Al-Qaeda and Sacrifice: Martyrdom, War and Politics
By: Melissa Finn (author)Paperback
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Al-Qaeda and Sacrifice is a pioneering critical intervention into the study of terrorism. Challenging the commonly held idea that 'suicide-bombings' are motivated by a nihilistic hatred of life, Melissa Finn argues that it is more honest and helpful to examine such violent agency through the concept of 'sacrifice'. The book provides a unique look at the way 'sacrifice' is used in the Arabic language and in the writings of Islamists and jihadis. Finn offers penetrating insights into jihadi thought on its own terms, arguing that it constitutes a political theory which can be usefully compared and related to western political theorists, from Machiavelli and von Clausewitz to Hannah Arendt, Julia Kristeva and Judith Butler. She critically examines the strategy of 'sacrifice' in martyrdom operations and ultimately concludes that the heedless certainty of such violence undermines attempts to redress political grievances. Al-Qaeda and Sacrifice is a unique contribution which goes beyond simplistic or apologetic explanations of terrorism and allows the authentic jihadi voice to speak for itself.
Melissa Finn is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science and the Department of Global Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. She is the co-editor of a special edition of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, entitled 'Veiled Constellations: The Veil, Critical Theory, Politics, and Contemporary Society' (Spring 2012).
Introduction 1 From the Vantage Point of Sacrificial Violence: Al-Qaeda's Worldview in Context 2 The Meanings of Sacrifice in Islam 3 Etymological Reflections on Sacrifice 4 Comparative Political Thought on War, Sacrifices, and Politics 5 The Limits of Sacrificial Subjectivity for Politics 6 Conclusion: Sacrificial Subjectivity for Acephalic Politics Notes Index
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- ID: 9780745332628
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