There will be a book launch at WH Smith, Jawaharat Al Shatti, on Saturday for the newly published Children of Abraham: The Clash of Messianic Militarisms, written by Talmiz Ahmad, who was the former ambassador to Oman representing India.
High Praise for “Children of Abraham”
Children of Abraham was published last year and is considered a landmark publication in the field of religion and violence, and has received outstanding reviews from Indian, Saudi and international scholars.
The author, Talmiz Ahmad is presently stationed as the ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, continuing a diplomatic career spanning 37 years, much of which having been spent in the Gulf states as well as West Asia.
Messianism for the Good and the Bad
The subject matter of the book is quite relevant to today’s world; exploring the role that ideology plays in modern-day violence. Ahmad discusses the organization and motivating impulse which propels militarists to assert their beliefs in extreme ways. The focus on messianic belief as a major factor in not only bringing comfort to those that adhere to the ideology is contrasted with the tendency for messianic militants to demonize those who are different. Ahmad asserts that messianic belief is often used as what he calls “divine sanction” for much of the extreme violence witnessed in the world today against “the Evil Other.”
What the Reviewers Have to Say
Faisal Devji of Oxford University reviewed Ahamad’s book in the journal ‘International Affairs’ from London: “–(in regard to) the debate on terrorism after 9/11 … writers of all hues feel compelled to identify themselves with one or another position within the conflict– Talmiz Ahmad’s clear-headed account of the theological reasoning that informs even the most ‘realistic’ narratives of all sides in the war on terror manages to stand outside this debate.”
Another review, by Lisa Kaki in “Arab News” from Jedda said, “Children of Abraham at War offers a fresh look at the situation in the Middle East with its focus on the role of messianism in contemporary politics, a force too often unacknowledged.”
Saeed Naqvi, Indian journalist commented that
“This book is a reassertion that the thinking ambassador is not quite extinct.”