'ISIS and the Pornography of Violence' is a collection of iconoclastic essays on ISIS, spanning the four-year period from its ascendancy in late 2014 to its demise in early 2018. From a trenchant critique of the infantilisation of jihadists to a probing examination of the parallels between gonzo porn and ISIS beheading videos, the pieces collected in this volume challenge conventional ways of thinking about ISIS and the roots of its appeal. Simon Cottee's core argument is that Western ISIS recruits, far from being brainwashed or 'vulnerable' dupes, actively responded to the group's promise of redemptive violence and self-sacrifice to a total cause.
The Apostates is the first major study of apostasy from Islam in the western secular context. Drawing on life-history interviews with ex-Muslims from the UK and Canada, Simon Cottee explores how and with what consequences Muslims leave Islam and become irreligious.
‘Free people should be able to abandon their religion without being punished. Simon Cottee brings us the stories of British and Canadian ex-Muslims who live in the shadow of stigma and with the threat of ostracism. Wider society has ignored them, and the most disgraceful elements of the Left have denounced them, but here they can speak for themselves. Books are too often described as “important” or “original” when they are neither. The Apostates is both.’ — Nick Cohen, columnist and author of You Can’t Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom