Journal Article - Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions
In Search of Philosopher-Jihadis: Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi's Jihadi Philosophy
This article examines Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi's imprint on the intellectual capital of jihadism. It explores al-Maqdisi's religious teachings, his emphasis on the 'Religion/Community of Abraham' as a model for believers and focuses on the meanings he ascribes to tawhid and the blurry unresolved boundaries between tawhid and takfir. In light of claims that al-Maqdisi has reneged on the jihadi principles he once espoused, this article examines earlier and more recent writings by al-Maqdisi and argues that such claims are not well-founded. It contends that underlying al-Maqdisi's teachings is a vision of establishing an idealistic community of learned believers, who are as proficient in Islamic law as they are adept on the battlefield. Accordingly, al-Maqdisi, like other idealist thinkers, has been entrapped by his idealism especially as jihadis seek to translate his vision into reality.
In the Spotlight
Discussion Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School