"Innocence Lost" examines how the matter of a number of cartoon drawings came to figure prominently on the international agenda. The book provides a description of the situation in the Middle East, including the background of the critical state of affairs in Iraq, which is best described as a state of civil war. With this as its point of departure, the book discusses the relationship between democratisation and Islamism, concluding that the present democratic process in the Middle East is apparently serving to strengthen the Islamists. Furthermore, it analyses the development of al-Qaida from being an organisation to becoming a global ideology enjoying widespread support and appealing to small local groups such as that behind the July 2005 London bombings. The book also analyses the war on terror as part of the global battle over values between a liberal and an Islamist interpretation of the concept of world order. The author poses the question of whether the world is heading towards a global civil war reminiscent of the protracted wars of religion of the late Middle Ages.
Lars Erslev Andersen is associate professor in History and Middle East studies at University of Southern Denmark. He teaches on Middle East in International Relations and Middle East / U.S. history, and has published several books and articles on philosophy, Middle East history, and U.S. History.