Since 9/11, the Jordanian Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (b. West Bank, 1959) has emerged as one of the most important radical Muslim thinkers alive today. While al-Maqdisi may not be a household name in the West, his influence amongst like-minded Muslims stretches across the world from Jordan - where he lives today - to Southeast Asia. His writings and teachings on Salafi Islam have inspired terrorists from Europe to the Middle East, including Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qa'ida in Iraq, and Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden's successor as the head of al-Qa'ida Central. This groundbreaking book, which is the first comprehensive assessment of al-Maqdisi, his life, ideology, and influence, is based on his extensive writings and those of other jihadis, as well as on interviews that the author conducted with (former) jihadis, including al-Maqdisi himself. It is a serious and intense work of scholarship that uses this considerable archive to explain and interpret al-Maqdisi's particular brand of Salafism. More broadly, the book offers an alternative, insider perspective on the rise of radical Islam, with a particular focus on Salafi opposition movements in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Joas Wagemakers is an assistant professor in the Department of Islam and Arabic at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Introduction; Part I. Al-Maqdisi's Life and his Place in the Jihadi Ideological Spectrum, 1859-2009: 1. Wavering between quietism and jihadism; 2. Al-Maqdisi's quietist jihadi-salafi 'Aqida; 3. Al-Maqdisi's quietist jihadi-salafi Manha; Part II. Al-Maqdisi's Influence on the Saudi Islamic Opposition, 1989-2005: 4. Saudi Arabia's post-Gulf War opposition; 5. Al-Qa 'ida on the Arabian peninsula; Part III. Al-Maqdisi's Influence on the Development of al-Wala wa-l-Bara, 1984-2009: 6. The revival of al-Isti ana bi-l-Kuffar; 7. 'Salafising' jihad; Part IV. Al-Maqdisi's Influence on the Jordanian Jihadi-Salafi Community, 1992-2009: 8. Guidance to the seekers; 9. The leader of the Jordanian jihadi-salafi community?; Conclusion.