On Suicide Bombing

Author: Talal Asad
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231141529
Size: 23.45 MB
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Like many people in America and around the world, Talal Asad experienced the events of September 11, 2001, largely through the media and the emotional response of others. For many non-Muslims, "the suicide bomber" quickly became the icon of "an Islamic culture of death"--a conceptual leap that struck Asad as problematic. Is there a "religiously-motivated terrorism?" If so, how does it differ from other cruelties? What makes its motivation "religious"? Where does it stand in relation to other forms of collective violence? Drawing on his extensive scholarship in the study of secular and religious traditions as well as his understanding of social, political, and anthropological theory and research, Asad questions Western assumptions regarding death and killing. He scrutinizes the idea of a "clash of civilizations," the claim that "Islamic jihadism" is the essence of modern terror, and the arguments put forward by liberals to justify war in our time. He critically engages with a range of explanations of suicide terrorism, exploring many writers' preoccupation with the motives of perpetrators. In conclusion, Asad examines our emotional response to suicide (including suicide terrorism) and the horror it invokes. On Suicide Bombing is an original and provocative analysis critiquing the work of intellectuals from both the left and the right. Though fighting evil is an old concept, it has found new and disturbing expressions in our contemporary "war on terror." For Asad, it is critical that we remain aware of the forces shaping the discourse surrounding this mode of violence, and by questioning our assumptions about morally good and morally evil ways of killing, he illuminates the fragile contradictions that are a part of our modern subjectivity.

Good Muslim Bad Muslim

Author: Mahmood Mamdani
Publisher: Harmony
ISBN: 9780385515917
Size: 70.24 MB
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In this brilliant look at the rise of political Islam, the distinguished political scientist and anthropologist Mahmood Mamdani brings his expertise and insight to bear on a question many Americans have been asking since 9/11: how did this happen? Mamdani dispels the idea of “good” (secular, westernized) and “bad” (premodern, fanatical) Muslims, pointing out that these judgments refer to political rather than cultural or religious identities. The presumption that there are “good” Muslims readily available to be split off from “bad” Muslims masks a failure to make a political analysis of our times. This book argues that political Islam emerged as the result of a modern encounter with Western power, and that the terrorist movement at the center of Islamist politics is an even more recent phenomenon, one that followed America’s embrace of proxy war after its defeat in Vietnam. Mamdani writes with great insight about the Reagan years, showing America’s embrace of the highly ideological politics of “good” against “evil.” Identifying militant nationalist governments as Soviet proxies in countries such as Nicaragua and Afghanistan, the Reagan administration readily backed terrorist movements, hailing them as the “moral equivalents” of America’s Founding Fathers. The era of proxy wars has come to an end with the invasion of Iraq. And there, as in Vietnam, America will need to recognize that it is not fighting terrorism but nationalism, a battle that cannot be won by occupation. Good Muslim, Bad Muslim is a provocative and important book that will profoundly change our understanding both of Islamist politics and the way America is perceived in the world today. From the Hardcover edition.

Oprah

Author: Kathryn Lofton
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520259270
Size: 60.51 MB
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Oprah Winfrey is a media messiah for a secular age. This book is an examination of the religious dimensions of Oprah Winfrey's empire, deploying the idiom of US religious history and metrics of religious studies to assess Winfrey's success on the national and international scene.

The Media And Terrorism

Author: Duncan Mainye Omanga
Publisher: LIT Verlag Münster
ISBN: 3643907109
Size: 71.12 MB
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The editorial cartoon, perhaps one the most enduring features of the African newspaper, carries perception of a less cerebral form of journalism consigned to laughter and flippancy. However, editorial cartoons' effectiveness goes beyond laughter. This book not only responds to the call for a broader debate on media and terrorism, but also examines how editorial cartoons in Kenya, between 1998 and 2008, contributed to the discursive construction of terrorism and the so-called war on terror. Drawing from events surrounding major terror attacks at the high noon of 'al-Qaida terrorism', this book highlights how editorial cartoons in Kenya provided insights into the vicissitudes that characterized terrorism and its war. Dissertation. (Series: Contributions to African Research / Beitrage zur Afrikaforschung, Vol. 67) [Subject: Politics, Media Studies, African Studies]

Initiative To Stop The Violence

Author: Al-Gama'Ah Al-Islamiyah
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300196776
Size: 16.54 MB
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Formerly one of the largest and most militant Islamic organizations in the Middle East, Egypt's al-Gama'ah al-Islamiyah is believed to have played an instrumental role in numerous acts of global terrorism, including the assassination of President Anwar Sadat and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In later years, however, the organization issued a surprising renunciation of violence, repudiating its former ideology and replacing it with a shari'ah-based understanding and assessment of the purpose and proper application of jihad. This key manifesto of modern Islamist thought is now available to an English-speaking audience in an eminently readable translation by noted Islamic scholar Sherman A. Jackson. Unlike other Western and Muslim critiques of violent extremism, this important work emerges from within the movement of Middle Eastern Islamic activism, both challenging and enriching prevailing notions about the role of Islamists in fighting the scourge of extremist politics, blind anti-Westernism, and, alas, wayward jihad.

