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The Psychological Sources of Islamic Terrorism by Michael J. Mazarr
June 2, 2004 12:09 AM   Subscribe

The Psychological Sources of Islamic Terrorism
Michael J. Mazarr is professor of national security strategy at the U.S. National War College. The views expressed here are his own and do not reflect the policy or position of the U.S. government.
posted by y2karl (8 comments total)

 
Great link. Fascinating, if long, read. Covers pretty much all the bases, and makes a lot of sense.
posted by laz-e-boy at 1:32 AM on June 2, 2004


I had just posted this piece at a blog elsewhere and readers might find it of interes:
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=13230
posted by Postroad at 4:59 AM on June 2, 2004


So the terrorists are... existentialists? Damn, why didn't we bomb the Café de Flore when we had the chance? All this could have been avoided!
[/recherché snark]

Excellent article (and post); I just wish there was any chance that anyone in a position to make policy would take such ideas seriously.
posted by languagehat at 9:07 AM on June 2, 2004


The purported Al Quaeda tape of March 14 says "You love life. We love death." That would agree with this article's premise that the terrorists are, essentially, existential romantics. However, as this article from the Asia Times points out, the "death loving" world of Islam has the highest birth rates on earth, while the "life loving" westerners issue films like "The Passion," and celebrate (possibly exaggerated) incidents like the suicides at Masada -- in addition to wiping themselves out by not reproducing at the replacement rate. So which culture really loves life?
posted by Faze at 9:14 AM on June 2, 2004


I thought the disclamer at the top of the article was amusing:

The views expressed here are his own and do not reflect the policy or position of the U.S. government.

I never would have known...
posted by Loudmax at 11:33 AM on June 2, 2004


Good article. Thanks. I see a place for both taking action against people who have committed terrorist acts, and for making an effort to understand the reasons why future acts might be committed. So many people talk about doing one or the other -- I don't see them as mutually exclusive.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:46 PM on June 2, 2004


So which culture really loves life?

Lactobacillus?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:58 PM on June 2, 2004


awesome link, the extrapolation of terrorism to a reaccurance of existentialism is fascinating, though i have to say that the eventual recommendations seem like they should be completely obvious. you can't win a gorilla war unless you can win over the hearts of the people.
posted by NGnerd at 9:40 PM on June 2, 2004


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