By Reza Aslan, PhD
The War on Terror seems to be rebooting itself every now an then. First it was al Qaeda in Afghanistan, then it quickly became the Taliban, then expanded massively into al Qaeda everywhere and now seems to be focused on the Islamic State. In this work, Reza Aslan attempts to trace the root causes behind the conflict and, while he makes a compelling historical case on wars fought in the name of religion, his prescription and analysis have very little to offer aside from rather vague discussions on a 'Cosmic War'. His only tangible contribution is in decrying George Bush's attempt, on purpose or otherwise, of paining the War on Terror as a modern Crusade against Islam, an obvious mistake. But the entire book virtually builds on this one matter.
Surprisingly, the book is good for a quick elucidation of the history of Jews and the significance of Jerusalem. It comes out finally as quite bolstering the case for Israel to claim all of Jerusalem as its own, based on a much longer history and a deeper connection than the Palestinians. Alas, this is not the central question of the book and thus, most of the analysis is left for the reader to do.