of prayer, fasting, and cleansing ones soul. It is similar to the Judaism’s Yom Kippur and the Christian’s Lent. Ramadan takes place during the ninth month of an Islamic calendar and during that month from dusk until dawn Muslims fast.

I believe that to understand this passage in the book you must understand how important Ramadan is to Muslims. It is the time of cleansing themselves and fasting for their God. To intrude on this traditional and valued holiday is a terrible deed. I believe this part of the book emphasizes the length to which a Jihadist will go in order to “cleanse the world” of unbelievers.


“Terror is purposefully chosen, because it is often seen as the most effective, most expedient,
and most economical method of pursuing a group’s aims (Aslan 103).”

“Terror | Define Terror at” | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Web. 04 Sept. 2011. <>.

In the dictionary terror is defined as “intense, sharp, overmastering fear (Terror).”

I believe this definition says it all. We overlook the word terror too much especially in this day and age because we hear and see it all around us, but this definition takes us back to the basics of terror. It is fear that overmasters us. This is where terrorists get their power from; with our fear a terrorist can “master” us. Without a complete grasp on the word terror one could easily read the surface of Aslan’s book but with an understanding of this simple yet intricate word one can really delve into Aslan’s book.


Suicide Terrorism
“Suicide terrorism is by no means a distinctly Islamic or even religious phenomenon (Aslan 103-104).”

Justification for the September 11 Suicide Mission.” The 9/11 Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Suicide Terrorism or suicide bombing has historically been used since before 1024 in the Middle Ages. It is a very effective way of bombing an enemy, although it has certain disadvantages; in order carry out a suicide bombing one must be willing to kill themself. Suicide terrorism is an effective style of terrorism because of the fear it imposes on the enemy. Terrorism is nothing without fear and because of the amount of fear that suicide terrorism is able to induce on an enemy makes it a clear choice for al-Qa’ida. They swear by the effectiveness of suicide terrorism, not only does it bring fear but it is also efficient, one person dies but that person takes at least 15 enemies with them. A suicide bomber must undergo both physical and mental training. The physical training pertains to what task the bomber is performing, but the mental training is more religious and it justifies their suicidal acts.

With the background of suicide terrorism you can understand in depth that although al-Qa’ida does use the tactic of suicide terrorism they were not the first to use this strategy, and surely not the last. Learning more details about suicide terrorism also helps the reader understand why al-Qa’ida uses this tactic and why a suicide bomber would be willing to give his life in order to kill others.

Al-wala’ wal-bara’
“Al-wala’ wal-bara’ can mean “loyalty and enmity,” “allegiance and disavowal,” or even “love and hate” (Aslan 106).”

“Al Wala’ Wal Bara’ (Love and Hate for Allah’s Sake).” Islam–Path to Paradise. Web. 07 Sept. 2011.

Al-wala’ wal-bara’ is the concept of loving and hating only for Allah. It is also the concept of opposites and balancing opposite behaviors, similar to the Chinese’s yin and yang, but with the difference being that Muslims are doing this out of their love and devotion towards Allah. It is believed that Allah will tell them who to love and hate; everything one does is to worship and please Allah.

Al-wala’ wal-bara’ is a hard term to understand and apply correctly in order for the reader to get the most information from Aslan’s book one must understand the awkward Arabic terms including al-wala’ wal-bara’. The concept of loving and hating someone just for your God is hard to grasp, yet that is what so many Muslims strive for.


“Nevertheless, there is no question that killing and dying are always easier to justify if they can be framed as ritual or ceremonial acts, which is why Jihadists refer to suicide terrorism as ‘martyrdom operations’ (Aslan 104).”

martyrdom mär-tr-dm.” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate(R) Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.
Martyrdom refers to one losing his or her life for his or her faith. In most cases the martyr refuses to deny his or her God and or values and is put to death.

