Cover Story Overview

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Jihadist Ideology

Jihadists reject the world order of nation-states, believing it to be a continuation of Western imperialism through other means. This extends to their rejection of political notions such as national sovereignty and any regional or international institutions. Jihadists have instead opted for a paradigm exclusively defined by religious principles. Given their rejection of the legitimacy of national and international political norms and institutions, a religious paradigm allows the jihadists to find alternative sources of legitimacy that would make it lawful to transcend and indeed violate the laws of their home regimes and those of the international community. Such an ideology, as articulated by its adherents, has its strengths, but also harbors within itself the seeds of its own destruction.

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive updates from CTC.

Sign up