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Jihadi Archipelago: Blood and joy in the Islamic State.


Their general plan is to look for chaos in the world, as in Africa where they're going in with thousands of fighters, or to create chaos in areas of the world where up to now there has been none, as they're trying to do in Europe. The purpose of chaos is to eliminate the grey zone between the infidel and the true believer - where most of humanity resides, including most Muslims - in order to polarize the world.

Anthropologist Scott Atran explains the revolutionary context of the Islamic State - as a dynamic startup nation, an attractor of the aggrieved, and an existential challenge to Enlightenment ideals of human rights and the secular state - and warns that Western governments are giving ISIS exactly the chaos it needs to grow.

Scott is co-author of the New York Review of Books essay Paris: The War ISIS Wants.

Interview Transcript via Antidote Zine

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Scott Atran

Scott Atran is an anthropologist and Director of Research at France’s National Center for Scientific Research and Research Professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and the University of Michigan.


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