This book is based off of martyrdom and suicide bombing. In order for a person to be willing to give their life for their God they must have total conviction that what they are doing is right. To understand what this book is about you must understand the deep connection one must have with his or her God in order to die for him.
“All other Muslims are impostors or apostates who must repent of their ‘hypocrisy’ or be abandoned to their fate (Aslan 102).”

hypocrisy.” Encyclopedia of Ethics. London: Routledge, 2001. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.
Hypocrisy can be defined as advising someone on a set of morals that one does not abide by. It is a form of deception and lying.

Hypocrisy is all over Aslan’s book, according to the Jihadist Muslims that are not Jihadist are considered hypocrites. The Jihadist continually pass the blame around, yet when it comes down to taking the Qur’an literally they ignore the part about not killing yourselves. Hypocrites.



shahadah (7th page)
The shahadah is the most important of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is simply stating ones full belief that “there is no god but God.” The word comes directly from the word sahida, which means to testify with full belief. Muslims believe that the key to shahadah comes with full belief in the testimony, therefore they have created a list of key elements to understand the shahadah: Knowledge (of the meaning), Certainty, Sincerity, Truthfullness, Love, Submission, Acceptance.

“The shahahdah, as this statement is called, is, for the Jihadist, both an affirmation and a denial. It is simultaneously an acceptance of God’s law and a rejection of the laws of the world. In the minds of the Jihadists, the shahadah demands not only the promotion of virtue but also the proscription of vice; not only love of God but hatred of God’s enemies.”
(Aslan 106)

“Islam (religion) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia – Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

Takfir is the accusation and prosecution of a member of the Islam faith who has either done something that goes against the Pillars of Islam or proclaimed themselves ‘ex communicated.’ The punishments can range from banishment to crucifixion. Because the punishments are so serious, the process through which one must be convicted of takfir is not taken lightly. It goes through an Islamic court or a religious leader is asked to come up with a sentence. Both individuals and groups can be charged with takfir.

“The practice of takfir, however, places that authority into the hands of individual believers, allowing them to simply declare their Muslim enemies to be “unbelievers,” thereby avoiding any religious prohibitions against shedding Muslim blood.”
(Aslan 107)

“Takfir, Declaration of Unbelief.” Bahá’í Library Online. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“House of Saud | Islam Faith | Takfir.” International News | Breaking US and World News Headlines – GlobalPost. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

Shayk al-Islam
One of the longest used titles in Islam. Used as a term of respect for the highest legal and theological authority in Islam. The title is sometimes criticized for being given to unworthy people.

“…and famed piety led his discples to give him the title of Shayk al-Islam, an honor reserved only for the most supreme legal authorities.”
(Aslan 108)

“Shaykh Al-islam (Arabic Title) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia – Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. Founded in AD 762 on the banks of the Tigris river, making it a key city in the transportation stops of Iraq. Iraq was under the control of Great Britain from 1919 to 1958. In the 1970s the oil boom furthered the wealth of Baghdad and its reputation as a metropolitan of the Middle East. Baghdad suffered severely in the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988 and certain trade bans on Iraq. In March of 2003 US air forces attacked Iraq and so began the Iraq war.

“While Europe was mired in the Dark Ages, a steady stream of scholars and artisans from every corner of the world, of every religion and ethnicity, flowed into Baghdad to study medicines, mathematics, astronomy, and the arts.”
(Aslan 108)

“Iraq War Definitions: Baghdad.” Terrorism. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“Baghdad.” – Reliable Security Information. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

Mongols (12th page)
The Mongols hugely affected the history of Baghdad. In 1258 the Mongols invaded Baghdad, slaughtering thousands and begginning the long history of Baghdad being a center for religious wars.

“In 1258, the Mongol army, led by Genghis’s grandson Hulegu Khan, arrived at the gates of Baghdad. As per Mongol custom; Hulegu sent an emissary to the Abbasid caliph, al-Mustasim, giving him the option of laying down his arms and surrendering the city. When the caliph refused Hulegu’s army forced its way through Baghdad’s fortified walls and unleashed a brutal punishment upon its inhabitants.”
“Islamic History in Arabia and Middle East.” – Islam & The Global Muslim ECommunity. Web. 07 Sept. 2011.

