The Canons of Jihad

Terrorists' Strategy for Defeating America
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Published:March 1, 2008
By Jim Lacey (Author)

Since the 9/11 attacks, scholars have struggled to help Westerners understand what motivates the jihadi movement. Noting that the best way to understand jihadists is to ignore statements they release to the West in favor of examining what they say to each other, Jim Lacey provides a definitive collection of writings that intellectually underpins the movement. Rather than guessing about terrorist motivations from a Western perspective, readers are offered essays including those by the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna, and a leading early member, Sayed Qutb that define the movement through the eyes of the terrorists themselves. As jihadist cadres begin to rebuild, Lacey notes that they are turning once again to their original thinkers to justify their actions. This project is sponsored by the United States Joint Forces Command.

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Product Details
  • Subject: Terrorism
  • Paperback : 216 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (March 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1591144612
  • ISBN-13: 9781591144618
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 oz
  • “This book should be required reading for every citizen of the United States and the European Union. Jim Lacey has done us all an incredibly valuable service by collecting this illuminating volume of writings. It is not a collection of writing about jihadists; it is a collection of writings by jihadists. As such, it provides an enlightening and, in many cases, alarming insight into the goals, the motives, and the very minds of jihadists. It is very much like reading their personal mail communicating with each other. Canons of Jihad reveals what jihadists are saying to each other, about each other, and about themselves. Every member of any US administration, as well as every member of Congress, should take the time to read this book and reflect upon its implications. That bold statement is very much like recommending, in 1936, that leaders around the world take the time to read Mein Kampf.

    "It is still one of the best, most readable insights into the mind of the jihadist I have read. Get a copy. Read it. Consider it in light of the recent unrest in the Middle East. Believe it.” — Air Force Research Institute

Jim Lacey is a retired U.S. Army infantry officer who works as a military analyst for the Institute for Defense Analyses. He is coauthor of The Iraqi Perspectives Report: Saddam's Senior Leadership on Operation Iraqi Freedom from the Official U.S. Joint Forces Command Report, published by the Naval Institute Press in 2006, and editor of the book Fresh from the Fight, a collection of essays on the war in Iraq.

During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Lacey worked for Time magazine as an embedded journalist and was with the 101st Airborne Division during the march to Baghdad. He has been published in more than a dozen major magazines and has written numerous articles and editorials on international and military affairs in many of the nation's leading newspapers. He lives in northern Virginia.

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1 Review
Average Customer Reviews
5.00 Stars
The Federalist Papers of the jihadist movement
Sunday, May 11, 2008
By: Joel R.
"The Canons of Jihad" documents the evolution of jihadi writings beginning with Hasan al-Banna's "Jihad" in 1928, through Abu Musab al-Suri's 2004 "The Call to Global Islamic Resistance". This compilation of translated writings gives the reader insight into the evolution of jihadi thought through the 20th century. The editor, Mr. Jim Lacey, is a former US infantry officer who also served as an embedded journalist during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. This dual perspective of former military officer, and commercial journalist, he is in a unique position to offer insightful introductions to each of the jihadi writings, by putting each document into context for the timing and geographic area of each writing. I knew very little of the jihadi movement before reading this book, outside what can be gleaned from the Washington Post. After reading the book, I now understand that Jihad is an essential part of Islam; however, violent jihad is not. For over 80 years, the distorted logic of al-Banna and the other authors has formed the basis for a criminalized version of a peaceful religion. The full versions of the documents contain volumes of pseudo-justification to validate their violent views, but Mr. Lacey admits to editing out these references in order to focus on the key points of their thought. "The Canons of Jihad" are to the jihad, what the "Federalist Papers" are to the United States. This set of documents, absent the onerous religious references, forms the ideological foundation for the jihadi movement. This book needs a place on the bookshelf between Von Klausewitz's "On War", and Sun Tzu's "Art of War". It is unimportant whether you agree or disagree with the concepts presented, however it is essential for people to understand this controversial way of thinking


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