Internal PRIO seminar with Alastair Crooke  

Alastair Crooke is the UK-Beirut-based Co-Director and founder of Conflicts Forum. He is former special security adviser to European Union High Representative, Javier Solana. special adviser to the European Union Special Envoy to the Middle East Peace Process and adviser to the International Quartet (1997-2003). He facilitated the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefires of 2002-03 on behalf of the EU, was instrumental in the negotiations ending the siege of the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem; and mediated the negotiations leading to the ceasefire declared by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in June 2003. He was a staff member of President Clinton’s Fact Finding Committee, led by Senator Mitchell into the causes of the Intifada 2000 – 2001 and is a regular presenter at Clinton’s Global Forum initiative, Norwegian government’s Oslo Forum for senior international mediators & member of UN’s Alliance of Civilization’s Global Experts Resource Project; Alastair is author of ‘Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution’ (Feb 2009) and of numerous articles and policy briefings published in the London Review of Books, the Guardian, Prospect, Conciliation Resources, Asia Times, and various papers for US and UK-based policy organizations. He is a regular contributor to BBC, Al-Jazeera, Press TV, CNN and other radio and TV broadcasters.


Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution

Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution
By Alastair Crooke
Pluto Press, February 2009

Available at bookshops in the UK, at Amazon (UK) and Amazon (US) and from Pluto Press (see below)

Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker magazine:
‘Crooke’s mission in this erudite and most readable book is to reassure America and the rest of the world that Hamas, Hezbollah and the seemingly menacing Islamic governments in Iran and elsewhere are not the enemies of the West… a scholarly and closely argued critique of what passes for Western diplomacy today.’

John L. Esposito, professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University and co-author of Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think:
‘This book is required reading at a time when alternative perspectives on the causes of global terrorism and new Western diplomatic initiatives urgently need to replace the failed policies of the Bush administration-led “War on Global Terrorism”. ‘

THIS BOOK traces the essence of the Islamist Revolution from its origins in Egypt, through Najaf, Lebanon and Iran up to the present day. Alastair Crooke presents a compelling account of the ideas and energy which are mobilising the Islamic world.

The story of the emerging Islamist Revolution is largely one of an Islamic response to western thinking based around individualism and personal relationships with the divine, juxtaposed to the Islamist demand to place human values above politics and self-interest. Crooke argues that the West faces a mass mobilisation against the US-led Western project. The roots of this conflict are described in terms of religious themes that extend back over 500 years. They represent clashing systems of thinking and values. Islamists have a vision for the future of their own societies which would entail radical change from Western norms. Resistance is presented as the means to force Western behaviour to change and to expose the essential differences between the two modes of thinking.

This is a rigourous account that traces the threads of revolution of various movements, including the influence of ‘political Shi’ism’ and the Iranian Revolution and its impact on Hezbollah and Hamas.

Alastair Crooke was advisor to EU High Representative, Javier Solana, in the Middle East, 1997-2003. He was involved in facilitating a series of de-escalations of violence and military withdrawals in Palestine with Islamist movements from 2000-2003 and the end to the Bethlehem Church of the Nativity siege. He was a staff member of the Mitchell Committee into the causes of the Intifada in 2000. He is director and founder of Conflicts Forum.