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Jihadi Culture
The Art and Social Practices of Militant Islamists


Thomas Hegghammer, Robyn Creswell, Bernard Haykel, Nelly Lahoud, Jonathan Pieslak, Afshon Ostovar, Anne Stenersen, Iain R. Edgar, Gwynned de Looijer, David B. Cook
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  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107614567

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About the Authors
  • Al-Qaida and Islamic State continue to captivate the world with their extreme violence. While much attention has been given to the operations and doctrines of jihadi groups, this is the first book to explore their culture. Using a wealth of primary sources, the authors examine what goes on inside these organizations and what daily life is like for the foot-soldiers. They show that Islamist militants have a rich aesthetic culture and do much more than fight and train. Life in a jihadi group is in fact filled with poetry and music, and fighters spend time on surprising things like dream interpretation and weeping. Readers will discover an entirely new perspective on radical Islamists: that despite their reputation as macho men, they value humility, artistic sensitivity, and displays of emotion. Cultural practices are essential for understanding the jihadi worldview and may shed important new light on decision-making and recruitment processes in extremist groups. This original book will interest anyone in academia, government, or the general public who is intrigued by the appeal and resilience of the jihadi movement.

    • Offers the first systematic look at the non-military activities of jihadi groups
    • Covers a range of cultural products including music and iconography
    • Provides a different lens through which to view the current spread of Islamist extremism, making a novel argument about the crucial role of emotions in terrorist recruitment
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107614567
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: why study jihadi culture? Thomas Hegghammer
    1. Poetry in jihadi culture Robyn Creswell and Bernard Haykel
    2. A cappella songs (anashid) in jihadi culture Nelly Lahoud
    3. A musicological perspective on jihadi anashid Jonathan Pieslak
    4. The visual culture of jihad Afshon Ostovar
    5. A history of jihadi cinematography Anne Stenersen
    6. The Islamic dream tradition and jihadi militancy Iain R. Edgar and Gwynned de Looijer
    7. Contemporary martyrdom ideology and material culture David B. Cook
    8. Non-military practices in jihadi groups Thomas Hegghammer

  • Editor

    Thomas Hegghammer, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment
    Thomas Hegghammer is Director of Terrorism Research at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oslo. Trained in Middle East Studies at the University of Oxford and at Sciences Po, Paris, he has held fellowships at Harvard, Princeton, New York and Stanford Universities, and at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the author of the prize-winning Jihad in Saudi Arabia (Cambridge, 2010) and many other books and articles on jihadism. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Middle East, including interviews with former militants, and he has testified on jihadism in the US Congress and the British Parliament.


    Thomas Hegghammer, Robyn Creswell, Bernard Haykel, Nelly Lahoud, Jonathan Pieslak, Afshon Ostovar, Anne Stenersen, Iain R. Edgar, Gwynned de Looijer, David B. Cook

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