Jihad and Women

Event Date: 
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Event Time: 
12:00 p.m.
Location: 
012 Bendheim Hall

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination will host a lunch seminar discussion, "Jihad and Women," Professor Amin Saikal of the Australian National University, on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at 12:00 p.m. in 012 Bendheim Hall. The session is open to Princeton University faculty and students only. To attend, RSVP to Angella Matheney.

As controversial as the term has become, combative Jihad in Islam is conceptually defensive. It is waged in self-defence and only when Islam or an Islamic community is mortally threatened or invaded by an outside force. No doubt, the ways in which it is deployed and conducted by such an entity as ‘Islamic State’ (IS) or what its originators have called khilafat in Iraq and Syria fall outside the parameters of mainstream Islam. However, this has not prevented a noticeable cluster of young Muslims from around the world joining IS and fighting for its declared Jihad. Whilst patriarchal in nature, IS has attracted, in addition to thousands of males, a good number of Muslim women from abroad to fight for its khilafat and Jihad. The main objective of this seminar is to provide some clarification about combative Jihad in conceptual terms; to assess IS’s underlying appeal to a range of foreign, especially female, enthusiasts to serve IS for conviction or deceptive reasons; and to see what distinguishes IS from other extremist groups in various parts of the Muslim domain, and to harness some ideas about how to deal with violent Muslim extremism in the Greater Middle East. 

Amin Saikal AM, FASSA, is Professor of Political Science, Public Policy Fellow, and Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (Middle East and Central Asia) at the Australian National University. He was a Visiting Research Scholar at Lichtenstein Institute on Self-Determination during the 2014-2015 academic year. He has been a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in International Relations, and Visiting Fellow to Princeton University, Cambridge University and the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. He is an awardee of the Order of Australia (AM) "for service to the international community and education through the development of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, and as an author and adviser," and is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

His latest books include: Iran at the Crossroads (Polity Press, Fall 2015); Zone of Crisis: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq (I.B. Tauris, 2014); Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival (I.B. Tauris, 2012); The Rise and Fall of the Shah: Iran from Autocracy to Religious Rule (Princeton University Press, 2009); Islam and the West: Conflict or Cooperation? (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2003); American Democracy Promotion in the Changing Middle East: From Bush to Obama (Routledge, 2013, co-editor); Democracy and Reform in the Middle East and Asia: Social Protest and Authoritarian Rule after the Arab Spring (I.B. Tauris, 2014, co-editor). He has also published in major journal and dailies, including The New York Times, International Herald TribuneThe Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian; and is a frequent commentator on TV and radio networks on issues pertinent to his field of specialty.