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Posted by / 20-Jun-2018 02:34

Dom of religion and accommodating religious dress in schools

They sometimes planted "sleeper" agents in the households of prospective enemies just in the event they might ultimately be needed.

These agents did not always have to actually strike in order to achieve deterrence - a knife or a note left by an enemy's bedside while he was sleeping served to emphasize his vulnerability and was often sufficient to achieve the Assassins' political ends.

This book doesn't really do that, although that's no reflection on what Lewis has actually accomplished here.

He wrote "The Assassins" more than a third of a century ago, and there are very significant differences between the Nizari Ismaili Order and the hate-filled fanatics of Al-Qaeda.

Each group treated acts of terrorist violence as having a sacramental component - the Assassins always killed their victims up close and personal, choosing to use knives rather than poison or arrows, much as Mohammed Atta and his confederates observed certain rituals of personal hygiene and dress before carrying out their terrorist acts.

The young men selected to carry out the actual terrorist operations in each case believed that their sacrifice for the sake of the cause would open the gates of paradise.

Needs to be combined with Amin Maalouf's "The Crusades through Arab Eyes" for a fuller understanding.

There are some similarities between the Assassins' modus operandi and that of today's Al-Qaeda terrorists.

In each case, terrorists assigned to carry out missions for the group did not concern themselves with escape and expected to die whether their mission succeeded or not - a fact that added greatly to the apprehension of their enemies and their own mystique.

By striking directly at the political, religious or military figures who had attacked their own communities, the Assassins could punish a current enemy, deter Sunni political and religious leaders from future attacks, and win the security they sought without the necessity of killing masses of their enemy's rank-and-file soldiery or risking the lives of more than a handful of their own members.

As Lewis points out, the Assassins were also masters of psychological warfare.

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(Sometimes, in fact, the Assassins did not even need to plant sleeper agents to accomplish their objectives - they might simply bribe an otherwise loyal member of their enemy's household to leave the note or the knife, thereby accomplishing the same effect without the need of even committing one of their own personnel.)Lewis tackles and persuasively debunks most of the popular legends about the Assassins, such as the claim that their Grand Master secured the fanatical loyalty of his young followers by drugging them with narcotics and then conveying them for short periods to an artificial "paradise" of his own creation that was staffed by sensuous and accommodating young women.

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