Cole Bunzel


Cole Bunzel is a PhD candidate in Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, where his research focuses on the history and theology of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and the jihadi Salafi movement in modern Islam; he has written widely on jihadi ideology. Bunzel is a fellow with the Program on Extremism at George Washington University and an associate fellow at the International Centre for Radicalization and Political Violence at King’s College London.

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Jihadism On Its Own Terms

by Cole Bunzelvia Hoover Institution
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In this essay Cole Bunzel argues that jihadism, the modern movement in Sunni Islam identified with al-Qaida and the Islamic State, is best understood on its own terms, rather than in terms of terrorism, violent extremism, or the larger Islamist movement. Examining the jihadis’ own writings and ideas and emphasizing their self-perception as a distinct movement—“the jihadis,” “the jihadi current”—he explains the nature and contours of their movement as it has developed during the past decades to the present day. As jihadism grows increasingly popular, it has also become increasingly divided.