The Call: Inside the Global Saudi Religious Project

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$15.99  $14.87
Columbia Global Reports
Publish Date
5.0 X 7.4 X 0.8 inches | 0.35 pounds

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About the Author
Krithika Varagur is an award-winning journalist who covers Indonesia for The Guardian and has reported widely from Southeast and South Asia for publications including The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, The Financial Times, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and The New York Times. She regularly corresponds for outlets like NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now!, and Deutsche Welle and her work has been supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the International Women's Media Foundation, the Overseas Press Club Foundation, the Rory Peck Trust, and more. She is a National Geographic explorer and a former Amtrak writer-in-residence. Varagur graduated from Harvard University and was a Fulbright scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London
"In her important new book The Call, Krithika Varagur carefully and methodically investigates the sprawling Saudi proselytization efforts in two of the world's most populous countries, Indonesia and Nigeria, and in one politically fragile country in the Balkans: Kosovo, formerly a part of Yugoslavia.... Varagur demonstrates that the Saudi dawa effort is both more complex and more influential than commonly believed." --Times Literary Supplement

"An award-winning journalist follows the money to track the pervasive spread of Saudi Arabia's particular brand of ultraconservative Islam.... In her three riveting, thoroughly researched case studies, Varagur investigates why the Saudi brand of Islam is so appealing: It is radical in its simplicity, clearly instructs behavior, provides direct access to important texts, and offers a sense of community to its believers worldwide.... Varagur wisely allows many voices to be heard--and shows how Saudi influence is now more transparent but still insidious." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Krithika Varagur's The Call is an incisive, salient, and comprehensive exploration of the sort of philanthropy that comes with a heaping side of religious proselytizing. Varagur brilliantly captures the complexities and contradictions of Saudi Arabia's export (intentional or incidental) of Salafism and portrays soft power for what it really is--messy, highly unpredictable, and a far cry from the puppet-master-like characterization it has recently received." --Washington Independent Review of Books

"Varagur seeks to tell the story of Saudi Arabia's campaign to spread its version of 'ulraconservative' Islam around the world using the wealth it obtained through oil sales. She asks how the campaign was affected by slumping oil revenues and the increasing scrutiny of Saudi activities in the twenty-first century." --Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

"The Call provides a first-hand deep dive into the facts of how Saudi Arabia spawned Salafi movements abroad that now are largely self-sustaining, as the kingdom yields to global pressure (and the reality of diminished oil revenues) by curbing its external spending to spread fundamentalist Islam. These days when so few journalists bother to dig for facts, preferring to pontificate, Krithika Varagur's work stands out." --Karen Elliott House, author of On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines--and Future and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting

"A comprehensive analysis of Saudi Arabia's decades of proselytizing its ultra conservative Islamic views throughout the world. Based on meticulous research and field work, this is the best account in print of how our ally has spread its intolerance and extremism but also how that has evolved over time. A must read for Islam watchers." --Bruce Riedel, director of the Brookings Intelligence Project and the CIA's former Saudi Arabia station chief