The Taliban's Virtual Emirate: The Culture and Psychology of an Online Militant Community

Hardcover | May 24, 2016

byNeil Krishan Aggarwal

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Applying cutting-edge psychiatric theories to an analysis of online Taliban literature in four languages, Neil Krishan Aggarwal constructs a game-changing narrative of the organization's broad appeal and worldview.

Aggarwal, a cultural psychiatrist, focuses on the Taliban's creation of culture, evoking religion in Arabic and English writings, nationalism in Dari sources, and regionalism in Urdu texts. The group also promotes a specific form of argumentation, citing religious scriptures in Arabic works, canonical poets in Dari and Urdu writings, and scholars and journalists in English publications. Aggarwal shows how the Taliban categorize all Muslims as members and all non-Muslims as outsiders; how they convince Muslims of the need for violence; and how they apply the insider/outsider dichotomy to foreign policy. By understanding these themes, Aggarwal argues, we can craft better countermessaging strategies.

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Applying cutting-edge psychiatric theories to an analysis of online Taliban literature in four languages, Neil Krishan Aggarwal constructs a game-changing narrative of the organization's broad appeal and worldview.Aggarwal, a cultural psychiatrist, focuses on the Taliban's creation of culture, evoking religion in Arabic and English wr...

Neil Krishan Aggarwal is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, a cultural psychiatrist in private practice, and a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is also the author of the Columbia University Press title Mental Health in the War on Terror: Culture, Science, and Stat...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:May 24, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231174268

ISBN - 13:9780231174268

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsTranscription and Translation GuidePreface1. Channels of Communication in the Virtual Emirate2. Mullah Omar's Leadership in the Virtual Emirate3. Identity in the Virtual Emirate4. Jihad in the Virtual Emirate5. International Relations in the Virtual EmirateEpilogueNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

This remarkable study brings to bear Aggarwal's broad knowledge of South Asian and Middle Eastern languages and cultures and the conceptual frameworks of cultural psychiatry to examine the discourse and rhetoric of the Taliban. The insights will help all concerned to understand the religious idoleogies and aspirations that fuel some of the central conflicts of our time.