“Mongol Empire: Chormaquan and the Mongol Conquest of the Middle East.” History Net: Where History Comes Alive – World & US History Online. Web. 07 Sept. 2011.
(Aslan 109)

Originally the supporters of the third caliph, Ali . Abi Talib, this group ostracized itself after their leader, Talib, ended his reign. Outraged, they moved outwards to the banks of the Tigris, earning their name ‘Khariji,’ which means ‘one who goes out.’ They were known as a terror to any surrounding areas, infamous for their tirades on anyone who defended Talib, Aslan makes the connection between this extremist movement from six hundred years prior to the desire many Muslims felt still in the necessity to keep Islam purified.

“Six hundred years earlier, a sect called the Kharijites had made a similar argument when they rebelled against the leadership of third caliph…The Kharijites believed that the leader of the Muslim community must be blameless and without sin.”
(Aslan 111)

Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ)

The Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) was an organization founded in the 1970s with the purpose of overthrowing the current government and replacing it with a religious government. The group was involved with several attacks such as the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981. In 2001, however, the group began working more closely with Osama bin Ladin and his al-Qaeda network. EIJ is believed thave been involved in the attacks of 9/11.

“…of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), one of dozens of Jihadist orgaizations centered in and around Cairo University, a place brimming with radical activists of every stripe.”
(Aslan 113)

Egyptian Islamic Jihad: Council on Foreign Relations

Muslim Brotherhood
The Muslim Brotherhood supports a government run and based off of the laws of Islam. They directly reject the ideas of using violence to fulfill its goals. It was created by Hassan al-Banna in 1928, though he was assassinated shortly after. The Brotherhood states that the Quran should be the basis of all laws. Its membership spiked at the United States’ entering Iraq in 2003. Although the party is illegal (as are all parties in Egypt based on rleigion) all members must run under the independent party. Until recently the party held a fair amount of seats in the legislation, but after deciding to boycott the polls after suspected rigging of the elections, they have lost almost all of them. There are branches of the Brotherhood all over the world, including the United States. As of late, however, the more radical groups are feeling resentment towards the Brotherhood, accusing them of working with rather than against the government.

Jones, Bryony. “What Is the Muslim Brotherhood? – CNN.” Featured Articles from CNN. 28 Jan. 2011. Web. 07 Sept. 2011.

“Most of these groups had little in common, save their hatred of the government and their sense of betrayal by the Muslim Brotherhood, which had become increasingly accomodating in its interactions with Egypt’s political establishment.”
(Aslan 113)

Takfir wal-Hijra (16th page)

Founded in 1971 by Shukri Mustafa, Takfir wal-Hijra broke ground on radical Islamic movements. Mustafa preached that any true Muslim would abandon his corrupt society and gather followers until he could return to society to ‘rid’ it of the infidels. Takfir wal-Hijra was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of an ex governer minister, and Mustafa was executed. The spirit of the movements still lingers, however, and massacres in the name of Takfir wal-Hijra still occured into the late 90s.

“One group in particular, Takfir wal-Hijra…had so fully absorbed the practice of takfir that they began kidnapping and executing members if the religious establishment whom they deemed to be apostates.”
(Aslan 113)

“Special Reports – The Salafist Movement | Al Qaeda’s New Front | FRONTLINE | PBS.” PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 07 Sept. 2011.

jahaliyyah (17th page)
Literally meaning ‘the age of ignorance,’ jahaliayyah is the period of time the world was in before Islam. This is obviously a very weighted term when used as a threat to Muslims.

“As Sayyid Qutb, perhaps the most influential of all Jihadist ideologues, claimed, with the end of the Caliphate, the Muslim community had essentially reverted to a state of jahaliyyah.”
(Aslan 114)



Ummah (17th page) “In other words…end of the ummah.”

