Islamism and terror: A great jihad against the common sense

  • Alexander Koensler Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom


What implies the conversion to fundamentalist Islam? What are the repercussions and implications of ‘political Islam’ in specific contexts? The relation between Islam, democracy and violence is often represented in a reductive or simplistic way. In order to contribute to a reasoned debate on these pressing questions, this essay covers some key dynamics stemming from long-term ethnographic observation regarding the conversion to neo Salafism among Arab Bedouin citizens in southern Israel, placing them in the context of contemporary developments of Islamic political thought. The ethnographic sensitivity, combined with the voices of some eminent Islamic intellectuals, allows to go beyond both the rhetoric of cultural complexity and the common-sense view that Islamic terrorism would be a kind of ‘anti imperialism of the losers’, arguments employed often to contest emerging neo-orientalist discourses. In this sense, the essay states the need to shed light on coordinates and interpretative categories that are not placed in an essentially different but in often unexpected ways.

How to Cite
Koensler, A. (2016) “Islamism and terror: A great jihad against the common sense”, Anuac, 4(2), pp. 51-66. doi: 10.7340/anuac2239-625X-1984.