The Transformation of Radical Islam in a Post-Industrial Society

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In a post-industrial society, radical Islam has undergone significant evolutionary changes, that contributed to its transformation from a religious ideology to a political one. The key element of the updated doctrine was the idea of creating a world Islamic state - caliphate - through global jihad. This article explores a new stage in the history of the phenomenon of Islamic radicalism, which has developed outside the Muslim world, where it has acquired features of a specific subculture. Global jihad is gaining popularity among young Muslims in Europe, the US, and Southeast Asia. A variety of cultural manifestations of Islamism, united by the term «jihadi-cool», form an attractive image of a Salafist-jihadists through a special manner of clothing, new types of music (jihad rap and jihad rock), etc. Members of this subculture tend to join terrorist organizations, spread radical ideas among young people and attract new supporters. One of the most important causes of the radicalization of Muslims in Europe and the Americas is considered to be the complex socio-economic and cultural preconditions created by Western policies towards the States of the Middle East and the local Muslim diaspora. As part of the research, a historical-genetic analysis of the evolutionary transformations of Islamic radicalism has been conducted. The statistical method has been used to track the number of terrorist acts in the EU and the USA. Content analysis has been applied in the article in order to examine lyrics of jihad-rap musical compositions. The interdependence of jihad-rap popularity and the general interest in the ideology of jihad has been assessed based on the analysis of statistics of search queries. Biographical methods have been used to study the relationship between belonging to a jihadist subculture and joining radical Islamic organizations. The results of the study demonstrate, first of all, the high adaptability of Islamic radicalism to the changing conditions of the global world. Secondly, they indicate the specific evolution of a phenomenon that gradually overcomes sectarian differences. And third, they note increasing prevalence of this destructive doctrine in Europe, USA, South and Southeast Asia. All the results confirm that Islamic radicalism is not a local phenomenon, but a real threat to global political stability.

About the authors

Sergey V. Demidenko

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

Author for correspondence.

PhD Historical in Science, Dean of the School of Political Research, Institute of Social Sciences

82, Vernadskogo prospect, Moscow, 119571, Russian Federation

Anastasia A. Kutuzova

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration


Master Student of the Department of Political Science and Political Management

82, Vernadskogo prospect, Moscow, 119571, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2020 Demidenko S.V., Kutuzova A.A.

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