Al-Ouda, Sheikh. “Hadith: The Definition of “Ummah”” Faith in Allah. 28 Jan. 2011. Web. 05 Sept. 2011.

“The Arabic word “ummah” refers linguistically to any group that can be associated together for any reason. This includes, among other things, their being of the same faith, or their living in the same geographical region, or their sharing the same historical lineage, or their being from the same era.”

An Arabic word that means community, in Islam it refers to the whole Muslim world.

Pilgrimage (18th page) “The prayer ceremonies… al-Haqq argued.”

Obinson, B. A. “The Hajj: a Muslim’s Pilgrimage to Mecca.” Religious Tolerance. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, 22 Feb. 2000. Web. 05 Sept. 2011.

“One of a Muslim’s duties, as described in the Five Pillars of Islam, is to go on Hajj at least once during his or her lifetime. This is a pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) in Saudi Arabia.”

This refers to the pilgrimage to Mecca (the sacred city of Islam). At least once in every Muslims’ life they are expected to take this trip.

Ayman Zawahiri (20th page) “Among those arrested… named Ayman Zawahiri.”

“FBI — AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI.” FBI — Homepage. The FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation. Web. 05 Sept. 2011.

“Al-Zawahiri is a physician and the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ). This organization opposes the secular Egyptian Government and seeks its overthrow through violent means. In approximately 1998, the EIJ led by Al-Zawahiri merged with Al Qaeda.”

The leader of Al-Qaeda and was one of bin Laden’s personal advisers.

Islamic fighting group (21st page) “There were the Uzbek Mujahidin,… financier, Osama bin Laden.”

Pike, John. “Libyan Islamic Fighting Group — Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiyyah Al-Muqatilah Bi-Libya.”        Federation of American Scientists. Steven Aftergood, 1 May 2003. Web. 05 Sept. 2011.

“Emerged in 1995 among Libyans who had fought against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Declared the government of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi un-Islamic and pledged to overthrow it.”

Was banned worldwide as an affiliate of al-Qaeda by the UN Committee. Was made to establish an Islamic state in Libya.

Abdullah Yusuf Azzam (21st page) “There were the Uzbek… Osama bin Laden.”

Stanley, Trevor. “PWHCE Middle East Project: Abdullah Azzam, the Godfather of Jihad (Biography/Profile).” Perspectives on World History and Current Events (PWHCE) – Home. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“Dr. Abdullah Azzam was both a scholar and a mujahid of immense importance to the development of contemporary Islamic radicalism, particularly in the foundation of al-Qaeda.”

Azzam is described as a highly influential Sunni Islamic scholar. He preached in favor of defensive Jihad by Muslims against Soviet invaders. He is also known as the mentor of bin Laden.

Al-Jihad (22nd page) “His widely read periodical… Muslim world.”

Pike, John. “Al-Jihad.” – Reliable Security Information. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“Egyptian Islamic extremist group active since the late 1970s. Merged with Bin Ladin’s al-Qaida organization in June 2001, but may retain some capability to conduct independent operations.”

Islamic extremist group that wants to overthrow the Egyptian government and replace it with an Islamic state and to attack US and Israeli interests in Egypt and abroad.

Salafism (24th page) “The merging of Zawahiri’s… World Islamic Front.”

Pike, John. “Salafi Islam.” – Reliable Security Information. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“The teachings of the reformer Abd Al-Wahhab are more often referred to by adherents as Salafi, that is, “following the forefathers of Islam.””

A militant group of extremist Sunnis who believe themselves to be the only correct interpreters of the Koran and consider moderate Muslims to be Infidels.

Wahhabism (24th page) “The merging of Zawahiri’s… World Islamic Front.”

