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God Has Ninety-Nine Names by Judith Miller

- Abstract

Over half the Arab population in the Middle East is under the age of twenty; illiteracy and unemployment are rising; the proportion of food grown domestically by Arab and Muslim countries is rapidly dwindling, and these countries are already short of water; almost all export earnings derive from a single commodity—oil. As if this were not enough of a formula for ominous instability, many of these countries are also in the grip of Islamism—a somewhat unsatisfactory term for the attempt to harness the religion of Islam to current political purposes.

Apparently retrograde in itself, Islamism also generates violence and what looks to an outsider like self-inflicted injury. This is a phenomenon which Judith Miller set out to explore for herself. As a correspondent for the New York Times, she had access to anyone and everyone who could enlighten her. Over a number of years, she attracted friends and useful informants all over the Middle East (she often withholds their real names protectively) and 60 pages of notes testify to diligent preparation for her travels (which for no clear reason seem to have omitted Turkey).

About the Author

David Pryce-Jones, the British novelist and political analyst, is the author of, among other books, Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews (Encounter).