Using the Qur’an to Justify Terrorist Violence: Analysing Selective Application of the Qur’an in English-Language Militant Islamist Discourse

Donald Holbrook


Selective Qur'anic referencing comprises a core element of radical Islamist discourse endorsing militancy. These are often embedded in wider religious deliberations which also cite numerous Hadith and other religious sources to support a given argument. This article seeks to analyse and document the way in which specific verses of the Qur'an are used to legitimise justifications put forward for violence and targeting in a selected corpus of English- language extremist Islamist material. The article concludes that application of the teachings of the Qur'an is altered and tailored in major militant Islamist treatises to match their political narrative, thus violating strict Salafistic demands for literal application of the Qur'an's message.

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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