Why do they hate us? An entire cottage industry has arisen to answer this question. But what one has really figured out is, who exactly are they? Is it al-Qaeda? Islamic nationalists? The whole Muslim world? How to Win a Cosmic War lays out, for the first time, a comprehensive definition of the movement behind and surrounding al-Qaeda and the like, a global ideology properly termed Jihadism. Contrasting twenty-first-century religious extremism across Christianity, Judaism and Islam with its historical antecedents, Aslan demonstrates that while modern Jihadis may have legitimate social grievances - the suffering of the Palestinians, American support for Arab dictators, the presence of foreign troops in Muslim lands, to name a few - they have real goals or actual agenda. So, what do the Jihadists want? Aslan's answer is: thing. The Jihadists have earthly agenda; they are fighting a metaphysical conflict, a theological war. And ever since 9/11, we have unfortunately been fighting the same cosmic war, the war they want: the so-called 'War on Terror'. How do we win a Cosmic War? By refusing to fight in one. And in this stunning new work, Aslan reveals surprising conclusions about how we can deal with this predicament.
Reza Aslan's No God but God was shortlisted for the 2005 Guardian First Book Award in the UK and nominated for a PEN USA award for research Non-Fiction. He has studied religions at the universities of Santa Clara, Harvard and California, Santa Barbara, and holds an MFA in fiction from the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, where he was also visiting assistant professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. His work has appeared in the Nation, Slate, and the New York Times.