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Global Jihad: A Brief History, Glenn E. Robinson

Reviewed by Deina Abdelkader

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Teaching and researching the topic of Islam and politics for the past 20 years, I have read many articles and books on the topic of jihad and terrorism. Glenn E. Robinson's book is a serious attempt at analyzing and measuring the size of the global jihad threat. Robinson accurately describes the different phases of international/global jihad—a jihad that is not focused on domestic concerns, but is further reaching in its aims in terms of international politics and the U.S./Western foreign policy reactions to those threats.

Robinson clarifies from the beginning of Global Jihad the differences between Islamism, which he defines as a nonviolent approach to creating a modern Islamic state and a sociopolitical movement in most Muslim-majority countries, and fringe jihadi movements, which he labels “movements of rage.”

Robinson then divides these “movements of rage” into four phases or “waves” that have taken place since the 1980s: the first under al Qaeda aimed to “liberate occupied Muslim lands”; the second to “drive Americans out of the Muslim world”; the third to re-create a historical caliphate (ISIS and its offshoots); and the fourth to create a global movement that is leaderless (pp. 7–8). He goes to great lengths to validate these “waves” of jihad and e

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