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North Castle Books

Jihad in Paradise: Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia
Authored by: Mike Millard

Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-1335-6 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-1336-3
Cloth Price Paper Price
USD: $61.95 USD: $23.95
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Available to all countries
Information: 176pp. Index.
Publication Date: March 2004.  


Description: Written in an accessible, journalistic style, Jihad in Paradise focuses on Southeast Asia's struggle to deal with Islamic extremists and terrorism at the hands of Jemah Islamiyah, al Qaeda's Southeast Asian arm. Although the book gives particular attention to Singapore's attempts to deal with these issues, the story extends into Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. All of these countries have significant Muslim populations, and recent violent events have affected the business environment, tourism, and the region's tradition of religious tolerance.

The author draws on personal interviews with experts in the field as well as key political and religious figures in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, including Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Minister for Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, and expelled Muslim dissident Zulfikar Mohamad Sharif. Millard examines the Bali bombing, Malaysia's conservative Islamic party PAS, the Malaysian province of Kelantan which is a Muslim political hotbed, Abu Saayaf of the Philippines, and Fateha.com and the use of the internet. He also provides a glimpse of how Singapore, the region's most developed nation, has engineered its society in order to impose a degree of racial and religious tolerance.

Selected Contents:

Foreword by Ivan Hall

1. Arrival and Discovery
2. Sources of Jihad
3. Terror in Singapore
4. To Bali and Back
5. Malaysia and Iraq
6. Looking Forward

Comment(s): "Traditionally, the most insightful and passionate works about the Orient have been written by outsiders. After having encountered Asia for a decade, Millard chronicles Singapore from his heart and soul. His personal and intimate knowledge of the momentus events and actors enables him to cast them artfully. Jihad in Paradise is a must read for all those who want to know Singapore, Asia-Pacific's vanguard." -- Rohan Gunaratna, author, Inside Al Qaeda, Global Network of Terror

"Mike Millard is a gifted and insightful observer of cultural differences. He applies his skills here in analyzing the collision of three social models in one part of the world: the 'guided democracy' under which Singapore and other Asian countries have risen to wealth; the liberal individualism of the West; and the fundamentalist threat from radical Islam. Jihad in Paradise makes clear the stakes for the world in Southeast Asia's future. It is also a lot of fun to read." -- James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly

"In Jihad in Paradise Mike Millard explores the making and the mindset of terrorists belonging to the Jemaah Islamiyah, the Southeast Asian associate of Al Qaeda, and the perceptions of them in the multiethnic plural societies of Singapore and neighbouring Southeast Asian countries. He does this in part through thoughtful interviews with scholars, writers, political and religious figures and ordinary people. The result is a book that is deceptively simple, sensitive and insightful." -- K. Kesavapany, Director of ISEAS, Singapore

Review(s): "If the reader (like the author himself) is unashamedly confused about the sudden emergence of radical Islam in what was until recently one of the most relaxed and economically promising regions on earth, and is looking for explanations he can easily comprehend and then relate to his family's immediate future, then Jihad in Paradise is essential reading." -- The Straits Times

"...the author brings a talented journalism to his work, making Jihad in Paradise accessible to students unlikely to be familiar with the subject." -- Education About Asia, Vol. 10:1

"... Jihad in Paradise is a useful reading for students and general readers interested in the relationship between Islam and politics in Southeast Asia." -- The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences

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