Presenting a picture of the world that gave rise to Islamist terrorism, "From the Terrorist's Point of View" argues that terrorism arises from a deep and pervasive identity crisis in Islamic societies. The account is shaped by the author's first-hand experiences of life in the Islamic world, as well as his research on the psychology of conflict and radicalism. He shows why individuals who are recruited into terrorist organisations believe it is the only viable alternative. He postulates a "staircase to terrorism", whereby sympathisers are gradually drawn up to the highest "rung" of participating in terrorist acts. He explains that they believe there are no effective legal means of expressing their grievances so come to see terrorist organisations as legitimate, and they are further trained to adopt an "us vs. them" view, seeing all members outside their group, including civilians, the enemy. The author also explains why the current U.S. policy of focusing on individual terrorists and their eradication will win only short-term gains. He argues that the more effective long-term policy against terrorism is prevention, and for that there must be cultivation and nourishment of "contextualized democracy" through culturally appropriate avenues, creating a greater voice and mobility opportunities so that people do not feel a need to engage in terrorism.