Mahmoud Mohamedou: The issues raised by the ISIS story go beyond the terrorism narrative
Professor of International History Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou discussed his recent book A Theory of Isis – Political Violence and the Transformation of the Global Order (Pluto Press and University of Chicago Press, 2017) in a June 5 lecture at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a June 3 appearance on the RT America interview show ‘On Contact’ with Pulitzer Prize-winning host Chris Hedges, which you can watch below.
“ISIS and other radical Islamic groups represent the acceptable way to express racism against Muslims in the Islamic world”, explains Prof Mohamedou. “Following each terrorist attack, the scenario is the same: security experts denounce the failure by authorities to put in place stringent controls, approved specialists in radical Islam assure us the terrorists will soon be defeated, and racist and violent attacks are carried out in retribution against local Muslim communities.”
“This scenario is endlessly repeated, diverting us from examining the nature of this violence, our deep complicity in creating it, and our inability to extract ourselves physically and psychologically from the self-serving narratives that contribute to our anti-knowledge.”
The Oxford lecture formed part of the annual Oxford-Geneva Europaeum lecture exchange, an initiative of the Graduate Institute and Oxford University which is organised through The Europaeum, a network of ten leading universities which promotes academic exchanges in Europe.
In recent months, Professor Mohamedou’s new book – a summer reading recommendation by Carnegie Middle East – was presented at the Collège de France, King’s College, New York University, the New School for Social Research, the University of Montreal and the European University Institute in Florence (with whom the Graduate Institute recently signed a strategic partnership).
Prof Ould Mohamedou teaches International History at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.