“Captagon, the ‘drug of the jihadists’, is an urban legend”

A great specialist in the Arab-Muslim world, the historian and professor at Sciences-Po Jean-Pierre Filiu has just published “Amazing Middle East”, published by Seuil, a vast historical fresco exploring the secular relationship of Middle Eastern societies to drugs. “L’Obs” met him.

With this book, you say you wanted to debunk certain clichés. Which ?

Jean-Pierre Filiu. The first, which governs all the others, is the idea that the consumption of narcotics is a tradition in the Middle East, that it has always been inscribed in the culture of these populations. This contributes to distorting our view of this region. A few years ago, there was a lot of talk in the Western media about the “drug of the jihadists”, captagon. If Daesh terrorists reached such a degree of barbarism, it was, we were told, because the consumption of this very powerful amphetamine plunged them into a trance. But this is an urban legend. Islamic State killers have taken amphetamines, but as a doping product, in particular to resist lack of sleep, as is the practice in many armies. If the jihadists massacre, decapitate, commit appalling attacks, it is not because they are under the influence of any drug. It is because they deeply believe in a millennial ideology, according to which the end of our impure world is near, and that it is f

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Source : Nouvelobs

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