Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
The Essence of Islamist Extremism by
Publication Date: 2011-12-01
This book provides a critical and a conceptual analysis of radical Islamist rhetoric drawn from temporally and contextually varied Islamist extremist groups, challenging the popular understanding of Islamist extremism as a product of a 'clash-of-civilizations'. Arguing that the essence of Islamist extremism can only be accurately understood by drawing a distinction between the radical Islamist explanations and justifications of violence, the author posits that despite the radical Islamist contextualization of violence within Islamic religious tenets, there is nothing conceptually or distinctly Islamic about Islamist extremism. She engages in a critical analysis of the nature of reason in radical Islamist rhetoric, asserting that the radical Islamist explanations of violence are conceptually reasoned in terms of existential Hegelian struggles for recognition (as fundamentally struggles against oppression), and the radical Islamist justifications of violence are conceptually reasoned in terms of moral consequentialism. With a detailed analysis of Islamist extremist discourse spanning a wide range of contexts, this book has a broad relevance for scholars and students working in the field of Islamic studies, religious violence, philosophy and political theory.
How Globalization Spurs Terrorism by
Publication Date: 2008-08-30
This book explores modern Islamic terrorism in the context of globalization and cultural evolution. 21st century terrorism is different and new, first because it relies heavily on electronic communication systems and other aspects of modern technologies, and second, because it is in large part a product of fractured globalization, with its associated threats to the collective identity of Muslims. Part one of this work contrasts globalization as an ideal with globalization as it is actually taking place, with its enormous contradictions and threats. Moghaddam, a longtime and highly respected terrorism and conflict researcher, argues that globalization is resulting in serious threats to the basic psychological needs of some, particularly in connection with collective identity. Part two explores how globalization has brought sudden contact between different groups with no previous history of large-scale contact, resulting in a rapid decline in diversity. Terrorism is one of the dysfunctional defense mechanisms of people in such conditions, facing external threats. Part three describes long-term solutions, focusing particularly on the role of women and the nature of the family in traditional Islamic societies. Moghaddam shows us why globalization is resulting in what he calls catastrophic evolution, the rapid decline and disappearance of minority cultures and languages, and why that brings a clash of ideologies and the rise of extremism. There are also other dangerous trends, and those call for inspired solutions, springing from an understanding that traditional conflict-resolution, evolved in the shadow of the Cold War, is no longer effective and needs to change.
Public Violence in Islamic Societies by
This exploration of the role of violence in the history of Islamic societies considers the subject particularly in the context of its implementation as a political strategy to claim power over the public sphere.Violence, both among Muslims and between Muslims and non-Muslims, has been the object of research in the past, as in the case of jihad, martyrdom, rebellion or criminal law. This book goes beyond these concerns in addressing, in a comprehensive and cross-disciplinary fashion, how violence has functioned as a basic principle of Islamic social and political organization in a variety of historical and geographical contexts.Contributions trace the use of violence by governments in the history of Islam, shed light on legal views of violence, and discuss artistic and religious responses. Authors lay out a spectrum of attitudes rather than trying to define an Islamic doctrine of violence. Bringing together some of the most substantive and innovative scholarship on this important topic to date, this volume contributes to the growing interest, both scholarly and general, in the question of Muslim attitudes toward violence.
Terror in the Name of Faith by
Publication Date: 2011-09-01
As a manifestation of asymmetrical violence coming from the bottom up, terrorism in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is qualitatively different from terrorism in earlier times. Against a backdrop of globalization, the spread of new forms of mass communication, and the threat of uncontrolled proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the problem of extremism and terrorism acquires a totally new meaning, becoming an important factor not only in the foreign and domestic policy of most countries, but also in the everyday lives of billions of people all over the world. Without a clear understanding of the roots of terrorism, it is extremely difficult (if not completely impossible) to comprehend this phenomenon, which has become a major threat to world security in recent decades. And without such an understanding, we cannot effectively combat the threat. In this study, Emanuilov and Yashlavsky investigate the religious aspects of modern terrorism from its origins to the present day.
