Understanding Salafi-Jihadism: The History of an Idea

Talk Monday 4 July 2016, 7:00 PM

Although the ideology is little understood, salafi-jihadism has played a profound role in shaping global politics in recent years. With the unprecedented territorial gains and political rise of groups such as Al-Qaeda and Daesh, islamist extremism has become the most significant socio-religious force of our time.

On the release of his new book Salafi-Jihadism: The History of an Idea, we will be joined by senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) Dr Shiraz Maher – in conversation with journalist Clarissa Ward – to discuss the origins and development of salafi-jihadism. We will be tracing the evolution of the key ideas behind one of today’s most destructive forces – as well as its transmutation and growing prominence in recent years. We will explore what salafi-jihadism seeks to achieve, and the extent to which its rapid escalation is a product of recent wars.

This event will be moderated by Clarissa Ward, a multi award-winning senior international correspondent based at CNN London.

Dr. Shiraz Maher is a member of the War Studies department at King’s College London and a senior research fellow in its International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR). He currently leads the Centre’s research on the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts and also researches the political philosophy of Salafi-Jihadi movements. He is an adjunct lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, and has given evidence before three parliamentary committees on the Syrian conflict, the flow of foreign fighters into the country, and the rise of Islamic State. He is a contributing writer for the New Statesman, and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in Journalism in 2016.