Jihadis are often perceived as little more than single-minded fighters and religious fanatics. Here is a book that challenges this view by supplying a remarkable inventory of jihadi cultural practices, ranging from poetry, song, and film all the way down to the interpretation of dreams. By turning our attention to the non-military realm and by stressing the cultural and aesthetic dimension of jihadi ideology and practice, this fascinating book raises new questions and opens up new avenues of research.
Stathis Kalyvas, Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science, Yale University
Notwithstanding much valuable work on clandestine political organizations, our understanding of them is limited by a tendency to reifying their violent characteristics, forgetting about the other activities these groups perform. This fascinating volume contributes to filling a gap in our knowledge by a systematic analysis of the cultural dimension of the Jihadi movements. A must read contributions for those who wants to understand violence.
Donatella della Porta, Professor and Dean of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Director of Centre of Social Movements Studies, Scuola normale superiore
There has been lots of recent scholarship on the arts of protest, partly because it humanizes the protestors when we see them doing things like writing poetry and playing music. No one has been more demonized in the US and Europe than jihadists, so they have not received this kind of treatment. Until now. A provocative and important book for all of us.
James M. Jasper, author of The Art of Moral Protest, City University of New York
A learned tour de force by top scholars in the field, this book reminds us that warrior culture is not the superfluous byproduct of violence but rather the matrix that sustains and nourishes it. For experts and lay readers alike, Jihadi Culture will be a revelation.
Will McCants, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
“Sentimentalisten”, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 17 March 2017
“The Ties That Bind Jihadists,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 30, 2015
“What jihadist fighters do in their spare time”, Business Insider, 22 October 2015
“Studying Jihadi Culture”, Middle East Week Podcast, May 5, 2015