Bombing Without Moonlight

Bombing without Moonlight: the origins of suicidal terrorism.

Bombing without Moonlight: the origins of suicidal terrorism.

by Abdal Hakim Murad

ISBN 978 1 872038 26 1
Vi + 58 pages
First published 2012.This Quilliam edition 2022
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In this probing investigation of the phenomenon of suicidal terrorism, Abdal Hakim Murad finds not ‘Jihad versus MacWorld’, but ‘MacJihad versus MacWorld.’ Today’s terrorist movements have their roots in a very Western and very relativistic worldview, adopted by self-proclaimed Islamists whose mindset is as westernized as the societies they strike.


“In the fact of a sceptical West, how is it possible, in one breath, to affirm a post-secular Islam and renounce anti-secular Islamic fanaticism? Bombing Without Moonlight is Murad’s stunning answer. For him, it is, in one breath, to affirm a classic Sunni orthodoxy and expose the very modern and western character of Qutubism. This book is an uncommon literary event: a Muslim theo-political call not to arms (but to age-old traditions of sober religious wisdom) offered through wry lyric English prose. The author’s historical claims are as original as his prose style, his call as urgent as a global fire alarm.”

  • Peter Ochs, Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia.

“A refreshingly original, historically sensitive account of the origin and nature of Islamist terrorism, this book should be read by all who care about the future of liberal political institutions.”

  • Roger Crisp, Uehiro Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, St Anne’s College, Oxford University

“… a whirlwind tour through the origins of suicide terror. In a text steeped in history and philosophy, [Murad] astutely eschews the argument that suicide terrorism is a uniquely Islamic phenomenon, while nevertheless exploring the malaise in that great religion which has helped witness the rise of al Qaeda and its brethren. For all its brevity, this remains a thoughtful, complex and challenging work which will stay with the reader.”

  • Andrew Silke, Director, Terrorism Studies, University of East London

“No one has written more perceptively about suicide bombers and their bizarre emergence – like an alien infestation in the body of Islam – than Abdal Hakim Murad.”

– Abdallah Schleifer, Former NBC Cairo Bureau Chief