Weird John Brown

Author: Ted A. Smith
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 080479345X
Size: 46.34 MB
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Conventional wisdom holds that attempts to combine religion and politics will produce unlimited violence. Concepts such as jihad, crusade, and sacrifice need to be rooted out, the story goes, for the sake of more bounded and secular understandings of violence. Ted Smith upends this dominant view, drawing on Walter Benjamin, Giorgio Agamben, and others to trace the ways that seemingly secular politics produce their own forms of violence without limit. He brings this argument to life—and digs deep into the American political imagination—through a string of surprising reflections on John Brown, the nineteenth-century abolitionist who took up arms against the state in the name of a higher law. Smith argues that the key to limiting violence is not its separation from religion, but its connection to richer and more critical modes of religious reflection. Weird John Brown develops a negative political theology that challenges both the ways we remember American history and the ways we think about the nature, meaning, and exercise of violence.

Walzer Just War And Iraq

Author: Ronan O'Callaghan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317382420
Size: 62.63 MB
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In recent years questions of ethical responsibility and justice in war have become increasingly significant in international relations. This focus has been precipitated by United States (U.S.) led invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq. In turn, Western conceptions of ethical responsibility have been largely informed by human rights based understandings of morality. This book directly addresses the question of what it means to act ethically in times of war by drawing upon first-hand accounts of U.S. war fighting in Iraq during the 2003 invasion and occupation. The book focuses upon the prominent rights based justification of war of Michael Walzer. Through an in-depth critical reading of Walzer’s work, this title demonstrates the broader problems implicit to human rights based justifications of war and elucidates an alternative account of ethical responsibility: ethics as response. Putting forward a compelling case for people to remain troubled and engaged with questions of ethical responsibility in war, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars in a range of areas including international relations theory, ethics and security studies.

Horrorism

Author: Adriana Cavarero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231144571
Size: 27.93 MB
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In this brilliant book, one of the world's most provocative feminist theorists and political philosophers introduces a new word? horrorism?to capture the experience of violence. Unlike terror, horrorism is a form of violation grounded in the offense of disfiguration and massacre. Numerous outbursts of violence fall within Adriana Cavarero's category of horrorism, especially when the phenomenology of violence is considered from the perspective of the victim rather than that of the warrior. Through her searing analysis, Cavarero proves that violence against the helpless claims a specific vocabulary, one that has been known for millennia, and not just to the Western tradition.

Mortal Rituals

Author: Matt Rossano
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231165005
Size: 12.13 MB
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On December 21, 1972, sixteen young survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 were rescued after spending ten weeks stranded at the crash site of their plane, high in the remote Andes Mountains. The incident made international headlines and spawned several best-selling books, fueled partly by the fact that the young men had resorted to cannibalism to survive. Matt Rossano examines this story from an evolutionary perspective, weaving together findings and ideas from anthropology, psychology, religion, and cognitive science. During their ordeal, these young men broke "civilized" taboos to fend off starvation and abandoned "civilized" modes of thinking to maintain social unity and individual sanity. Through the power of ritual, the survivors were able to endure severe emotional and physical hardship. Rossano ties their story to our story, seeing in the mortal rituals of this struggle for survival a reflection of what it means to be human.

Landscapes Of The Jihad

Author: Faisal Devji
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801444371
Size: 41.86 MB
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Landscapes of the Jihad explores the features that Al Qaeda and other strands of militant Islam share in common with global movements such as environmentalists and anti-globalisation protesters. These include a decentralised organisation and an emphasis on ethical rather than properly political action. Devji brings these and other characteristics of Al Qaeda together in an analysis of the jihad that locates it squarely within the transformation of political thought after the Cold War. The jihad emerges from the breakdown of traditional as well as modern forms of authority in the Muslim world. It is neither dogmatic in an old fashioned way nor ideological in the modern sense, and concerned neither with correct doctrinal practice in the present nor with some revolutionary utopia of the future. Instead it is fragmented, dispersed and highly individualistic.