CRF Blog

Children of jihad

by David De La Torre

In Children of jihad, The Economist reviews these two books: Jihad and Death: The Global Appeal of Islamic State by Olivier Roy and Al-Qaeda’s Revenge: The 2004 Madrid Train Bombings by Fernando Reinares.

Olivier Roy’s new book, “Jihad and Death”, asks why young European Muslims are drawn to Islamic State (IS) and why the West is so terrified of it. Mr Roy, a French authority on Islamism, regards IS as the monstrously inflated product of its own propaganda; it is, he says, first and foremost a death cult. Despite Islam’s injunction against suicide, it persuades Muslims to fight and die under the banner of a chimerical Islamic caliphate. Why, then, should such a nihilistic message be so appealing? Mr Roy’s answer is that IS has successfully marketed itself to the children of modern youth culture. Its recruits know little about Islam; they like alcohol, rap music, martial arts and violent American films. Many have spent time in prison. In their eyes, IS is heroic and glamorous. [more]