Al-Qaeda's "Cultural Jihad:" Violent Censorship by Al-Qaeda and Associated Movements, 2001-2011

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David M. Durant (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:

Abstract: Since 2001 there have been at least 11 AQAM (Al-Qaeda and Associated Movements) terror attacks or plots directed at European targets in relation for acts of creative expression such as the Danish Muhammad cartoons or Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilk's insulting drawing of Muhammad. In addition, numerous creative intellectuals and Muslim reformers have received death threats from AQAM. Salafist -jihadists see their struggle with the United States and its allies as an all-encompassing one in which western ideas and culture pose every bit the threat that western armies and security services do. As such, silencing those "apostate" Muslims who embrace aspects of western modernity and all those who "defame the religion" and its Prophet, is as important as winning military and political victories. This "cultural jihad" is seen by Al-Qaeda and its supporters as an essential duty deeply rooted in both Islamist ideology and certain interpretations of Islamic law. It shows that AQAM is indeed motivated by what it sees as a religious-ideological imperative that transcends short-term political objectives.

Additional Information

The Moral Psychology of Terrorism: Implications for Security; edited by Jalil Roshandel and Nathan Lean p. 213-234
Language: English
Date: 2013
Terrorism, Al Qaeda, Cultural jihad, Censorship

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