Neojihadism

Neojihadism

Towards a New Understanding of Terrorism and Extremism?

Pete Lentini

Many years after 9/11 we are still struggling to categorize groups like Al Qaeda, home-grown cells and others that claim to be perpetrating and justifying terrorist acts under the banner of jihad. This book introduces the concept of ‘neojihadism’ as a new form of political organization, grand narrative, global subculture, counterculture and theological understanding, with an approach to political violence that is unique to the post-Cold War period. What these groups espouse and enact differs radically from fascism, totalitarianism, cults, jihad – and even jihadism.

Chapter 2: On The Movement

Pete Lentini

Subjects: asian studies, asian politics and policy, politics and public policy, asian politics, international politics, terrorism and security

Extract

This chapter is concerned with a main research question: how did The Movement emerge? It addresses the following questions: how do The Movement’s adherents maintain and facilitate it to transcend borders? How may understanding The Movement’s various cultural and sub- cultural properties enhance our knowledge of it, the threat that it poses beyond the human and material damage it can cause, and the threat it poses to security? To what extent do The Movement’s qualities and the manner in which it emerged and reproduces itself help us to establish degrees of comparison and contrast with other forms of extremism such as fascism and even jihadism? The Movement came to attention due to terrorist attacks. Hence, it is necessary that this chapter engage with Sunni-oriented terrorism. In particular, it examines the frequency that groups that comprise The Movement – and groups advocating causes it supports – used terrorism, and moreover, during which periods they used terrorism. As the previous chapter established, and the present chapter maintains, I do not consider all Sunni groups to be part of The Movement. Rather, those groups belonging to The Movement are largely from those organizations that James Piazza has identified as universalist/abstract groups (Piazza 2009). However, The Movement utilizes a grand narrative that supports many of the causes that those groups Piazza has labelled as strategic groups advocate (though not necessarily the groups themselves).

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