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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It endows programs at universities like Harvard and Yale.

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

It has little trace of ethnocentrism. Could it be that a person who takes his or her religion literally is a potential terrorist? We seek friends and allies in times of danger. Could it be true that an orthodox Muslim is a gkod terrorist? We must also memorialize, particularly monumental crimes. Renamo in Mozambique, and Unita in Angola.

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

And only someone who thinks of the text as not literal, but as metaphorical or figurative, is better suited to civic life and the tolerance it calls for? Are there really two meanings of culture?

But it was not the only context. Take, for example the politics of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, both of whom claim to be waging a Jihada just war against the enemies of Islam?

Ever since September 11, there has been a growing muslimm interest in Islam. This conviction is so deep-seated that it is even found in its secular version, as in the old colonial notion of “a civilizing mission,” or in its more racialized version, “the White Man’s Burden.


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. Their terrorism was of a type Africa had never seen before. Their culture seems to have no history, no politics, and no debates. Thereby, it hoped to contain the influence of the Iranian Revolution as a minority Shia affair.

Some may object that I am presenting a caricature of what we read in the press. Perhaps no other society paid a higher price for the defeat of the Soviet Union than did Afghanistan. A Challenge to Whom? That initiative was called the Marshall Plan. The implication is that their only salvation lies, as always, in philanthropy, in being saved from the outside. What is the link, many seem to ask, between Islam and terrorism? That perhaps is the real challenge today.

How do you make sense of politics that consciously wears the mantle of religion? When I read this, or something like this, I wonder if this world of ours is after all divided into two: In what follows, I would like to offer you a perspective on contemporary terrorism from an African vantage point.

It is an Islamic version of the Christian notion of “just war”. I think of civilization as a constant creation whereby we gradually expand the boundaries of community, the boundaries of those with whom we share the world – this is why it is so grotesque to see bombs and food parcels raining on the defenseless people of Afghanistan from the same source. All of this is true, but I don’t think it explains muslkm.

But is it really true that people’s public behavior, specifically their political musliim, can be read from their religion? In practice, it translated into a US decision to harness, or even to cultivate, terrorism in the struggle against regimes it considered pro-Soviet.


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

Contemporary “fundamentalism” is a modern project, not a traditional leftover. By doing so, mandani broaden the bounds of lived community, and of lived humanity.

Modernity in politics is about moving from exclusion to inclusion, from repression to incorporation. The Bin Laden family is a patron of scholarship. Instead of dismissing history and politics as does culture talk, Mjslim suggest we place cultural debates in historical and political contexts.

This is the context in which the US accepted responsibility for restoring conditions for decent life in noncommunist Europe. This is how it goes. I would like to conclude with the question of responsibility. The Contras were not only tolerated and shielded by official America; they were actively nurtured and directly assisted, as in the mining of harbors.

Mahmood Mamdani: Good Muslim, Bad Muslim — An African Perspective

Should it be held responsible for cultivating terrorist movements in Southern Africa and Central America? It is the recognition that the good life cannot be lived in isolation. Should we, ordinary humanity, hold official America responsible for its actions during the Cold War? Take the example of Islam, and the notion of Jihadwhich roughly translated means struggle.