Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society)

Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society)

Mark Juergensmeyer

Language: English

Pages: 319

ISBN: 0520240111

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Completely revised and updated, this new edition of Terror in the Mind of God incorporates the events of September 11, 2001 into Mark Juergensmeyer's landmark study of religious terrorism. Juergensmeyer explores the 1993 World Trade Center explosion, Hamas suicide bombings, the Tokyo subway nerve gas attack, and the killing of abortion clinic doctors in the United States. His personal interviews with 1993 World Trade Center bomber Mahmud Abouhalima, Christian Right activist Mike Bray, Hamas leaders Sheik Yassin and Abdul Azis Rantisi, and Sikh political leader Simranjit Singh Mann, among others, take us into the mindset of those who perpetrate and support violence in the name of religion.

Understanding Terrorist Innovation: Technology, Tactics and Global Trends

The Declining World Order: America's Imperial Geopolitics (Global Horizons)

Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda

Making Sense of Suicide Missions

American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us

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peaceful world in which understanding replaces anger and hate, at least I have tried. For some people, however, whatever contribution this and the many other efforts at understanding and alleviating violence may offer will come too late. I refer to those who have been victims of terrorist attacks. As I worked on this book, I was interrupted by pictures of the tragic bombing of the American embassy in Kenya in August 1998. Shards of glass rained down from the twenty-two-story building adjacent to

about the suicide bombings that had occurred earlier in the year in crowded street corners in Tel Aviv. A little over two years later—after several more suicide bombings had occurred, including the savage attacks in Jerusalem's vegetable market and the Ben Yehuda shopping mall in September 1997—I received an articulate explanation for these Page 72 missions in a lengthy interview with one of the founders of the Hamas movement, Dr. Abdul Aziz Rantisi. I met Dr. Rantisi on March 1, 1998, in a

over them. One might think that it would be in the best interests of the central government to help them do that, but the Congress Party leaders were hesitant. For one thing, they resented the fact that moderate Sikh leaders identified with the Sikh's Akali Party rather than the Congress Party or one of the national coalition parties. More important, they feared that any concessions they made to Sikh leaders would have repercussions throughout India. Muslims would immediately demand similar

group, said that ''there's no doubt" that within "every terrorist" there is the conviction that "he is the victim." According to Wright, this allows the terrorist to justify his action "morally within his own mind." 7 A similar point was made by Dr. Rantisi when he stressed in his interview that Arab Muslims were the true victims in the confrontation rather than the savage perpetrators of suicide attacks the Western media portrayed them to be. He recounted the injustices done against himself, his

justified by their followers as defensive acts of noble fighters. If they succeeded in their mission unscathed, they were heroes; if they died in the process, they were martyrs. The idea of martyrdom is an interesting one. It has a long history within various religious traditions, including early Christianity. Christ himself was a martyr, as was the founder of the Shi'i Muslim tradition, Husain. The word martyr comes from a Greek term for "witness," such as a witness to one's faith. In most cases

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