Download After 9 11 - Cultural Dimensions of American Global Power by Richa Crockatt PDF

By Richa Crockatt

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One Muslim observer noted that the Clinton administration tended to divide Islam into two polarized camps: at one end were the extremists who advocated a militantly ‘political Islam’ and were regarded as terrorists or supporters of terrorism; at the other end of the spectrum was ‘Islam’ itself ‘represented by the faith that is confined to personal belief and ritual practices’. 43 As many Muslims see it, the price of friendship with America, or for citizenship of the United States, is denial of the full expression of Islam.

The challenge of terrorism is to America’s conception of itself rather than to the actual fabric of its institutions, though the effects of the attacks on those directly affected can never be underestimated. It is the nature of terrorism that it seeks to and often achieves an impact far out of proportion to its physical effects and it does so by breaking all the rules of ‘civilized’ behaviour. One rational response to such a challenge is to reaffirm one’s commitment to civilization and civilized values.

Hence the ‘war’ on terrorism and the war on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Furthermore, the increasing use of cultural justifications for policy choices lies in the nature of the enemy’s agenda, which contains a large cultural and religious element. S. policies but it quickly became far deeper. To the . . question, what America could do, Al Qaeda’s answer was that America should abandon the Middle East, convert to Islam, and end the immorality and godlessness of its society and culture. 33 Even more pointed is bin Laden’s response to the question of whether he agreed with the ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis.

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