Murderous Addicts: Perceptions Of The Nizari Isma'ilis

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Adam Paul Warren (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
David Johnson

Abstract: Islam, the Western World, and their interaction have never been a more relevant topic than in recent years. The West has a need to create and utilize an "other" to understand itself. Since the Crusades, the West has utilized Islam and the East as that "other." Numerous groups in Islam have been used to create an "other" for the West. One of the most notable sects to be used for this purpose is the Nizari Isma'ilis, colloquially known as the Assassins. The Assassins were an eleventh through thirteenth century Islamic sect that was frequently mythologized in Western and Islamic literature. Although a significant and important society in the medieval Middle Eastern world, the Assassins were largely relegated to the realm of fantasy and myth through the stories that were told of the sect. Legendary stories of the sect began to appear in the West through the documents of Crusading individuals. These stories were collected and further fantasized and eventually the Assassins began to obtain a place of myth and legend in the Western mind. Western writers from the medieval period to the present day have presented the sect in a very negative and fantastical manner.

Additional Information

Warren, A. (2009). Murderous Addicts: Perceptions Of The Nizari Isma'ilis. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2009
Nizari Isma'ilis, the Assassins, Islam, Orientalism, Middle East, History

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