Jihad is the most organized force against Western capitalism since the Soviet era. Yet jihadism is multifaceted and complex, much broader than Al Qaeda 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.
"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.”
“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.”
—Gilbert Achcar, Professor, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London; coauthor with Noam Chomsky of Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy
Introduction 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 Index