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NCJ Number: 222241 Find in a Library
Title: Creating the Ideology of Al Qaeda: From Hypocrites to Salafi-Jihadists
Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Volume:31  Issue:2  Dated:February 2008  Pages:111-124
Author(s): Christina Hellmich
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper investigates the rationales of different explanatory models that have been utilized to explain the ideology of al Qaeda.
Abstract: The anxious quest for answers to explain the ideology of al Qaeda has not produced the results expected. This seems due, in part, to the reversed order in which this process has been approached. From perceptions of madmen and religious hypocrites to Wahhabis of the 21st century and Salafi-Jihadists, what these approaches have in common is an “outside-in” perspective that assumes a concept of the underlying logic of al Qaeda without sufficient reference to primary sources. Rather than placing the origins of al Qaeda into existing, or assumed discourses within Islam, the ideological construct that underlies al Qaeda first needs to be addressed in its own right. However, this is a time consuming process requiring a careful analysis of primary sources, which are not immediately available, and in their primary language, which are not readily understood. Without a thorough understanding of al Qaeda, there is the inability to fulfill the most basic requirements of an effective counterterrorist strategy. There is the need to synergize elements of Islamic studies, political science, anthropology, and communication studies with the same degree of interdisciplinary cross-collaboration exhibited by the terrorists. 60 notes
Main Term(s): Al Qaeda; Terrorist ideologies
Index Term(s): Islamic law; Religion; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Terrorism causes; Terrorism/Mass Violence; Terrorist profiles
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