War for Peace: Genealogies of a Violent Ideal in Western and Islamic Thought
War for Peace:
Genealogies of a Violent Ideal in Western and Islamic Thought
Murad Idris
Oxford University Press, New York, 2019, xxi + 330 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-190-65803-8
Faizan Akbar
Peace is a benign idea, prima facie; in fact, the bulk of the known human history is germane with examples of its idealisation. Primarily, because it is ontologically purported to be the nemesis of war and violence—something that all sound humans find grotesque and detestable. It is treated as something that “all people must wish for and desire” and, corollarily, detest war and violence, which lies on the other extreme of the spectrum (p. xiii). Nevertheless, there are a plethora of examples throughout history when war has been undertaken for the sake of peace—hence blurring the divide between war and peace. This problematic nature of the idea of peace, Murad Idris states “has received relatively little sustained attention” as compared to other ideas that are ensconced in the realm of the Political (p. xix).1 The claim that war is for the sake of peace summons an array of discursive frameworks signifying a unique grammar, vocabulary, functions and performances, and this provocative and complex book aims at unravelling the same by undertaking a genealogy of the troubled idea of peace.2 In a word, it aims at problematising and unmaking the age-old cherished ideal of human civilisation—Peace.

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