Ideological Foundations of Jihadist Organizations: Hizbullah, al-Qaeda, and IS.
Hodges, Robert Andrew
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This thesis explores the ideological foundations of three jihadist organizations, Hizbullah, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State (IS). All three are categorized as international terrorist organizations but their goals differ. Hizbullah seeks to alter the government within Lebanon, al-Qaeda seeks to eliminate Western influences in Muslim inhabited territories, and IS seeks to create a caliphate within a large portion of the Middle East. The similarities and differences of these three organizations will be illuminated through this examination. The primary focus of the examination focuses on their religious teachings and discourse, as this is a critical aspect of their ideologies. Through this examination, the differences in discourse coinciding with the differing goals of each organization is presented. The discourse of each organization facilitates their goals, recruitment of fighters, and explanation of their actions. Self/other identification is a commonality of all three ideologies but the identification of the other is different according to each organizations goals. This thesis will highlight this aspect and allow for further discussion of the three organizations in future research. The conclusion will allow for discussion as to who gains and maintains power and whether religion is a base or merely a tool for this power.
- Masters Theses