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The Great Unleashing

Jeremy Harding: The End of Jihad, 25 July 2002

Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam 
by Gilles Kepel, translated by Anthony F. Roberts.
Tauris, 454 pp., £25, June 2002, 1 86064 685 9
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... froze the bank accounts). In his extraordinary survey of militant Islam during the 20th century, Gilles Kepel contrasts the high profile of the FIS at Tipasa and the Muslim Brothers in Cairo with the marked absence of Islamist organisations from the relief effort during the terrible earthquakes in Turkey in 1999. It’s shorthand evidence in support of ...

‘You got up and you died’

Madeleine Schwartz: After the Bataclan, 9 June 2022

... between the two is shared by many academics and politicians. The political scientist and Arabist Gilles Kepel insists that the root of Islamist terrorism lies within Islam. He has been invited, along with several of his students, to appear on behalf of the plaintiffs. His position contrasts with that of the political scientist Olivier Roy, who describes ...

Homesick Everywhere

Lawrence Rosen: Misreading Muslim Extremism, 4 August 2005

Globalised Islam: The Search for a New Ummah 
by Olivier Roy.
Hurst, 349 pp., £16.95, November 2004, 1 85065 598 7
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The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West 
by Gilles Kepel, translated by Pascale Ghazaleh.
Harvard, 327 pp., £15.95, September 2004, 0 674 01575 4
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... of seemingly familiar acts. If Roy’s thesis does not necessarily lead where he intends, Gilles Kepel’s The War for Muslim Minds tells a story of Arab-Western relations in recent years through a chronology and set of vignettes so familiar that it’s easy to grasp his drift. Unlike Roy, Kepel does not ...

Was Weber wrong?

Malise Ruthven, 18 August 1994

The Revenge of God: The Resurgence of Islam, Christianity and Judaism in the Modern World 
by Gilles Kepel.
Polity, 200 pp., £39.50, December 1993, 0 7456 0999 6
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Pious Passion: The Emergence of Modern Fundamentalism in the United States and Iran 
by Martin Riesebrodt.
California, 272 pp., £30, September 1993, 0 520 07463 7
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... ice-belt’ – appear to be conforming to Weberian predictions. And even in Western Europe, as Gilles Kepel’s study of neo-Catholic movements indicates, there are symptoms of spiritual thaw. Is the whole world undergoing religious revival? Can such varied phenomena as the siege of the Branch Davidians in Texas and the Hindu attack on the mosque at ...

Candidate Macron

Jeremy Harding: The French Elections, 16 March 2017

... when ‘special powers’ were approved in 1956.Yet the situation is not entirely asymmetrical, as Gilles Kepel explained in Terreur dans l’Hexagone (2015), his book about the rise of extreme Islamism in France: ‘Islamist’ violence, too, can take memorial cues from the Algerian war. This was the case, ...

Whose Egypt?

Adam Shatz, 5 January 2012

... against the backdrop of the wider region, is in order. A year before the 11 September attacks, Gilles Kepel, in his widely cited book Jihad, argued that the resort by jihadi groups to spectacular acts of violence against the ‘far enemy’ in the West showed the desperation, not the strength, of Islamist movements that were no longer able to confront ...

I am French

Jeremy Harding, 21 January 2016

Who is Charlie? Xenophobia and the New Middle Class 
by Emmanuel Todd, translated by Andrew Brown.
Polity, 211 pp., £16.99, September 2015, 978 1 5095 0577 7
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... analysts of Islam and the Middle East, including Olivier Roy and – to a lesser extent – Gilles Kepel. The strength of this position is that it doesn’t exonerate government: by confining a globalised debate about the post-colonial Arab world within the boundaries of the Hexagon, it insists that the solution lies within France – in ...

Charlie’s War

Jeremy Harding, 4 February 2021

... which turned out to be a mosque; it was still Ramadan and there were dozens of worshippers inside. Gilles Kepel reports in Terreur dans l’Hexagone (2015) that the incident was widely understood by Muslim French communities as sacrilege. Spectacular rioting broke out in banlieues across France.Then, early in 2006, France Soir and Charlie Hebdo reprinted ...

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