Through an Insider’s Eyes: Review of Tawfik Hamid’s Inside Jihad

This book review by IWP research professor Paul Coyer was published by Providence Journal

Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works; Why It Should Terrify Us; How to Defeat It
By Tawfik Hamid
Mountain Lake Press, Updated edition, 2015

Dr. Tawfik Hamid is a unique figure. A medical doctor from the University of Cairo, Dr. Hamid was inducted into an Egyptian jihadist group by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri himself – the very man who succeeded Osama bin Laden as leader of al Qaeda. Dr. Hamid, who also has training in cognitive psychology, began to recognize the techniques used by Zawahiri and others like him to take idealistic young Muslims and shape them into brutal killers, reacted against the negative effect that that process had had on his critical thinking skills and, indeed, on his humanity and begining a process of “debrainwashing” himself and beginning to analyze with a fresh perspective some of his previous assumptions and beliefs.

Thirty-some years later, Dr. Hamid has written an insider account of his journey, which includes a detailed explication of the tactics used by Islamist recruiters, a critique both of the Muslim world that has allowed Islamic terrorism to thrive and of the failing response to date on the part of the West to radical Islam, and ends with a call for reform of Islam, a call that has recently been echoed by others in the Washington, DC, policy community. His book is Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, And How To Defeat It.

Read more