By Gilles Kepel
On account that 2001, dominant worldviews have clashed within the international enviornment: a neoconservative nightmare of an insidious Islamic terrorist probability to civilized existence, and a jihadist fantasy of martyrdom in the course of the slaughter of infidels. around the airwaves and at the flooring, an ill-defined and uncontrollable struggle has raged among those opposing eventualities. lethal photographs and threats—from the televised beheading of Western hostages to photo photos of torture at Abu Ghraib, from the destruction wrought by means of suicide bombers in London and Madrid to civilian deaths by the hands of yank career forces in Iraq—have polarized populations on each side of this divide. but, because the famous center East pupil and commentator Gilles Kepel demonstrates, President Bush’s conflict on Terror mask a posh political schedule within the heart East—enforcing democracy, having access to Iraqi oil, securing Israel, and looking regime switch in Iran. Osama bin Laden’s demand martyrs to get up opposed to the apostate and hasten the sunrise of a common Islamic kingdom papers over a fractured, fragmented Islamic international that's waging conflict opposed to itself. past Terror and Martyrdom sounds the alarm to the West and to Islam that either one of those exhausted narratives are bankrupt—neither effective of democratic swap within the heart East nor of cohesion in Islam. Kepel urges us to flee the ideological quagmire of terrorism and martyrdom and discover the phrases of a brand new and positive discussion among Islam and the West, one for which Europe, with its increasing and stressed Muslim populations, could be the proving floor. (20081127)
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Extra info for Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East
Though divested of freedom and bent beneath the yoke of state terror, Iraqis were still better off, in economic and social terms, than citizens of most other Arab countries, and cultural life flourished—as long as it remained apolitical. ” The war with Iran in the 1980s depleted the country’s resources, but the population remained firmly attached to the state. Even a majority of the Shiite conscripts in Iraq had demonstrated loyalty to the regime rather than to their co-religionists in Iran. The situation was entirely different in 1991 after the Iraqi army invaded and pillaged Kuwait.
S. bombardment in April 2003, any meaningful concept of social cohesion had long since ceased to exist in Iraq. The neoconservative ideologues in Washington who were planning the country’s reconstruction seem to have been shockingly ignorant of this fact. They behaved as though Iraqi society would rise from the ashes of Saddam’s fallen regime. By blaming the deterioration of civil society on its leader and then overthrowing him, Washington 35 36 BEYON D TERROR A N D M A RTY R D O M absolved other parties—the United States, Europe, the Arab countries, and the United Nations—of responsibility for the state of affairs in that country.
Administration and individual officials, such as former CIA chief George Tenet in his memoirs, denied any recourse to torture but admitted that “severe” interrogation methods, including intense physical and psychological pressure, were used. S. administration asserted its absolute sovereignty in the definition and conduct of FROM TH E WA R O N TE R RO R TO THE F I ASCO I N I R AQ the war on terror, and its prerogative to resort to exceptional mea sures. 10 The ability to decree this state of exception with respect to law is the foundation of sovereign power, Agamben argues, and camps are the structure by which the state of exception is durably achieved.
Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East by Gilles Kepel
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