Almost a decade after 9/11, the media is still wrapped up in the good Muslim-bad Muslim cliche, and we are no closer to winning the War against Terror.
Dr Farish A Noor: academic, political scientist, activist and traveller extraordinaire, lives, eats, sleeps, prays with and interviews students (and others), in the 'jihad factory' madrasahs from Patani to Pakistan, and comes away dazed and confused.
With strains of Pink Floyd in his head, he penetrates the deepest sanctums of Islamic orthodoxy, walks with Islamic guerrillas of Patani after dark, sips tea with Kalasnikov-wielding drug lords of Pakistan, and interviews 'monsters' to try to make sense of it all: “As we get up to leave, the Ustaz (Abu Bakar Ba‘ashir) shakes my hand and grips it firmly. I am struck by his long, slender fingers. His eyes are bright, like a child's,and I sense that he can see my admiration for him – despite my fear of everything he represents.”