Archive for the ‘Asia’ Category

Apocalypse Observed is about religious violence. By analyzing five of the most notorious cults of recent years, the authors present a fascinating and revealing account of religious sects and conflict. Cults covered include:
* the apocalypse at Jonestown * the Branch Davidians at Waco * the violent path of Aum Shinrikyo * the mystical apocalypse of the Solar Temple * the mass suicide of Heaven’s Gate.
Through comparative case studies and in-depth analysis, the authors show how religious violence can erupt not simply from the beliefs of the cult followers or the personalities of their leaders, but also from the way in which society responds to the cults in its midst.
Book by  John R. Hall, Philip D. Schuyler and Sylvaine Trinh

Long before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, awakened the United States and the Western world to the heightened level of the terrorist threat, Southeast Asia had been dealing with this threat. The bombing in Bali that killed 202 people, many of them Australian tourists, was by no means the region’s first experience with Islamic extremism, which can be traced back to the 1940s, and the Darul Islam struggle. The most recent group to emerge is Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyah (AJAI), the most potent Islamic terrorist organization to date in the region and the group behind the Bali bombing. Understanding the process of Talibanization in Southeast Asia, which was once an oasis of moderate Islam in the modern world, is a key to unraveling the mystery of the increased radicalization in the region.

Essentially, this involved the establishment of a political system that was more Islamic in character, either nationally or within a specific territory of a national state. This book analyzes the increasing Talibanization of Southeast Asia, a relatively new phenomenon that involves the adoption of Islamist doctrines, ideologies, and values that are largely militant in character, and that for some groups includes the adoption of violence to achieve their goals.

This has succeeded in posing one of the most serious security challenges to the region since the end of the Cold War. Jihadists are operating in small and localized cells even though the broad goals remain the same, namely, to spread sharia, establish an Islamic state, and bring down secular regimes. As most governments do not have the credibility or the expertise to diminish the threat posed by Islamist extremism, Wahhabism, and Salafism, Southeast Asia is in danger of being Talibanized in the near future.

Book by Bilveer Singh

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0275999955/themauduitgroupA/

Presents a collection of perspectives on the complex and sensible issue of terrorism and violence in Southeast Asia.
Book by Paul J. Smith
This book reviews the terrorist environment in South Asia, concentrating on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, but also including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal with US led counter terrorism efforts focused especially on southeast asia, the existence of international terrorist groups and their supporters in south asia is identified as a threat to both regional stability to the attainment of central U.S. policy goals. Al Quaeda forces that fled from afghanistan with their taliban supporters remain active on Pakistani territory and Al quaeda believe to have links with indegeneous pakistani terrorist groups that have conducted anti-western attacks and that support separatist militancy in Indian Kashmir. A significant portion of pakistan’s ethnic pashtun population is reported to sympathize with the Taliban and even Al Quaeda.
Book by Niranja Dass

Approximately one million innocent Indonesians were killed by their fellow nationals, neighbours and kin at the height of an anti-communist campaign in the mid-1960s. This book investigates the profound political consequences of these mass killings in Indonesia upon public life, highlighting the historical specificities of the violence and comparable incidents of identity politics in more recent times.

Mixing theory with empirically based analysis, the book examines how the spectre of communism and the trauma experienced in the latter half of the 1960s remain critical in understanding the dynamics of terror, coercion and consent today. Heryanto challenges the general belief that the periodic anti-communist witch-hunts of recent Indonesian history are largely a political tool used by a powerful military elite and authoritarian government.

Despite the profound importance of the 1965-6 events it remains one of most difficult and sensitive topics for public discussion in Indonesia today. State Terrorism and Political Identity in Indonesia is one of the first books to fully discuss the mass killings, shedding new light on a largely unspoken and unknown part of Indonesia’s history.

Book by Ariel Heryanto

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=041537152X/themauduitgroupA/

After 9/11, madrasas have been linked to international terrorism. They are suspected to foster anti-western, traditionalist or even fundamentalist views and to train al-Qaeda fighters. This has led to misconceptions on madrasa-education in general and its role in South Asia in particular. Government policies to modernize and ‘pacify’ madrasas have been precipitous and mostly inadequate.

This book discusses the educational system of madrasas in South Asia. It gives a contextual account of different facets of madrasa education from historical, anthropological, theological, political and religious studies perspectives. Some contributions offer recommendations on possible – and necessary – reforms of religious educational institutions. It also explores the roots of militancy and sectarianism in Pakistan, as well as its global context.

Overall, the book tries to correct misperceptions on the role of madrasas, by providing a more balanced discussion, which denies neither the shortcomings of religious educational institutions in South Asia nor their important contributions to mass education.

Book by Jamal Malik

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0415442478/themauduitgroupA/

Is the United States, in its fight against terror and pursuit of the present Osama Bin Laden, recklessly creating conditions in Central Asia to produce the next Osama? Crosston studies this controversial argument in this political analysis of US foreign policy on Central Asia. He looks specifically at the ‘no-man’s land nexus’ connecting Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan and the heart of Central Asian Islamic radicalism – the Fergana Valley. This book breaks new ground by examining in unflinching detail the unwitting role US foreign policy plays in fomenting that ‘hot zone’ and extremism, producing a new generation of Islamic radicals. University courses that deal with US foreign policy, international security, terrorism and/or Eurasian politics will want to make this book required reading.

Book by Matthew D. Crosston

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0754646327/themauduitgroupA/