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Dr Katherine E Brown (University of Birmingham) presents "Gender and the Apocalypse in Daesh"

Part of the IAIS Visiting Speaker Series

An Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies lecture
Date21 November 2018
Time17:15
PlaceIAIS Building/LT1

Dr Katherine E Brown is interested in Muslim women's involvement in violent religious politics, specifically those linked to Islam. This talk examines key areas of the apocalyptic institutions and practices at the heart of the Islamic State Group's (Daesh) propaganda and practices: first the idea of ‘sacred lands’ and future battles, second the destruction of shrines, third the creation of new saints as martyrs, fourth the narrative of paradise, and fifth the role of ‘widows’.

Katherine E Brown's work examines the way in which gendered jihadi narratives motivate and enfranchise, and how they combine with everyday experiences of living and politics.  She also examines how counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation programmes impact on religious women's rights and Muslim communities.  Her long term project is to explore how religious women build resilience to violent extremism in their everyday lives and communities.  She has recently finished a volume on gender and anti-radicalisation measures worldwide (out soon!).  Currently, she is consulting with UNWomen and the OCHCR creating their "UN Gender Mainstreaming Guidelines for Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism".

Tea and coffee will be served from 4.30pm in the IAIS Common Room.  All are welcome to attend.


Abstract

At the heart of Islamic State Group's (Daesh) propoganda and practices is a paradox:  namely a contradictory emphasis on the Apocalypse and Caliphate.  The Apocalypse focuses on the production of death, namely the violent encouragement and welcoming of the end of the world.  Killing and death in Daesh become sacred via matyrdom and the promise of paradise.  In contrast, in Daesh's discussions of the Caliphate, mundane living is raised to the sacred through everyday submission to Allah and shari'a.  This talk examines key areas of the apocalyptic institutions and practices: first the idea of 'sacred lands' and future battles, second the destruction of shrines, third the creation of new saints as martyrs, fourth the narrative of paradise, and fifth the role of 'widows'.  The talk reveals these as gendered, and as co-constituting the underpinning structures of the production of life.  The overall argument is that the gendered discourse of the apocalypse ensures that the afterlife/the world of the dead is produced and becomes a legitimate horizon of political possibility; that is, it enters into the similarly gendered discourse of the production of life, namely the Caliphate.

ProviderInstitute of Arab and Islamic Studies

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