English Edition of the Book "The Mirage" to be Released Soon

  • 29 April 2015

Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director-General of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, will soon release the first English language edition of his book, The Mirage, through national, Arab and international publishers worldwide, following the publication of the fifth edition of the book in Arabic.

The Mirage, which has been received with acclaim in scholarly and academic circles in the Arab world, deals with the phenomenon of political Islam and the dangers it poses for Arab and Muslim societies. Comprising an introduction, seven chapters and a conclusion, the book adopts a scholarly approach in analysing the concept of the political "mirage", the illusion cultivated by political religious groups among people in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

These groups use religion to serve their political or personal interests, and insist on blaming others for the backward conditions in these societies. Furthermore, many of them view those who hold contrary opinions as infidels who deserve to be killed. The author tolls a warning bell to awaken those who have been tempted or deceived by resonant religious slogans, and calls on all of us to strive together to restore the role of independent reasoning, discourse, meditation, contemplation, and the application of true religion, which calls on all Muslims to adopt such values.

The author, Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, examines in detail the working mechanisms of groups that use religion to serve their political goals and interests in their relentless pursuit of authority. He focuses on defining and characterising the phenomenon of political Islam, analyses the factors which have contributed to the spread of Islamist groups, and shows that religion and politics remain intertwined in the region, even though the West succeeded several centuries ago in separating the two and establishing distinct political, economic and social classes. The author reviews various forms of political religious thought, as well as affiliated groups and critics, and their records in those countries in which they succeeded in reaching positions of authority.

The book includes a number of case studies of political religious groups and trends, namely the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis, the Surooris and jihadi organisations. In particular, the author analyses the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood, which succeeded in securing authority in a number of Arab countries. He discusses several themes in the history of the group, as well as its goals, methods and means to achieve these goals. He shows that the group is passing through an unprecedented crisis in its history, having proved its inability to capitalise on the social and religious momentum in the Arab and Muslim worlds.