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The Crisis of Islam - Essay Example

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The author of the essay "The Crisis of Islam" points out that the social revolutionaries, secular nationalists, and radical right of an earlier day have been largely replaced by terrorists promoting religiously inspired agendas, or, to be more precise, militant Islamic ones. …
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The Crisis of Islam
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Download file to see previous pages It has become a commonplace among analysts of Al Qaeda and of other Middle Eastern terrorist groups to distinguish between what has identified above as militant Islam or Islamism and the religion practiced by Muslims. This distinction is based not on political correctness but on empirical evidence. Most Muslims, of course, is neither Islamist fundamentalists nor terrorists; many terrorists, however, proclaim they are Muslims — indeed, many proclaim they are the only true Muslims. It is certainly legitimate for Muslims to object to the term Islamic terrorists when no one calls the IRA Christian terrorists or Catholic terrorists. It is also unquestionably true that the complaints should be directed less at analysts or journalists who merely report the self-interpretation of others than at the terrorists themselves for their abuse of Islam. (Lewis, 137) So far as most Westerners were concerned, the killing on the morning of September 11 had nothing to do with God; the killers flew out of nowhere and acted in a manner that was utterly irrational, not to say unintelligibly. This is why there were so many simplified attempts, in the fall of 2001, to answer a simple question: Why do they hate us?

During the twentieth century, only fourteen terrorist attacks killed more than one hundred people and none killed more than five hundred. Prior to September 11, 2001, about a thousand Americans had been killed by terrorists. (Hoffman, 96) The sheer magnitude of the killing on that day, when in the course of an hour and a half over three times as many people were murdered, was itself extraordinary. However measured, the attacks were unparalleled, and reason enough to understand why the United States has taken steps to reconfigure the architecture of its national security.
Prior to the nineteenth century, the only acceptable justification for terrorism was a religious ritual, in the sense that religion provided both a motive and a limitation to conduct or behavior that today is identified with terrorism.  ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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