The Essence of Islamist Extremism
Recognition through Violence, Freedom through Death
By Irm Haleem
Routledge – 2012 – 234 pages
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.
Introduction 1. Struggles for Recognition and Moral Consequentialism 2. Recognition through Violence 3. Self-Transcendent Recognition 4. Violence as Morality 5. Essence, Motivations and Flawed Policies. Conclusion: Nothing Islamic about Islamist Extremism. Appendices
Irm Haleem holds a PhD in Political Science from Boston University. She has taught at Fisher College, Northeastern University and Seton Hall University. She is a visiting Lecturer at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Her published works have focused on political violence and Islamist extremism in South Asia and Central Asia. Her current research focuses on a conceptual and philosophical analysis of violence, as well as the narratives of the justifications of violence.