Olivier Roy’s book on global appeal of ISIS published in Persian

May 9, 2022 - 19:1

TEHRAN – “Jihad and Death: The Global Appeal of Islamic State” by French sociologist Olivier Roy, the author of several highly acclaimed books on religion and politics, has been published in Persian.

Bezangah is the publisher of the Persian edition rendered by Saman Ebrahimzadeh.
How has ISIS been able to muster support far beyond its initial constituency in the Arab world and attract tens of thousands of foreign volunteers, including converts to Islam, and seemingly countless supporters online? In this compelling intervention into the debate about ISIS’ origins and future prospects, the renowned French sociologist, Olivier Roy, argues that while terrorism and Jihadism are familiar phenomena, the deliberate pursuit of death has produced a new kind of radical violence. In other words, we’re facing not a radicalization of Islam, but the Islamization of radicalism.

“Jihad and Death” is a concise dissection of the highly sophisticated narrative mobilized by ISIS: the myth of the Caliphate recast into a modern story of heroism and nihilism. 

According to Roy, this very contemporary aesthetic of violence is less rooted in the history of Islamic thought than it is entrenched in a youth culture that has turned global and violent.

Roy is a professor at the European University Institute in Florence. “Jihad and Death” and five of his other books on religion and politics have been published by Hurst in London.

In 2017, when “Jihad and Death” was published, Roy's assertion that jihadi terrorism is only loosely connected to Islamic fundamentalism was criticized by French scholar Gilles Kepel, who said that Roy neither speaks Arabic nor has looked into the Salafi doctrine behind the Jihadism.

Roy has said, “I have been accused of disregarding the link between terrorist violence and the religious radicalization of Islam through Salafism, the ultra-conservative interpretation of the faith. I am fully aware of all of these dimensions; I am simply saying that they are inadequate to account for the phenomena we study, because no causal link can be found on the basis of the empirical data we have available.”

Photo: Front cover of the Persian edition of Olivier Roy’s book “Jihad and Death”.


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