Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

January 24, 2011

Nelly Lahoud Discusses “The Jihadis’ Path to Self-Destruction” on Feb. 16

Do contemporary jihadists hold, in their own doctrine, the seeds to self-destruction? Nelly Lahoud, a top expert on jihadi ideology and a West Point associate professor, will discuss the topic at the Library of Congress on Feb. 16.

Lahoud will talk about her new book "The Jihadis’ Path to Self-Destruction" at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16, in Room 119 on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, the event is free and open to the public. Tickets or reservations are not needed.

According to Thomas Hegghammer, a specialist in the study of violent Islamism and a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment in Oslo, "Nelly Lahoud is one of the finest scholars of jihadi ideology around. Her book is a brilliant dissection of contemporary jihadi discourse with an original twist, namely an in-depth comparison of modern jihadism with early Kharijism. She argues convincingly that the takfiri (religious enforcer) reflexes of contemporary militants will lead to their internal fragmentation and political marginalization."

Hegghammer said Lahoud’s book "brings a completely different set of analytical tools and source materials to supplement existing theories, greatly enriching our understanding of jihadism."

Lahoud is associate professor with the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) in the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Prior to joining CTC, Lahoud was an assistant professor of political theory, including Islamic political thought, at Goucher College.

Lahoud completed her doctorate in 2002 at the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. In 2003, she was a postdoctoral scholar at St. John’s College at the University of Cambridge, and in 2005, a Rockefeller fellow in Islamic studies at the Library of Congress. Her publications include "Political Thought in Islam: A Study in Intellectual Boundaries" (2005) and "Islam in World Politics" (co-editor with A.H. Johns, 2005).

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit

# # #

PR 11-014
ISSN 0731-3527

Back to top