Pike, John. “Wahhabi.” – Reliable Security Information. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“This branch of Islam is often referred to as “Wahhabi,” a term that many adherents to this tradition do not use. Members of this form of Islam call themselves Muwahhidun (“Unitarians”, or “unifier’s of Islamic practice”).”

Tries to rid Islamic societies of cultural practices and interpretation that had been acquired over the centuries.

Methodology (28th page)  “It is a call, a reference, a methodology.””Methodology – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.”Dictionary and Thesaurus – Merriam-Webster Online. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“A body of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline : a particular procedure or set of procedures”

A body of methods and rules kept in tack by discipline.

Militant groups (29th page) “The threat of terrorism from militant groups like al-Qa’ida may never fully dissipate.”

“IRIN Asia | PAKISTAN: A Guide to Main Militant Groups | Pakistan | Conflict | Governance.” IRIN • Humanitarian News and Analysis from Africa, Asia and the Middle East – Updated Daily. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“There are at least nine major militant groups in northern Pakistan and the Punjab, battling the Pakistan army, US forces, and each other.”

A group of violent of fighting people.



European Union
“The European Union is an unprecedented geopolitical realignment the likes of which has not been seen since the end of the Roman Empire (Aslan 130).”

European Union.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

The European Union (EU) is an alliance between 27 European countries. It was responsible for the common currency in Europe (the euro). The alliance also serves as a common foreign policy between the participating countries and also common political policies. The EU also created the European Free Trade Association, they are known for combining services in Europe in order to better serve each other.

The reader needs to understand the context of this term because it is used throughout Aslan’s book, and the reader must realize the influence that the European Union has throughout Europe.

“There is no more deliriously frenetic airport in all of Europe than Heathrow (Aslan 129).”

Heathrow.” Brewer’s Britain and Ireland. London: Chambers Harrap, 2005.Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Heathrow is located in the town of Heathrow in West London. It is a quaint town that just happens to be the home of one of London’s biggest airports. With its two runways and four terminals Heathrow Airport plays host to many international flights. When Heathrow was London’s main airport it could commonly be called London Airport, but as time goes by Heathrow becomes just another airport.

Although this term is used in a tangent of Aslan’s it is necessary for the reader to understand that Heathrow was once London’s main airport. All international flights landed and took off from their two runways. This could have been a main target for terrorist attacks and after 9/11 the airport is guarded with armed men and excess security precautions are now taken. This is a prime example of the effects that 9/11 had on airports all over the world.

“For enthusiasts of globalization, the European Union offers a thrilling glimpse into a future of transnational interdependency (Aslan 130).”
Globalization.” Key Concepts in Governance. London: Sage UK, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Globalization describes how the world’s economy is growing and changing in this day and age. It can be looked at positively or negatively depending upon the critic. Globalization has decreased the amount of nationality one had and created a sense of independence.

Globalization is a main concept discussed in Reza Aslan’s book. It is in the title and therefore an important term to understand, yet to understand the full effects of globalization you must realize that although the negative of the fading boundaries that comes with globalization there are also positive aspects of the term. For example technology came with globalization and other advancements throughout the world and history were products of globalization.

“No matter that less than 3 percent of Muslim women in the U.K. wear the veil (Aslan 132).”

Hijab.” The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide. Abington: Helicon, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.
The traditional veil worn by Muslim women is also known as the hijab. Around the world during this decade there is much controversy over this article of clothing. The hijab is also what separates the men from the women in the Qur’an. It is the set of prejudice against women and the reason Muslim women are so modest and docile.

To clearly understand Aslan’s book one must understand Muslim traditions and for what reason they are set in place.
National Identity
“For critics of globalization, the European Union is a nightmare of unfettered capitalism, cultural dilution, and, ultimately, the loss of national identity (Aslan 130).”

National identity.” The Sage Dictionary of Cultural Studies. London: Sage UK, 2004. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

National identity is how a nation identifies or describes themselves. Most national identities are based on the cultures throughout a nation including religion and traditions. Although national identity can also be how a country or nation represents itself, for example a specific symbol or flag can immediately bring forth the image of a specific country that is national identity.

