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A third way in the middle east

Gilles Kepel's polemic on the middle east conflict is a useful overview, but it is marred by stereotypes and wishful thinking

By Kishwer Falkner   December 2008

Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East by Gilles Kepel (Harvard University Press, £18.95)

Beyond Terror and Martyrdom—a new book by the noted French scholar Gilles Kepel—is a long polemical essay about what the west might now do in the middle east. Its theme is that the two “grand narratives” of our day—the war on terror and its obverse, the jihad against the west—have both failed and that a third narrative now has to emerge: one with the potential to deliver peace and prosperity.

Kepel takes his readers through the Bush administration’s failure to understand the implications…

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