In the years after 9/11, Islam has reached a greater prominence in the national dialogue. Shariah law and mosques have grown commonplace in political lexicon. But the experts Roll Call spoke with said that, like any controversial topic, misinformation about Islam is all too common. As a remedy, Patel suggested reading Sedgwick’s book, which he described as “one of the best introductions to Islam.”
Sedgwick, a British historian, based much of this overview of Islam and modern Muslim society on his own experiences living in the Middle East.
“Sedgwick provides appropriate detail on Islamic history and doctrine for a general reader while covering an enormous range of topics,” Patel said. “The discussion on what Shariah is, and what it is not, is particularly clear and relevant. Readers will also pick up basic facts, like the difference between Arabs and Muslims, and come to appreciate the diversity of Islamic practice today.”
by Eric Frank Russell
Even though it was published in 1957, Betts believes we can learn a lot about the reaction to the 9/11 attacks by reading this science fiction novel. It’s about “an agent in a future war who infiltrates an enemy planet, uses anonymous violent incidents, rumor-mongering and other guerrilla/terror/asymmetric tactics with ripple effects to wreak psychological havoc on the planet’s population,” Betts said.
Betts even used a passage from the book as an epigraph for an article he wrote a few months after the 2001 attacks. In his epigraph, Betts cited lines from the novel such as, “In given conditions, action and reaction can be ridiculously out of proportion” and “One can obtain results monstrously in excess of the effort.”
Betts sees a parallel between the effect one relatively weak party had on a more powerful group and the effect al-Qaida had on the United States.
“This seems to me to illustrate the comparative advantage of weak terrorists against a strong society,” he said.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.