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Representing Jihad

Representing Jihad

Jacqueline O'Rourke


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The jihad has been at the centre of the West's securitization discourse for more than a decade. Theorists constantly use the jihadist as a discursive tool to further their neoliberal, military and market agendas, perpetuating massive gaps of understanding between 'the West', Muslims and jihadists themselves. They are helped by Muslim interlocutors, who all too often play the role of 'good' Muslims explaining the motifs of the 'bad' Muslims. This timely book argues that Muslim theory and fiction has been significantly commodified to cater to the needs of western ideology. It skillfully critiques the ideological contradictions of the debate around the jihadist by offering a comprehensive analysis of Muslim and non-Muslim cultural critics. Ranging from Edward Said to Slavoj Zizek, from Don DeLillo to Orhan Pamuk and from Mohammed Siddique Khan to Osama bin Laden, this vastly heterogeneous discourse produces a multi-dimensional Muslim response. O'Rourke examines some of its critical fault lines in postcolonial theory and literary analysis. This groundbreaking book argues that the temptation to appropriate the figure of the jihadist offers a fertile area from which to launch a discussion about the limits of current theory.
Jacqueline O’Rourke is an independent research and communications consultant. Since completing her PhD, MA and MEd degrees she has taught at several universities in Canada and in the Middle East, where she has also worked as an adviser. She has published essays and articles of cultural and political analysis and contributed to academic projects, as well as publishing a collection of poetry. She currently lives in Canada.
'A ground-breaking text.' Ziauddin Sardar, author of Reading the Qur'an 'Jacqueline O'Rourke is showing how the debates around "Islamic radicalization" are revealing both Western and Islamic problematic approaches. She is developing a very thoughtful and interesting double critical analysis. A great, useful and timely book based on very serious and in-depth research.' Tariq Ramadan, author of The Arab Awakening: Islam and the New Middle East

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
About the Author ii
Acknowledgements viii
Glossary ix
Introduction | Homo islamicus: beyond 'good' and 'bad' 1
1 | The vanishing jihadist:bin Laden and the Arab revolutions 21
2 | Constructing the ‘bad’ Muslim: jihad, Orientalism and the militarization of Muslim lands 48
3 | Contextualizing ‘bad’ Muslims: jihad, globalization and anti-Orientalism 78
4 | Ree(a)l jihadists: the media-tion of intentions 107
5 | Recovering invisible traces: jihad and postcolonialism 141
6 | Humanism and Islam: jihad and postsecularism 184
Conclusion | Universalization of universes of resistance 216
Notes 223
References 229
Index 245