Although ISIS hit its territorial peak in 2014, the group continues to launch attacks on the West and to inspire foreign jihadists. Gilles Kepel, one of Europe’s leading experts on Islamism and author of Terror in France: The Rise of Jihad in the West, examined what he sees as truths and myths about the virulent new wave of jihadism that has Europe as its main target. The aim of these attacks, he argued, is to divide European societies from within by instilling fear, provoking backlash, and achieving the ISIS dream - shared by Europe's Far Right - of stigmatising Europe's growing minority Muslim communities.
As the recent presidential elections in France have shown, the country has become deeply polarised over issues of immigration and Islam. Professor Kepel offered fresh insight for anyone interested in Islam within French society today.
Gilles Kepel is professor of political science at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. His latest book, Terror in France: The Rise of Jihad in the West, was a bestseller in France, and has just been published in English for the first time.
This event was chaired by Nigel Inkster, Director of Future Conflict and Cyber Security at IISS. It took place in the Trafalgar Room at Arundel House, 13-15 Arundel Street, London, WC2 3DX*.