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MESF Seminar – A Violent Nexus: Religious Fundamentalism, Exclusionary Nationalism, and the Taliban

MESF Seminar – A Violent Nexus: Religious Fundamentalism, Exclusionary Nationalism, and the Taliban

Event Venue:

Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation‚ Deakin University 221 Burwood HighwayBurwood, VIC, 3125, Australia ( Map )

Please join us on Thursday 11 May from 10:30am to 11:30am for the next MESF Seminar “A Violent Nexus: Religious Fundamentalism, Exclusionary Nationalism, and the Taliban” with Speaker: Dr Niamatullah Ibrahimirof. Details attached and below.


Religious fundamentalism and nationalism are seemingly incompatible ideologies. The former seeks to transcend ethnic and national boundaries while the latter reflects the aspirations and interests of a particular national or ethnic community. Despite this, there is a growing trend of religiously nationalist movements across the world that combine nationalist fervour with an extremist interpretation of religion to inflict violence on members of other groups. The Taliban is a prime example of such a movement that combines a fundamentalist interpretation of religion with a particular form of exclusionary ethnonationalism. The existing literature on violent fundamentalist groups recognises this trend in so far as a distinction is made between groups that focus on local objectives and others that pursue global objectives such as attacking Western interests. However, there are important gaps in understanding the mechanisms and implications of the interpenetration of religious fundamentalism and ethnonationalism. This presentation aims to address this gap by unpacking the mechanisms that link religious fundamentalism and ethnonationalism as hybrid ideological underpinnings of the Taliban. It draws on the Taliban’s practice and discourses to contribute to a deeper understanding of the complex social and historical ecology of violent extremist movements and their propensity for violence against other groups based on ethnic and religious distinctions. It argues that a more nuanced understanding of the entanglement of these ideologies is necessary for developing effective strategies for building peace and inclusive societies.


Dr Niamatullah Ibrahimi is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at La Trobe University. He completed his PhD at the Australian National University in 2018 where his doctoral thesis examined the dynamics of contentious politics in the context of international intervention and statebulding in Afghanistan since 2001. His research interests include terrorism and political violence, contentious politics, nationalism and ethnic politics, and post-conflict governance and security dynamics. He has published several journal articles and is the author of The Hazaras and the Afghan State: Rebellion, Exclusion and Struggle for Recognition (London: Hurst & Co. 2017), and co-author (with Professor William Maley) of Afghanistan: Politics and Economics in a Globalising State (London: Routledge, 2020).


Please RSVP to by 24 March 2023. Learn more on the MESF website.


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