The New Frontiers of Jihad: Radical Islam in Europe

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Overview

Alison Pargeter examines how radical ideology travels from East to West and how the two contexts shape each other. She finds that, contrary to what some analysts have claimed, local rather than global concerns still preoccupy those involved in militant Islam, and national differences and rivalries dominate the scene. Middle Eastern power struggles are now being played out in the mosques of Birmingham, Paris and Milan. She shows how apparently spontaneous expressions of radicalism, such as the cartoon controversy, are in fact driven by political conflicts between different factions in the Middle East. Unravelling the networks behind events like Madrid, 7/7, and the French Metro bombings, she reveals some surprising connections and explores the reasons why young men in Europe are becoming tied up in the world of militant Islamism.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rejecting the conventional wisdom that the European jihad is monolithic and rooted in local conditions (alienation, marginalization), Pargeter argues that it is instead "plagued by division, petty infighting, and battles of ego," and is "shaped by powers outside the continent." The book's careful analysis demonstrates that the initial wave of radical Islam in Europe in the 1980s was rooted in political struggles against secular governments in the Middle East and that the continent evolved over time into a base "to assist the struggle back home." Even after 9/11, the author claims that the popular notion of a global jihad remains a myth, and after analyzing the terror attacks in Madrid and London, concludes that the evidence linking the perpetrators with al-Qaeda is speculative at best. Pargeter is careful to note that the radicals are a minority within a minority, and her prescription for understanding and combating radical Islam in Europe is to look first to "conditions in the Islamic world." Local "counter-radicalization strategies," she argues, can not work in isolation. Provocative, timely and well-reasoned, Pargeter's iconoclastic views deserve a wide audience.
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From the Publisher

"This is easily the best book available on radical Islam in Europe. In a field that unfortunately lends itself to hysterics, Pargeter soberly and coolly dissects the Western habit of lumping every radical Muslim into one large and homogeneous jihadi pot."—Marc Sageman, author of Leaderless Jihad and Understanding Terror Networks

"Provocative, timely, and well reasoned, Pargeter's iconoclastic views deserve a wide audience."—Publishers Weekly

"A seminal work on Islamist radicalism in Europe."—The Economist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812241464
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Pargeter is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre of International Studies at the University of Cambridge, where she is also a visiting scholar at Pembroke College. She has conducted numerous research projects on issues related to political Islam, violence, and radicalization in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
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Table of Contents

1 The First Wave of Radicals 1

2 Europe as Islamic Melting Pot 16

3 Recruitment for Jihad 32

4 Islamist Opposition Groups and European Support Networks 47

5 Europe as Battleground 64

6 Algerian Radicalism Targets France 77

7 The 9/11 Effect and 'Globalized' Islam 98

8 The Madrid Bombings 115

9 The London Bombings 140

10 Radical Converts 166

11 The Danish Cartoon Row and the Dilemma of the Moderates 187

Conclusion 204

Notes 210

Index 239

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