Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: A Political Perspective on Culture and Terrorism. Mahmood Mamdani. Department of Anthropology and. U. MAHMOOD MAMDANI. Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: A Political Pers on Culture and Terrorism. ABSTRACT The link between Islam and terrorism became a. Mahmood Mamdani’s Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold. War and the Roots of Terror is a book about historical memory and politics. Mamdani hopes.

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I remain deeply skeptical that we can read people’s political behavior from their religion, or from their culture.

After that, it seems they just conform to culture. Both have a sense of mission to civilize the world. The contemporary history of Southern Africa, Central Mkslim, and Afghanistan testifies to this tendency. Does culture stand for creativity, for what being human is all about, in one part of the world?

Transcript: Mahmood Mamdani on Good Muslim, Bad Muslim | Jul 03, |

The minor context was the Iranian Revolution of I am aware that this does not exhaust the question of culture and politics. To understand the question of who bears responsibility for the present situation, it will help to contrast two situations, that after the Second World War and that after the Cold War, and compare how the question of responsibility was understood and addressed in two different contexts.

This goor bolstered a number of terrorist movements: This is the context in which the US accepted responsibility for restoring conditions for decent life in noncommunist Europe.

Just as, in another context, the Israeli intelligence created Hamas as an alternative to the secular PLO. It was not simply that they were willing to tolerate a higher level of civilian casualties in military confrontations – what official America nowadays calls collateral damage.


Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror

Modernity in politics is about moving from exclusion to inclusion, from repression to incorporation. Mind you, not between good and bad persons, nor between criminals and civic citizens, who both happen to be Muslims, but between good Muslims and bad Muslims. Contemporary “fundamentalism” is a modern project, not a traditional leftover.

After all, we are now told to distinguish between good Muslims and bad Muslims. After all, is there not less and less talk of the clash of civilizations, and more and more talk of the clash inside civilizations? All of this is true, but I don’t think it explains terrorism. By including those previously excluded, we give those previously alienated a stake in things. Their terrorism was of a type Africa had never seen before.

The Durban conference was about major crimes of the past, about racism, and xenophobia, and related crimes. Instead of dismissing history and politics as does culture talk, I suggest we place cultural debates in historical and political contexts. This argument was echoed widely in many circles, more recently in the New York Times.

Are there really two meanings of culture? Or, the same thing, that an Orthodox Jew is a potential terrorist and only a Reform Jew is capable of being tolerant of those who do not share his convictions?

In one of these articles, Eqbal distinguished between two broad traditions in the understanding of Jihad. Terrorism is not a cultural residue in modern politics.

Transcript: Mahmood Mamdani on Good Muslim, Bad Muslim | Jul 03, 2006

And so did the center of gravity of US-sponsored terrorism. Whose responsibility is it? But civilization cannot be built on just forgetting. It seems just to have petrified into a lifeless custom. And only someone who thinks muslmi the text as not literal, but as metaphorical or figurative, is better suited to civic life and the tolerance it calls for? Both share a deeply messianic orientation. Islam and Christianity have one thing in common. Afghanistan was a brutalized society even before the present war began.


Thereby, it hoped to contain the influence of the Iranian Revolution as a minority Shia affair. But in the other part of the world, it stands for habit, for some kind of instinctive activity, whose rules are inscribed in early founding texts, usually religious, and museumized in early artifacts?

The tendency of official America is to memorialize other peoples’ crimes and to forget its own – to seek a high moral ground as a pretext to ignore real issues. The terrorists of September 11, we are told, did not just hijack planes; it is said that they also hijacked Islam, meaning genuine Islam!

Official America has a habit of not taking responsibility for its own actions. We are told that there is a fault line running through Islam, a line that divides moderate Islam, called genuine Islam, and extremist political Islam. Should official America be held responsible for napalm bombing and spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam? Both consider the world beyond a sea of ignorance, one that needs to be redeemed.

It could not find a Prince.

We are now told to give serious attention to culture. The Contras were not only tolerated and shielded by official America; they were actively nurtured and directly assisted, as in the mining of harbors.