To realize what national identity represents and how it can be slowly fading away is important in this text because one must be able to realize how Aslan is proving his anti-globalization points. Because many believe that national identity is only applied to a state or nation, they do not think about how it could possibly be applied to a cultural.

“In fact, the massive surge of Muslim migration into Europe over the last fifty years has created a situation in which Europe’s identity crisis being experienced almost wholly through the lens of Islam (Aslan 132).”

MIGRATION.” Dictionary of Race, Ethnicity & Culture. London: Sage UK, 2003.Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Migration is moving from one place to another. People and animals both have the ability to migrate, but when talking about a person migrating there are many questions to be asked. There is the question of why they are migrating, where they are going, if they are staying in the state or leaving the country and countless more. Many governments are strict about how many foreigners they allow to migrate into their country and while in the country they may be allowed to stay permanently or temporarily depending on their circumstances.

Migration is a simple word that people often overlook while reading, but in this chapter one must analyze this word and realize that many countries are restricting the migration of Muslims due to the events of 9/11. People and countries alike are making biased judgments of a whole religion due to a small sect’s actions. I believe this is what Reza Aslan tries to prove throughout his entire book and if we look into the word migration we see why.
“But the deterritorialization of Europe has altered the equation, making it impossible to separate Europe’s turbulent relationship with Islam from the larger questions of sovereignty and national identity that have arisen as a direct result of globalization (Aslan 132).”

territorialization.” The Dictionary of Human Geography. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2009. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Deterritorialization takes place when boundaries and distance seem to fade away or erode. Many believe that deterritorialization is happening due to globalization and especially the development of the internet and other technology. The newer technology causes humans to be able to connect with one another instantly from all parts of the worlds and this slowly erodes those boundaries that were once present.

Deterritorialization is an effect of globalization and advancing technology. One of Aslan’s main themes is globalization, but the reader must understand what deterritorialization is and that it is caused by globalization otherwise one will not have the ability to comprehend the full meaning of globalization.
“But after 9/11, its xenophobic platform, which, among other things, calls for a ban on all Muslims flying into or out of the United Kingdom, as well as a boycott of all Muslim-owned businesses (“Not those owned by Chinese or Hindus,” a BNP publication helpfully clarifies, “only [those owned by] Muslims as it’s their community we need to pressure”), suddenly found a receptive audience in the United Kingdom (Aslan 134).”

xenophobic.” Dictionary of Politics and Government. London: A&C Black, 2004.Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Xenophobic is defined as “showing hatred for foreigners (CITE).” It is a type of racism that can be against any minority, it is not limited to only Muslims.

To be racist or xenophobic is a huge detail in this chapter. Jihadists are racist toward the average Muslim along with anyone else who does not have the same set of beliefs that they have. Yet one must identify that xenophobic may also be used toward foreigners or other minorities.
British National Party
“I do not know what to make of them until a friend informs me that this was the slogan of a popular leaflet campaign launched by the right-wing British National Party (BNP) (Aslan 134).”

British National Party (BNP).” A Glossary of UK Government and Politics. Edinburg: Edinburgh University Press, 2007. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

The British National Party or the BNP is a political party in the UK that is very “right side conservative.” They have not had a huge impact during general elections, but in local elections many BNP candidates have been chosen.

The British National Party is just one example of the racism that Muslims experience in Europe. I believe that it is important that the reader see at least one example of a racist group in Europe. But also understand that this particular group is a political party something that at times is respected and thought highly of in some people’s mind, yet they are highly racist.


“For years, the BNP had been bellowing about the creeping “Islamification” of Britain (Aslan 134).”

Islamize or Islamise.” Collins English Dictionary. London: Collins, 2000. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Islamification is the process of converting to the Muslim faith.

