Book Launch - 'In Their Own Words: Understanding Lashkar-e-Tayyaba'
26 September 2019, 18:00 to 19:30 Please note: this event has passed
Strand Campus , London
Speaker: Professor Christine Fair, Georgetown University
Chair: Dr Walter C. Ladwig III, Department of War Studies
This path-breaking volume reveals a little-known aspect of how Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a jihadist terrorist group, functions in Pakistan and beyond by translating and commenting upon a range of publications produced and disseminated by Dar-ul-Andlus, the publishing wing of LeT. Only a fraction of LeT's cadres ever see battle: most of them are despatched on nation-wide "proselytising" (dawa) missions to convert Pakistanis to their particular interpretation of Islam, in support of which LeT has developed a sophisticated propagandist literature. This canon of Islamist texts is the most popular and potent weapon in LeT's arsenal, and its scrutiny affords insights into how and who the group recruits; LeT's justification for jihad; its vision of itself in global and regional politics; the enemies LeT identifies and the allies it cultivates; and how and where it conducts its operations. Particular attention is paid to the role that LeT assigns to women by examining those writings which heap extravagant praise upon the mothers of aspirant jihadis, who bless their operations and martyrdom.It is only by understanding LeT's domestic functions as set out in these texts that one can begin to appreciate why Pakistan so fiercely supports it, despite mounting international pressure to disband the group.
Professor C. Christine Fair is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor in the Security Studies Program within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She previously served as a senior political scientist with the RAND Corporation, a political officer with the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan in Kabul, and a senior research associate at the United States Institute of Peace. She is the author of In Their Own Words: Understanding Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2018/2019). She has authored, co-authored and co-edited several books, including Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War (Oxford University Press); Pakistan’s Enduring Challenges (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), Policing Insurgencies: Cops as Counterinsurgents (Oxford University Press, 2014); Political Islam and Governance in Bangladesh (Routledge, 2010); Treading on Hallowed Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces (Oxford University Press, 2008); The Madrassah Challenge: Militancy and Religious Education in Pakistan (USIP, 2008), and The Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States (Globe Pequot, 2008), among others.
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