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Radical distinctions: a comparative study of two jihadist speeches

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Critical Studies on Terrorism
Issue number3
Volume6
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)392-409
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Work on contemporary instances of “violent extremist” texts tends to see these primarily as more or less instrumental extensions of political (or political-religious) movements. As a result, there are few studies that devote close attention to individual examples of the texts themselves. In this article, we offer a detailed analysis of two jihadist speeches by the prominent ideologues Adam Gadahn and the late Anwar al-Awlaki. We argue that Al-Awlaki’s work ultimately succeeds where Gadahn’s seemingly fails because it is underpinned by a form of fundamentalism which, paradoxically, is inherently premised on the survival of possibilities for dialogue and polyglossia.