History of self-immolation
January 20, 2011 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Mefibooks: History of self-immolation in the Middle East?

Looking for a book on thorough history of self-immolation ( most recently shown in female self-immolation as reported from Herat). I know there is a separate analysis of self-immolation in Buddhism, however I am most interested in the topic as it pertains to the history of Middle East.

Thank you!
posted by mooselini to Society & Culture (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm no expert on this, but as I understand it, this is a relatively new phenomenon in North Africa and the Middle East, though it seems more common amongst women in Afghanistan and also perhaps in Iran.

Time Magazine has this very brief history here.

Everything I'm seeing is calling a "new trend."

I just did a quick search of academic searches and found no books about self-immolation except in Buddhism. These academic articles might be relevant (you might be able to find them or at least abstracts via Google Scholar):

Ahmadi, Alireza, Reza Mohammadi, David C. Schwebel, Naser Yeganeh, Mehdi Hassanzadeh, and Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi. "Paperpsychiatry : Psychiatric Disorders (axis I and Axis Ii) and Self-Immolation: a Case-Control Study from Iran." Journal of Forensic Sciences. 55.2 (2010): 447-450.

Raj, A, C Gomez, and JG Silverman. "Driven to a Fiery Death-the Tragedy of Self-Immolation in Afghanistan." The New England Journal of Medicine. 358.21 (2008): 2201-3.

Kanchan, T, A Menon, and R.G Menezes. "Methods of Choice in Completed Suicides: Gender Differences and Review of Literature." Journal of Forensic Sciences. 54.4 (2009): 938-942.

Brostoff, Emily L. The Communicative Act of Self-Immolation: (in Protest of Unpopular U.s. Occupations). , 2009. Print. (Thesis at UCLA.)
posted by bluedaisy at 1:56 PM on January 20, 2011

Best answer: Not sure if this aligns with your topic, but I happened to catch this story on NPR the other day, in which an Oxford sociology prof who studies self-immolation as form of protest was interviewed. It's not specific to the Middle East, but looks like he contributed a chapter on self-immolation to the book Making Sense of Suicide Missions.
posted by motherly corn at 2:49 PM on January 20, 2011

They've been doing it, as least as far as I know, as far back as 2006 in Morocco. That time, it was a college graduate who set himself on fire because he couldn't find a job.
posted by HopperFan at 5:12 PM on January 20, 2011

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