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‘Why I Became a Jihadist Poetry Critic’ Dr Elisabeth Kendall’s BBC News Interview

30th August 2017

Could understanding jihadist poetry aid in the fight against extremism? Pembroke Senior Research Fellow in Arabic, Dr Elisabeth Kendall believes so. She recently spoke to BBC journalist Alex Marshall, who published an article titled ‘Why I became a jihadist poetry critic’ in the BBC News magazine.

Dr Kendall believes that the study of popular jihadist poetry can provide a great insight into why jihadism flourishes, particularly in Middle Eastern countries where poetry is culturally prevalent and ingrained in people’s everyday lives. When thinking about Islamic extremism we often ask, ‘what radicalises people?’ but Dr Kendall says the bigger question we should be asking is ‘what enables these groups to be tolerated?’

Read the article to find out more about why Dr Kendall pursued her research interest, how it has developed over the years and why she decided not to stay confined to the library, but carries out much of her research on the ground.