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  • Published: 1 April 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099538899
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $19.99

How to Win a Cosmic War

Confronting Radical Religion

Acclaimed author Reza Aslan dissects two of the most devastating ideologies of our times - Jihadism and the 'War on Terror'.

*Why do they hate us? An entire cottage industry has arisen to answer this question. But what no 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 no real goals or actual agenda.

*So, what do the Jihadists want? Aslan's answer is: Nothing. The Jihadists have no 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.

  • Published: 1 April 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099538899
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan is an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions. He is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. At Harvard, Aslan was elected president of Harvard's chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, a UN organisation committed to global understanding. His is first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam, has been translated into thirteen languages and named by Blackwells as one of the hundred most important books of the last decade. Currently teaching an introductory course on Islam at Iowa, Aslan is also at work on a novel.

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Praise for How to Win a Cosmic War


paul sims, Guardian

absorbing, thought-provoking and illuminating... Few writers are as well qualified to tackle the terrain... Aslan's book represents nothing less than a call to arms, a clear-eyed and impassioned remidner that the most effective way to win a cosmic war is to triumph in the battle for hearts and minds at home.

Sarfraz Manzoor, Guardian

What is refreshing about Aslan's book is its breadth and its impartiality.


'Offers a very persuasive argument for the best way to counter jihadism."

The Washington Post

"Insightful, well-argued...tracks the history of antiestablishment thinking in the Islamic world"

Daily Beast

intelligent...a thought provoking book and the chapter on the radicalisation of Europe's young is particularly useful...Aslan opens up many fruitful areas of enquiry

Jason Burke, Observer

Compelling, penetrative and timely. If more of us in the West grasp Aslan's arguments, we will begin to win the war of ideas against Jihadists and extremists.

Ed Husain, author of The Islamist

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