Gilles Kepel takes us into the world of the students, professionals, workers, and unemployed who are caught up in the Islamic movements of Egypt. Events that have riveted world attention—the first World Trade Center bombing, assassinations in Beirut, the attempt on the life of the Pope, the assassination of Sadat, and, in a new preface, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001—are illuminated by this penetrating study.
Gilles Kepel is a member of the research faculty of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Professor at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris.
"Perhaps more than any other, this book gives the background necessary to understand the purpose and mindset of today’s religious radicals. In this classic study of the roots of Islamic extremism, Gilles Kepel demonstrates the pivotal role of the Egyptian connection. He skillfully traces the story of Islamic anti-modernism in Egypt from the early part of the 20th century to its tragic involvement in some of the most violent incidents in recent years, including the terrifying attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001. Kepel’s treatment is even-handed and sensitive, though the world he uncovers is the dark side of today’s global culture."—Mark Juergensmeyer, author of Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence