DARING OPINION

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The Website of Elie Elhadj
   My BOOKS
 
 
Books by Elie Elhadj
 

The Islamic Shield
Arab Resistance to Democratic and Religious Reforms

 
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The Islamic Shield examines the interaction between political Islam and world politics. Washington’s "War on Terrorism" has used democratization of the Arab World as a justification and a weapon. The Islamic Shield contends that genuine religious and political reforms in the Arab World are sheer fantasy: Democratic ideology cannot defeat Islamic theology. A culture of blind obedience to autocratic authority at home, school, mosque, and work place has become a form of piety.

 

The Islamic shield analyzes the likely causes behind 9/11 and the consequences of Arab resistance to political and religious reforms on the Middle East and beyond, especially the Arab-Israeli conflict. The book examines the factors, which might prompt young, sometimes affluent and educated men and women to self-annihilate. In addition to a deficit of freedom, extremist indoctrination as well as domestic and foreign political factors are identified. The book concludes that politically expedient solutions will fail to defeat jihadism and terrorism.

 

The Islamic Shield examines why democratic institutions are a mirage in two profoundly different countries: Saudi Arabia, an Islamist monarchy, and Syria, a quasi-secular republic. Although the two countries differ in governance, ideologies, natural resources, and climate they share in common non-representative, non-participatory dictatorial regimes. The two countries approximate socio-political models found in other Arab monarchies and republics.

 

The Islamic Shield considers such questions as: How likely is it that a future Arab Martin Luther, or a Kemal Ataturk might emerge? Why do non-Arab Islamic countries elect women as prime ministers and presidents while Arab ulama treat women as lesser beings and condemn democracy as un-Islamic? Is benevolent dictatorship a viable alternative to democracy? Who shapes the Islamic persona? Is Islamic law changeable? If yes, who may change it? What might the legacy of the George W. Bush administration be in the Muslim world? What might be the eventual outcome of the "War on Terrorism"?

 
 
Experiments in Achieving Water and Food Self-Sufficiency in the Middle East. The Consequences of Contrasting Endowments, Ideologies, and Investment Policies in Saudi Arabia and Syria

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This book is my Ph.D research conducted between 2002 and 2005 at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Experiments... aims to quantify and analyze how two water scarce but ideologically different Middle Eastern political economies, Saudi Arabia and Syria, addressed water sector investment between 1980 and 2000. The study examines how narrow-coalitions of decision-makers obsessed by impossible-to-achieve food self-sufficiency goals, lacking environmental consideration, and safe political processes contributed to massively waste scarce resources and unsustainable water policies.
 

Oil and God - Sustainable Energy Will Defeat Wahhabi Terror

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Religious extremism in the Middle East surfaced after the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. What caused the transformation from a tolerant Sunni Hanafi empire to the ferocious religious wars which now plague the Middle East?  

 

Oil and God is an unabashed realpolitik study of the culprits. It analyses the complex relationships between and among the different players in Middle Eastern affairs and the stake each has in the region’s sectarian warsThe book explores the roots of the current jihadist movements, Wahhabi culture, the Arab Israeli conflict, the Khomeini revolution, and the sectarian wars in Iraq and in Syria.    

 

Oil and God examines the tensions that fuel events such as the Arab Spring and the different histories, cultural values, and religious priorities that underlie the level of success each country has had on its trajectory to democracy with the credibility of an insider.

 

Oil and God relates US oil geopolitics to Saudi Arabia’s symbiotic union with Wahhabism.The terrorists of 9/11 were Wahhabis. The book investigates why the US occupied Iraq, not Saudi Arabia.

 

Oil and God contends that hegemony over oil exports is world hegemony and that US control over Saudi oil is a non-lethal weapon of mass destruction. The book holds that national security concerns of the big oil importers, China, continental Europe, India, and Japan, will drive renewable energy development to end oil imports. When that happens, US protection of Riyadh will wane, Saudi cash will dwindle, Wahhabi terror will diminish, and democracy will have a chance to take root in Arab lands. 

 

Oil and God is a must read for students, academics, business people, journalists, and politicians.



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