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Journal Article

Jihadism, Narrow and Wide: The Dangers of Loose Use of an Important Term

23 Apr 2015-Perspectives on terrorism-Vol. 9, Iss: 2

AbstractThe term “jihadism” is popular, but difficult. It has narrow senses, which are generally valuable, and wide senses, which may be misleading. This article looks at the derivation and use of “jihadism” and of related terms, at definitions provided by a number of leading scholars, and at media usage. It distinguishes two main groups of scholarly definitions, some careful and narrow, and some appearing to match loose media usage. However, it shows that even these scholarly definitions actually make important distinctions between jihadism and associated ideology. The article closes with a warning against the risks of loose and wide understandings of such important, but difficult, terms.

Topics: Jihadism (53%)

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Citations
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Dissertation
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Book
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Abstract: Abdallah Azzam, the Palestinian cleric who led the mobilization of Arab fighters to Afghanistan in the 1980s, played a crucial role in the internationalization of the jihadi movement. Killed in mysterious circumstances in 1989 in Peshawar, Pakistan, he remains one of the most influential jihadi ideologues of all time. Here, in the first in-depth biography of Azzam, Thomas Hegghammer explains how Azzam came to play this role and why jihadism went global at this particular time. It traces Azzam's extraordinary life journey from a West Bank village to the battlefields of Afghanistan, telling the story of a man who knew all the leading Islamists of his time and frequented presidents, CIA agents, and Cat Stevens the pop star. It is, however, also a story of displacement, exclusion, and repression that suggests that jihadism went global for fundamentally local reasons.

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Abstract: The rhetorical use of labels in the war on terror has become an important tactic post 9/11. One such example is the deployment of the categories of “moderate” and “extremist” within counterterrorism discourse, with Muslims distinguished as either friend or foe based on this dichotomy. The moderate Muslim label is a relational term, only making sense when it is contrasted with what is seen as non-moderate (i.e., extremism). Such binary constructs carry a range of implicit assumptions about what is regarded as an acceptable form of Islam and the risks posed by the Islamic religion and Muslim communities. In this article, we explore the implications of this labelling for Muslim communities. In particular, we explore the interpretations Muslims themselves accord to the dichotomy of moderate and extremist and consider whether the use of such binary terms is at all helpful as a way of rallying Muslims to the cause of tackling terrorism and radicalisation. We draw on focus group data collected from Musli...

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Cites background from "Jihadism, Narrow and Wide: The Dang..."

  • ...These scholars argue that debates about Muslim moderation often ignore the wide variety of positions within Islam towards key religious texts and principles (Ashour 2009; Esposito 2005; Esposito and Mogahed 2007; Olsson 2014; Sedgwick 2015)....

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  • ...pinning jihadism and violent extremism (Kepel 2002; Sedgwick 2015; Wiktorowicz 2006)....

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  • ...positions within Islam towards key religious texts and principles (Ashour 2009; Esposito 2005; Esposito and Mogahed 2007; Olsson 2014; Sedgwick 2015)....

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  • ...Salafism is an ultraconservative form of Sunni Islam and has been identified as providing the underlying ideology underpinning jihadism and violent extremism (Kepel 2002; Sedgwick 2015; Wiktorowicz 2006)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Jihadist organizations such as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have focused increasingly on motivating unaffiliated individuals in the United States and Western countries to carry out lone-wolf attacks in their home countries. To this end, many Jihadist organizations produce what is known as tactical technical communication. Jihadist tactical technical communication persuades individuals to act by creating identification between individuals and audiences, and by associating terrorist tactics with everyday practices such as cooking.

23 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In democratic pluralistic and secular societies, freedom of religion is a fundamental right to be enjoyed by all individuals and religious organisations. A unique feature of this human right is the extent to which it is premised on a personal belief. The latter can be "bizarre, illogical or irrational", but nevertheless deserving of protection in the interests of freedom of religion. However, when the expression of a religious belief or practice transgresses the civil or criminal law it must be dealt with in the relevant legislative framework to hold the transgressor liable. Measures taken by the state to regulate religious bodies in terms of a general supervisory council or umbrella body are an unreasonable and unjustifiable interference with freedom of religion, and hence unconstitutional. I am of the view that the right to freedom of religion depends for its constitutional validity – and viability – on there being no interference (or regulation) by the state except in instances as provided for in terms of relevant legislation.

