Islamist Terrorism in the Context of Contemporary Hybrid Wars

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The article deals with the present-day causes of the reproduction of Islamist terrorism. The concepts of desecularization, hybrid wars, and a system-functional approach form the methodological basis of the research. Recognizing the failure of liberal explanations of the causes of Islamist terrorism, the author criticizes the liberal methodology, which is based on an essentialist explanation of Islam and Muslim civilization and attributes a fixed set of qualities to Islam as an ontological evil, a barbarism hostile to Western civilization. The paper presents a viewpoint based on the approaches proposed by representatives of left-wing radical thought, postmodernism and neo-Marxism. It is concluded that the politicization of Islam, including its radical interpretations, is due not to the militant unchanging nature of Islam, but to the crisis of a number of Muslim societies. The Muslim world’s reaction to Western globalism is also an attempt to implement its own global political projects as a response of Islamic fundamentalism to the challenge of Western democratic fundamentalism. The author analyzes the phenomenon of hybrid wars as a form of armed violence that the Western world uses to restore order in its global empire. The connection between hybrid wars and the concept of a just war is shown, as well as the relevance of Islamist terrorism as an element of the system of hybrid wars. Islamist terrorism and counterterrorism are present in all hybrid wars waged in the Muslim world. This is manifested both in military actions on the ground, and in information warfare, as well as in virtual space. The market for terrorist and counterterrorist services inherent in hybrid wars and the place of Islamist terrorism in it are examined. Financial relations bind the participants in terrorist activities, including the customer, sponsor, mediator, organizer, informant, and performer. It is concluded that Islamist terrorism is not the activity of individual fanatics or a manifestation of the militant nature of Islam, but is produced by the conflict system of contemporary international relations.

About the authors

Yuriy M. Pochta

Рeoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9600-2665

PhD, Dr. of Sc. (Philosophy), Professor, Department of Comparative Politics

Moscow, Russian Federation


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