Buy Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam Revised edition by Gilles Kepel (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery. “Gilles Kepel’s landmark book provides an in-depth history and compelling Perhaps the most definitive is Gilles Kepel’s Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. Jihad. The Trail of Political Islam. Gilles Kepel Fluent in Arabic, Gilles Kepel has traveled throughout the Muslim world gathering documents, interviews, and.

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He is also a master of narrative, a political bloodhound who can follow a trail back to its source, drawing dutiful attention to the vehement little detail that jslam his overarching thesis or sets one or another of his accounts at odds with it. He lives in France.

As we confront the threat of terrorism to our lives and liberties, Kepel helps us make sense of the ominous reality of jihad today. Girls were off limits, as far as one could tell, and there was islaj sense in those days — before the commercial success of rai music — of any respectable Western-style alternative, such as conspicuous drunkenness, vandalism or the soft-porn industry.

The path of violent confrontation which Algerian Islamists were about to take was not new, but so far it had been confined to the countryside. The usual deplorable Western practices came under scrutiny.

This is dark terrain, encrusted with violence, but Kepel deals with it coldly and carefully. International prestige was accompanied by a surge in oil revenues. You could not be signed in. Before long, the mosques had become the only real debating chambers in the country.

It was also to do with a sense of the traitor in the midst of the faithful: Kepel prefers to take the broad schematic view, whence his constant reference, country by country, to the young urban jiad and the disenchanted middle class, the wary partners who must dance at the same fire if government according to the will of God is to come about.

The way was open for well-funded, efficient organisations to step in. Our recent titles are tdail via Edelweiss. On their own, however, they could not mount a coherent political challenge to the FLN. The combination of scope and expertise puts this book in a league of its own.

Jeremy Harding reviews ‘Jihad’ by Gilles Kepel, translated by Anthony F. Roberts · LRB 25 July

By the s the tide was turning in favour of theocratic ideas. And to take as many enemies with them — spectral enemies included — as they poliyical. The Army was lustily engaged in pursuit of both groups and a three-cornered conflict ensued, with ordinary citizens in the middle. The Muslim Brothers in Egypt, too, were widely praised. Again, the Army did the business. The arrogance of Nasser and Khomeini was nothing compared to this new show of hostility.


This book by Kepel, a professor at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris and a leading European specialist on contemporary Islamic movements, is a welcome addition to the growing literature on this topic. Beginning in the early s, militants revolted against the regimes in power throughout the Muslim world and exacerbated political conflicts everywhere. He trails the Islamist movements that have traversed Europe in recent years, founding radical communities in France, Britain, Germany and Belgium.

What he means is that there might not have been a putsch had the FIS cultivated the secular middle class and reined in the hittistes. Yet one of the lessons of this book is that wealthy, conservative Islamism of the kind that puts its oil revenues about, along with its theology, can do as much as a Shah or an entrenched party of independence to inspire its radical counterpart.

Seven months later, under a replacement leadership, the FIS contested elections to the Algerian Parliament. After an initial triumph with the Islamic revolution in Iran, the movement waged jihad against the USSR in Afghanistan, proclaiming for the first time a doctrine of extreme violence.

Join Our Mailing List: Their faith had been nurtured, as it happened, by an influx of Muslim Brothers on the run from Nasser. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation.

A state of emergency came into effect, Benhadj and Madani were thrown in jail, the hittistes were cleared off the streets and the FIS logo was torn down in the municipalities of virtue. Meanwhile, inside the country, the presence of coalition troops had polarised public opinion. The FLN was ploughing a sandy furrow Algeria has sand in abundance: That would be poltical relief.

He feels that the reform agenda in Algeria never quite took off, and that the conditions which encouraged Islamism in the first place are still present. The FIS was about to be dismantled. Kepel is well-placed to tell its story given his extensive travels in the very places where militant Islam was born and nurtured. Ali Benhadj, the more charismatic of the two FIS leaders — a young firebrand who travelled by jiha from one enthralled congregation of hittistes to the next — called for the formation of Algerian volunteer brigades to fight alongside the Iraqis.


The second round was cancelled, the FIS was dissolved and, a few months later, its officials and thousands of its grass-roots supporters were sent to prison camps in the Sahara. The Saudis were relieved to see the back of Nasser. In order to turf out the Shah inthe Ayatollah Khomeini won the broad support of the urban poor, the clergy and the bourgeoisie — not just the faithful popitical classes, but unbelievers and even dialectical materialists.

It was widely praised for its efforts. Its successor-party, Fazilet, would win less than 15 per cent of the vote in the general elections.

The Great Unleashing

More By and About This Author. The late twentieth century has witnessed the emergence of an unexpected and extraordinary phenomenon: Most of the robust secular ideas that once circulated in the post-colonial Arab states were exhausted by the middle of the Cold War era.

What he means is that the bid to seize power by force and govern by the laws of God had failed everywhere except in Iran, and that it would not succeed anywhere in the foreseeable future: It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. By the end of the s, the failure to seize political power elsewhere led to a split: When Sadat released the Muslim Brothers from jail, they promptly set out their wares in the universities and began to take on the Left.

Jihad — Gilles Kepel | Harvard University Press

He is also the best-known commentator on Islamic affairs jihsd French television, and he has advised international leaders at the Davos conferences. Khomeini had avoided any such foolishness. Sign in via your Institution Sign in.

So devastating and unexpected was the September 11th attack on America that many people concluded that Islamic extremism had become a threat of monstrous and mushrooming proportions.