Are so-called suicide bombers our “ritual others”?

  • Marko Stamenkovic


Within the First World scholarship, the concept of “suicide missions” has occupied an uneasy place in relation to the issues of risk and security for Western neoliberal democracies. As part of colonial humanism, these and related concepts have been contested by mediated (ideological, gendered and racist) perspectives growing within a single, imperial epistemic paradigm. This paper challenges such a paradigm by centering on the most recent neuralgic points surrounding the ‘universalist’ and‘rationalist’ imaginaries of “suicide terror.” It approaches “suicide bombers” as theoretical figures from an interdisciplinary perspective, focused mainly on contemporary decolonial philosophy and post-Eurocentric social and cultural theories. This paper aims to break away from normative exercises of discursive power through which an ethical interruption of the epistemological becomes my primary task, in particular with regard to the notions of ritual otherness, death-politics, colonial matrix of power, sovereignty, resistance, and self-sacrifice.