Islamification while is converting someone to the Islamic faith does not mean that it should always be used in a derogatory way. I believe that it is important that the reader know that Islamification could also be looked at as evangelical, going out to save others’ lives and eternal souls.


Utopia is the idea of a perfect society. Made famous by Sir Thomas More in the seventh century in his satire, Utopia, it shows that a perfect society requires uniformity and with uniformity there will always be push-back. This term relates well to Aslan’s explanation of Jihad and the concept of cosmic wars. The Jihadists are aware that the goals they are fighting towards are unobtainable while citizens of the earth.

“Social movements…are, almost by definition, utopian in character, in that they are fervently engaged in reimagining society.”
(Aslan 135)

“Utopia – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.” Dictionary and Thesaurus – Merriam-Webster Online. Web. 07 Sept. 2011

The Zealots were a radical group of Jews who were opposed to the polytheistic Romans and their invasions of the Holy Land in AD 69-81. They frequented public places with hidden daggers, ready to bring down anyone who was an ally of Rome. They are one of the first examples of terrorism.
“Social movements are by no means a modern phenomenon, as demonstrated by the Zealots.”
(Aslan 135)

“Zealot | Define Zealot at” | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Web. 07 Sept. 2011.

Modernity, as Aslan notes is a “tricky term to define.” I think the quote explains it all, the modernity can be defined as the new relationship people discovered between the individual and society; that the laws and customs that had gone unquestioned and unbroken for so long were by no means the only way.

“Modernity, of course, is a tricky term to define. The concept tends to be associated with issues such as mass urbanization and rapid industrialization as societies transitioned from feudalism to capitalism. But one can argue that the hallmark or the modern age is the sudden shift in human consciousness that occurred when people began to realize that the accepted norms and values of society were not fixed or absolute, let alone divinely mandated, but rather man-made and malleable.”
(Aslan 136)

“Modern – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.” Dictionary and Thesaurus – Merriam-Webster Online. Web. 07 Sept. 2011.

Alienation is a familiar term, but one of the definitions stuck out particularly, “The transfer, as by conveyence or will, into the ownership of another.” This would be an intimidating possibility when you think of it in the sense of religion. Naturally, if one did not feel welcomed in ones own religious society, they would turn to external sources for aid.
“…Hussain and his fellow 7/7 bombers, who are themselves mostly ignorant of Islamic law and theology- whose sense of alienation from their own religious communities makes them yearn for alternative sources of spiritual leadership.”
(Aslan 139)

“Alienation | Define Alienation at” | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Web. 07 Sept. 2011.

Extremism is essentially taking on a movement in a radical way. It may be taking on already present ideals of a group and blowing them up, or creating a new radical group. Extremism is present in all religions today, although the more extreme they get, the less the represent the religion in some cases.

“Extremism is an exaggerated form of the frames of meaning that are found in all social movements.”
(Aslan 146)

“Extremism – Definition of Extremism by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.” Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus – The Free Dictionary. Web. 07 Sept. 2011.


The Madrassa stems from the word ‘academy.’ However in todays context it is one of the schools of Islamic teachings, infamous for teaching youths to hate and want to wage war against the enemies of Islam.
“…Madrassa- one of the Islamic schools that, in Eurpoe and North America are often viewed as terrorist factories.”
(Aslan 146)

“Analyses – Madrassas | PBS – Saudi Time Bomb? | FRONTLINE | PBS.” PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 07 Sept. 2011.

Political ideology 
An ideology is a set of ideals, or a platform that constitute ones beliefs.

“It is Europe that most clearly informs their political ideology, not Islam.”
(Aslan 146)

Ulama describes the erudite scholars in law in Muslim culture.

“Part of the appeal of bin Ladin as a spiritual leader is that he is seen as untainted by the traditional clerical establishment, the ulama.”
(Aslan 148)

“Pop-culture Jihadism”
The idea that Jihadists can now use the internet to spready their ideas and preach it to youth.

Nationality is a part of an identity that a person feels when they feel bonde with their country. In Aslans book, he says when one of the factors of identity goes down, another one must rise up to fill the void.


Self-actualization (26th page) “And because in Europe… precedent for “self-actualization.”

Self-actualize – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.”Dictionary and Thesaurus – Merriam-Webster Online. Marriam-Webstwer, Incorporated. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“To realize fully one’s potential”

In Islam self-actualization is not a common thing around nonclerical people so it is considered a European idea.

Jihadism (pg 148) “Because Jihadism cannot… Islam are founded.”

“Jihadist | Define Jihadist at” | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“An Islamic fundamentalist movement that favours the pursuit of jihads in defense of the Islamic faith.”

A war of Muslims against infidels. It is a holy war against themselves.

Imams (pg 148) “This subversive rejection… dominate the religious landscape.”

“Imam – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.” Dictionary and Thesaurus – Merriam-Webster Online. Marriam-Webstwer, Incorporated. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“The prayer leader of a mosque”

The person in charge of prayer at a mosque is influential in Muslim society.

“Free riders” (152) “That is because the overwhelming… in the movement’s actions.”
“What Is Free Rider? Definition and Meaning.” – Online Business Dictionary. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“Party that enjoys a benefit accruing from a collective effort, but contributes little or nothing to the effort.”

People who in Muslim society do not actually have their own ideas but just believe whatever others tell them to believe.

Hijab (page 154) “Thus, when the French legislature… the friends of the United States.”

Parker, Kim. “Hijab.” Emory University—English Department “Where Courageous Inquiry Leads” Fall 1996. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“The practice of hijab among Muslim women is one based on religious doctrine, although the Qur’an does not mandate it. Instead, it comes from the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari. The Hadith, the “tradition of Mohammed,” reveals the teachings of the Prophet to believers.”

A Muslim headscarf worn by women as a tradition.

Islamophobia (page 154) “Mobilization occurs only when… the flames of racism and Islamophobia.”

“Islamophobia – Definition of Islamophobia by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.” Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus – The Free Dictionary. HarperCollins Publishers. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“Prejudice against Muslims; “Muslim intellectuals are afraid of growing Islamophobia in the West””

Muslims are being discriminated against by Islamophobias who are scared of Muslims.

The “Far Enemy” (pg 153) “International conflicts involving Muslim… courage or power to repel.”

Brown, L. Carl. “The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global | Foreign Affairs.” Home | Foreign Affairs. The Council on Foreign Relations. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“It was not until the mid-1990s that Osama bin Laden launched the globalist strategy of giving priority to attacking the “far enemy” in the West.”

A Muslim name for the people west of them (Europe, America) who they are enemies with.

Assimilation (pg 156) “When I returned to the neighborhood some years… into European society.”

Asimilate | Define Assimilate at” | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Houghton Mifflin Company. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.


“To conform or adjust to the customs, attitudes, etc., of a group, nation, or the like.”

Muslims in European society try to be like the Europeans. When they do this they lose parts of their culture.

Social rebellion (pg 157) “For kids like Hasib Hussain… a means of social rebellion.”

“Rebellion – Definition of Rebellion by Macmillan Dictionary.” Macmillan Dictionary and Thesaurus: Free English Dictionary Online. Web. 06 Sept. 2011.

“The taking up arms traitorously against the government and in another, and perhaps a more correct sense, rebellion signifies the forcible opposition and resistance to the laws and process lawfully issued.”

Young Muslim’s are rebelling against the way society is in Muslim communities.

Hizbut-Tahrir (pg 158) “Meanwhile, a slew of British Muslim… and their religious identities.”

“hizbut-tahrir.” STANDS4 LLC, 2011. 6 September. 2011.

“The most popular and feared Islamic extremist group in central Asia; advocates `pure’ Islam and the creation of a worldwide Islamic state.”

An Islamic extremist group that worked to make a for of Islam in Britain.

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