7 citations


References
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In retrospect, the United States sponsored coup d'etat in Iran of August 19, 1953, has emerged as a critical event in postwar world history The government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq which was ousted in the coup was the last popular, democratically oriented government to hold office in Iran The regime replacing it was a dictatorship that suppressed all forms of popular political activity, producing tensions that contributed greatly to the 1978–1979 Iranian revolution If Mosaddeq had not been overthrown, the revolution might not have occurred The 1953 coup also marked the first peacetime use of covert action by the United States to overthrow a foreign government As such, it was an important precedent for events like the 1954 coup in Guatemala and the 1973 overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile, and made the United States a key target of the Iranian revolution

153 citations


Book
01 Jan 1818

109 citations


"Jihadism, Narrow and Wide: The Dang..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Some focused on local rulers and other enemies, like the Wahhabis, who focused first on rivals such as the Banu Khalid and then on the Ottomans, whom they considered not truly Muslim....

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  • ...This definition reflected the generally accepted scholarly understanding of the group of movements across the peripheries of the Muslim world that, from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century, used the discourse of jihad as well as armed force against enemies external or internal....

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  • ...Some of these movements focused on external non-Muslim enemies, like the Sanusis, who fought the Italian colonizers....

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  • ...Religious Socialization among Young Muslims in Scandinavia and Western Europe’ (London & New York: Routledge, 2015)....

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  • ...These disputes 35ISSN 2334-3745 April 2015 reflect prescriptive rather than analytic disagreements, disagreements about what Muslims should or should not do rather than disagreements about how analysts and policy makers should understand what is going on....

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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: would encompass the world. In the same period Ottoman sultans, entering upon a century of major expansion, created an Islamic seaborne empire. Corresponding in time but different in character, these two imperial maritime ventures came together along the northern coastline of the Indian Ocean to create a new frontier that firmly separated two different societies. Until recently the study of joint Ottoman and Iberian naval expansion during the years when Christian Europe rose to the position of a world power on the oceans has not attracted attention. European historians, preoccupied with the identification of their own history, first unraveled the dramatic story of the oceanic voyages, the discoveries, and the European commercial and colonial empires, only stopping to consider how Muslim actions influenced the course of European history: Did the Ottoman Turks cause the oceanic explorations? Did the Portuguese discovery of the new route to India divert Asian trade from Mediterranean to Atlantic ports?1 Once these questions were answered, the study of Islamic history became the work of small, specialized disciplines, such as Oriental studies, which occupied a position on the periphery of the Western historical profession. Finally the successful imperial expansion of Western states in Islamic territories during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries confirmed for most Europeans the idea that the history of Islam, let alone the deeds of Ottoman sultans, had little influence on the expansion of the West. In the long run, however, the forces that stimulated Western imperialism led to a greater interest in Islamic history. The voyages of discovery, as revolutionary leaps in the technology of communication, reduced the distance between the world's societies and, therefore, brought Muslims and Christians together as - An assistant pr-ofessor of history at Temple University, Mr. Hess, who specializes in Ottoman history, received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1966, having studied with Stanford Shaw. An earlier ar

82 citations


Book
03 Sep 2008
TL;DR: Part 1: Theory 1. Introduction 2. Doctrine and Schools 3. Ideologues 4. Strategists 5. Propogandists 6. Al-Qa`ida in Saudi Arabia 7. Global Jihadism in the UK 8. Conclusion
Abstract: Global Jihadism exposes the core doctrine and strategy of today’s global Jihadist movement. The first half of the book explores the ideas upon which groups such as Al Qaeda are built, including the concepts of Jihad, al-Wala wal-Bara, Takfir and Tawhid. Jarret Brachman exposes a genre of Jihadist strategic scholarship that has been virtually ignored in the West and helps to situate it within the broader Salafist religious movement. The second half explores the thinking and activities of Al Qaeda’s propaganda machine, explaining its intricacies and idiosyncrasies. It includes case studies on the rise and fall of global Jihadist terrorism in Saudi Arabia post-9/11, and highlights the explosive results of bringing theory to bear on practice in the United Kingdom over the past twenty years. The book concludes by providing innovative strategies for combating the global Jihadist ideology.