Terrorism and Violence in Islamic History and Theological Responses to the Arguments of Terrorists by
Publication Date: 2018-07-13
Starting in the mid-7th century CE, there have been various radical terrorist groups appearing in the Muslim majority communities that have interpreted the Qur'an and the Prophetic Traditions in very extreme ways in an attempt to justify their violence and mask their evil acts. As the title of the work, Terrorism and Violence in Islamic History from Beginning to Present and Theological Responses to the Arguments of Terrorist Groups suggests, it presents a brief history of violence and terrorism through the course of Islamic history and then provides a comprehensive theological response to the arguments of the extremist groups. In Chapter One, the author highlights the sanctity of human life and provides abundant evidence from the primary Islamic sources? the Qur'an and the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad, proving that it is strongly prohibited to kill human beings regardless of their ethnic, cultural or religious background. Condemning all evil acts of terrorists who violate God-given inalienable right to life, he asserts that it is not right to attribute terrorists to a certain religion or faith tradition, thus labeling their evil acts as "Islamic" or "Christian" terror. In Chapter Two, the author sheds light on the extreme sects appearing in Islamic history that have misinterpreted the primary Islamic sources to legitimize their violent extremism and terrorism. In Chapter Three, he provides the theological responses to refute the claims of these extremist terrorist groups, thus proving their sick, violent mentality on the basis of primary Islamic sources. In Chapter Four, he explains in great detail some of the key Islamic notions, such as struggling in the way of God and martyrdom, which have been exploited by the extremist terrorist groups. In the last chapter, the author discusses the necessity of mutual understanding and respect for the sacred as an alternative method to prevent radicalism and extremism. He argues that showing disrespect for the sacredness of Muslims causes radicalism in the Muslim world, and in turn this radicalism feeds Islamophobia in the West. He further puts forward that the international community should benefit from the ideas of the moderate Muslim scholars in order to combat terrorism effectively, using their compelling arguments to refute the violent arguments of the extremist groups.
Unholy War by
The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon left us stunned, angry, and uncomprehending. As it became clear that these horrifying acts had been committed in the name of religion, the media, the government, and ordinary citizens alike sought answers to questions about Islam and its adherents.In this level-headed and authoritative book, John L. Esposito, one of the world's most respected scholars of political Islam, provides answers. He clearly and carefully explains the teachings of Islam--the Quran, the example of the Prophet, Islamic law--about jihad or holy war, the use of violence, and terrorism. He chronicles the rise of extremist groups and examines their frightening worldview and tactics. Anti-Americanism (and anti-Europeanism), he shows, is a broad-based phenomenon that cuts across Arab and Muslim societies. It is not just driven by religious zealotry, but by frustration and anger at U.S. policy. It is vital to understand, however, that the vast majority of Muslims are appalled by the acts of violence committed in the name of their faith. It is essential that we distinguish between the religion of Islam and the actions of extremists like Osama bin Laden, who hijack Islamic discourse and belief to justify their acts of terrorism. This brief, clear-sighted book reflects twenty years of study, reflection, and experience on the part of a scholar who is equally respected in the West and in the Muslim world. It will prove to be the best single guide to the urgent questions that have recently forced themselves on the attention of the entire world.
Violence and Belief in Late Antiquity by
Publication Date: 2012-03-19
In Violence and Belief in Late Antiquity, Thomas Sizgorich seeks to understand why and how violent expressions of religious devotion became central to the self-understandings of both Christian and Muslim communities between the fourth and ninth centuries. Sizgorich argues that the cultivation of violent martyrdom as a path to holiness was in no way particular to Islam; rather, it emerged from a matrix put into place by the Christians of late antiquity. Paying close attention to the role of memory and narrative in the formation of individual and communal selves, Sizgorich identifies a common pool of late ancient narrative forms upon which both Christian and Muslim communities drew. In the process of recollecting the past, Sizgorich explains, Christian and Muslim communities alike elaborated iterations of Christianity or Islam that demanded of each believer a willingness to endure or inflict violence on God's behalf and thereby created militant local pieties that claimed to represent the one "real" Christianity or the only "pure" form of Islam. These militant communities used a shared system of signs, symbols, and stories, stories in which the faithful manifested their purity in conflict with the imperial powers of the world.