This chapter describes a personal intellectual journey of discovery and self-discovery within the unforgiving labyrinthine pathways of political science and Middle Eastern studies. A steep learning curve taught a self-confessed iconoclast the hard way how to mind his steps in a field in the minefield of conflictual scholarship. Without having planned it, I found myself at war with Orientalists and their critics, Islamists and their enemies, scholars and activists. And that was only the beginning. Labored through mathematics and aviation before shifting to languages and then philosophy, I began my graduate life grappling with Marx and Wittgenstein about the futility of philosophy. I then moved to the politics and theologies of Islamism, before making the apparent tension between Islam and democracy my focus. However, violence soon dominated my field of vision, and I ended up contemplating Islam and genocide. It was, and remains, a fascinating journey.