By Joseph J. Jaksa
A primer for those less familiar with the concept and its implications for security.
*****Jihad and International Security. By Jalil Roshandel and Sharon Chadha; published by Palgrave Macmillan; www.palgrave.com (Web); 256 pages; $24.95.
The word “jihad” elicits a multitude of emotions in different people. Those feelings may include concern, anger, fear, or curiosity, depending on the individual’s familiarity with the topic.
In this book, authors Jalil Roshandel and Sharon Chadha offer a primer for those less familiar with the concept and its implications for security. They first give an historical overview, covering the societies affected by declared jihads over the past quarter century. This historical perspective is followed by a discussion of the theological rationale for jihads.
The authors further explain how various interpretations of the Koran motivate different types of jihad, which literally means "striving hard in God’s cause." The types range from peaceful movements to violent and deadly revolutions. The religious interpretations of jihad’s boundaries are also discussed, such as who may participate in a jihad, when they can be fought, and where they may take place.
Discussed next is which people and groups support jihads, who participates, from planning to execution, and how the outside world is combating the current violent form of jihad. This section provides insight to the inner-workings of and relationships between current jihadist movements, including their sources of funding.
The author’s writing style is very direct and easy to comprehend. Clear definitions of terms will assist neophytes but not stop experts from reading further.
Roshandel and Chadha also incorporate passages from the Koran and quotations from political and terrorist leaders to show how the movement’s rhetoric has dramatically escalated in recent years.
This book is essential reading for anyone studying or working in the international security arena with a responsibility for understanding today’s jihad movements.
Joseph J. Jaksa, M.A., CPP, is an instructor of Criminal Justice at Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, Michigan. He is also a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership Program at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He is a member of ASIS International.