73 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: How has the invasion of Iraq influenced global jihadist ideology? Based on primary sources in Arabic, this article highlights important ideological changes; Iraq is considered a crossroads in the global jihad against the "Crusaders" New strategic dilemmas have caused divisions among militants, and Iraq's attractiveness has undermined other battlefronts A new "strategic studies" genre has emerged in jihadist literature Countries in Europe and the Gulf are increasingly highlighted as enemies and potential targets There seems to be a broad consensus among terrorism experts that the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 has contributed negatively to the so-called "global war on terror" According to many analysts, the war and the subsequent occupation have increased the level of frustration in the Islamic world over American foreign policy and facilitated recruitment by militant Islamist groups1 Moreover, Iraq seems to have replaced Afghanistan as a training ground where a new generation of Islamist militants can acquire military expertise and build personal relationships through the experience of combat and training camps2 Most analyses, however, seem to stop at the ascertainment of a vague, almost quantitative increase in the level of anti-Americanism or radicalism in Muslim communities since the Iraq War in 2003 This article will try to delve deeper into the matter and explore the qualitative changes in radical Islamist ideology since 2003 The next few pages are therefore devoted to the following research question: How has the invasion and occupation of Iraq influenced the ideological development of the so-called global jihadist movement? This question demands a closer examination of the writings and sayings of leading radical ideologues on the issue of Iraq since the autumn of 2002, when the prospect of war caught the world's attention Basing my analysis on key ideological texts, I will try to answer the following four subquestions: How important is Iraq to the socalled global jihadists? How united are the global jihadists in their view on the struggle for Iraq? How have the war and the occupation influenced their analysis of the overall confrontation with the US and the West? And how has their view of the enemy changed after the multinational invasion of Iraq? It must be emphasized that our focus will be on the militant and internationally-orientated Islamists, which means that moderate Islamist actors and nationalist Iraqi groups will not be considered here The research literature contains relatively few in-depth studies of post-September 11, 2001 ideological developments in radical Islamism3 This study is therefore almost entirely based on primary sources, mainly Arabic texts from radical Islamist Internet sites These sources are often problematic and cannot provide the full answer to our research question, but they represent one of our only windows into the world of militant Islamism The key argument in this article is that the Iraq War gave the global jihadists a welcome focal point in their struggle against the USA, but that Iraq at the same time became so attractive as a battle front that it weakened terrorist campaigns elsewhere Moreover, it is argued that the Iraq conflict contributed to the development of more sophisticated strategic thought in jihadist circles, and to an increase in hostility toward Europe and the Gulf countries The main objective of this analysis is to draw a more accurate picture of the global jihadist movement and to illustrate how armed conflict can generate unexpected ideological changes within radical political movements AL-QA 'IDA AND GLOBAL JIHADISM SINCE 9/11 First of all, it is essential to define the notion of "global jihadism" and clarify its relation to other Islamist movements "Islamism" - in itself a debated and polysemic term - is understood by this author as meaning "Islamic activism" It includes non-violent and violent, progressive as well as reactionary, political movements …

73 citations


"Jihadism, Narrow and Wide: The Dang..." refers background in this paper

  • ...The next scholarly definition was coined in 2006, when Thomas Hegghammer distinguished between three varieties of Islamist violence: that of local revolutionaries seeking the overthrow of their own governments, especially during the 1960s and 1970s; that of regional separatists in areas such as Palestine and Chechnya, especially in the 1980s and 1990s; and, since 1996, that of Osama bin Laden and his followers, who privileged the global struggle against America over both local revolutionary and regional separatist struggles [16]....

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  • ...[16] Thomas Hegghammer, “Global Jihadism after the Iraq War” Middle East Journal, Vol....

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