ISBN 9780745332628,Al Qaeda And Sacrifice Martyrdom, War And Politics

Al Qaeda And Sacrifice Martyrdom, War And Politics


Melissa Finn


Pluto Press



Pluto Press

Publication Year 2012

ISBN 9780745332628

ISBN-10 0745332625


Number of Pages 272 Pages
Language (English)

Reference Work

Excellent. An intelligent, nuanced and innovative analysis of a key phenomenon of our times. Melissa Finn takes the scholarly debate on transnational terrorism into the next phase by critically unpacking Al-Qaeda's thought, phraseology, and logic of political violence. -- Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and Geneva Centre for Security Policy, author of Understanding Al-Qaeda: Changing War and Global Politics This book fills a large void in the literature and shows the promise of offering practical solutions to one of humanity's major challenges at this time. It will find a wide audience including academics, policy makers, and broadly all those interested in a better understanding of terrorism. -- Wanda Krause, Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Gulf Studies Program, College of Arts & Sciences, Qatar University Brilliant, precise, nuanced and very timely. Finn brings together spiritual texts, continental theory and situated politics in a way that has not been done in this context. This book will appeal to a broad audience in political theory, international relations, religious studies, terrorism studies and the study of violence. -- Shannon Bell, Department of Political Science, York University (Toronto) Groundbreaking... sheds new light on al-Qaeda's thought and actions. Finn challenges terrorism literature by examining suicide attacks through the lens of sacrifice. Her sustained analysis of Arabic words dealing with sacrifice, and their use in Islamist and jihadist thought, is the first such review in the English language. A must-read for scholars and practitioners of counterterrorism. -- Rohan Gunaratna, Professor of Security Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, author of Inside al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror (Columbia University Press) Finn's uniquely eclectic book problematizes the prevailing wisdom about Al-Qaeda's violence and challenges us to see suicide attacks from their point of view. Delving deeply into Islamic conceptions of sacrifice, she sheds light on how the martyrdom frame can be employed to give meaning to self-immolation. Finn is careful to give voice to the jihadi other without slipping into apologia or essentialism. In doing so, she exhibits a rare mastery of the subject. -- Dr. Mohammed M. Hafez, Associate Professor, Center on Contemporary Conflict, Naval Postgraduate School, author of Suicide Bombers in Iraq (2007), Manufacturing Human Bombs (2006) and Why Muslims Rebel (2003). Finn provides us with a fascinating and alternative insight into the universe of al-Qaeda and its importance in understanding twenty-first-century global politics. -- Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy Queens University of Belfast A fresh perspective on the motivations behind al-Qaeda's suicide operations. -- Christina Hellmich, University of Reading, author of Al-Qaeda: From Global Network to Local Franchise It is rare for terrorism research to engage directly with the voice of the terrorist. Finn joins the small but notable list of scholars willing to take terrorist subjectivity seriously. In a courageous, eloquent but always robust analysis of the notion of sacrifice in jihadist thought, she lays bare the inner world of al-Qaeda. An essential book for anyone serious about understanding al Qaeda on its own terms. -- Richard Jackson, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, and co-author of Terrorism: A Critical Introduction Anyone with an interest in al-Qaeda and the 'War on Terror' should read this carefully argued and well-researched book. Finn draws on a wide range of sources to show how al-Qaeda fosters a 'sacrificial subjectivity' for its jihadists. Building a sophisticated comparative analysis of jihadi and Western notions of militant sacrifice, the book offers important insights into the mindsets and practices of bombers. -- Alex Houen, University of Cambridge, author of Terrorism and Modern Literature: From Joseph Conrad to Cieran Carson