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In the first wide-ranging introduction to today’s rapidly growing jihadism, Khosrokhavar explains how two key movements variously influence jihadi activists. One, based in the Middle East, is more heavily influenced by Islamic religion and political thought. The other, composed of individuals growing up or living mostly in Europe and Western democracies including the United States, is motivated by secular as well as religious influences.
Khosrokhavar interprets religious and lesser-known Arabic texts and the real world economic and political dynamics that make jihadism a growing threat to Western democracies. Interviews with imprisoned jihadists on what motivated their plots and actions help the readers understand reality as seen by jihadists. The author concludes with recommendations to safeguard democracies from future jihadism.
Jihadism, a radical global Muslim movement, has arguably become the most persistent challenge to Western capitalist democracies and security interests since the demise of the Soviet Union. For many in the West, it has become synonymous with al Qaeda and its terrorist activities. However, as this thought-provoking book demonstrates, jihadism is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon that is much broader than al Qaeda. Khosrokhavar, a first-rate academic expert on Islamic radicalism, distinguishes two types of jihadi movements: one rooted primarily in the Sunni Islamic countries and the other based in the West. He explains the differences between these two movements and analyzes their major motivations for resorting to extreme acts of violence. In addition, he traces the origin and development of fundamentalism in Islam, distinguishes religious fundamentalism from jihadism, reviews the jihadi critique of conservative Islam, and identifies principal theological and political causes of jihadi violence in today's world. The author's intimate knowledge of and keen insight into the dynamics of jihadism and his reliance on important primary sources make this book essential reading for anyone interested in obtaining a critical understanding of jihadism.
Chapter 1: Explanatory Approaches to Jihadism
Chapter 2: Jihadist Ideology
Chapter 3: Jihadism: A Culture of Violence
Chapter 4: The Jihadist View of Democracy
Chapter 5: Fundamentalism in Islam
Chapter 6: The Transmission of Jihad to the West
Chapter 7: Jihadist Intelligentsia around the World
Conclusion: Toward an Islam of Hope