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Amal Ghazal and Larbi Sadiki


ISIS: The 'Islamic State' between Orientalism and the Interiority of MENA’s Intellectuals

[Child at a protest in Paris after the 2015 Islamic State attacks. Image by Gyrostat via Wikimedia Commons]

Is ISIS all about Islam, or about geopolitics? This dualism has framed the debate about ISIS among Western analysts, especially American ones. They have formed two camps, one sees in ISIS and its practices an irrefutable evidence of the “true face of Islam”; another insists that ISIS has nothing to do with “real Islam” and reduces it to a telltale backlash against imperialism and Western policies in the Middle East and North Africa (hitherto MENA). This dichotomous approach ...

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Amal Ghazal and Larbi Sadiki


Amal Ghazal is Associate Professor of History at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. She is the author of Islamic Reform and Arab Nationalism: Expanding the Crescent from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean (1880s-1930s) (London: Routledge, 2010). Her latest publication is “Tensions of Nationalism: The Mzabi Student Missions in Tunis and the Politics of Anti-Colonialism,” IJMES 47(2015), 47-63. She is co-editing, with Jens Hanssen, The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Middle-Eastern and North African History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming). Her current research project is on religious reform and nationalism in the Mzab valley in Algeria during the colonial period. Read her full profile here:

Larbi Sadiki is Professor of International Relations and Democratization at Qatar University. He is the author of The Search for Arab Democracy: Discourses and Counter-Discourses (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004) and Rethinking Arab Democratization (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, Paperback 2011), and editor of Routledge Handbook of the Arab Spring and Middle East Democratization (London: Routledge, 2015). His latest publication is “Towards a ‘Democratic  Knowledge’ Turn? Knowledge Production in the Age of the Arab Spring!” 20.5 (2015), 702-721. He is currently preparing a manuscript on the Tunisian revolution. Read his full profile here: