Inside Jihadism: Understanding Jihadi Movements Worldwide

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Jihad is the most organized force against Western capitalism since the Soviet era. Yet jihadism is multifaceted and complex, much broader than Al-Quaeda alone.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In the field of studies on radical Islam that is overwhelmed in the West by junk ideological literature and fake expertise, Farhad Khosrokhavar stands out as a true and distinguished expert with first hand and intimate knowledge. One great advantage of his approach is that it knits together discourse analysis and sociology—including first hand sociological research—according to the best tradition of social sciences. His study of Jihadism, defined as the most radical and violent brand of Islamic fundamentalism, is a most welcome and useful addition to the serious literature on this most complex of global sociopolitical phenomena.”
Library Journal

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.
—Nader Entessar

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594516160
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2009
  • Series: The Yale Cultural Sociology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,336,647
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Iran, now living in Paris, the distinguished Iranian-French sociologist Farhad Khosrokhavar has interviewed Arab nationals throughout his career. A student of Arab and other middle east languages, he is the author of 17 books, some of them translated into 10 languages. He writes frequently for major French magazines. He has taught or lectured in the United States at Yale, Harvard, and other universities. He is Professor at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris (School of Advanced Studies).

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Table of Contents


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


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