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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Does culture stand for creativity, for what being human is all about, in one part of the world? In practice, it translated into a US decision to harness, or even to cultivate, terrorism in the struggle against regimes it considered pro-Soviet. Even more, these people seem incapable of transforming their culture, the way they seem incapable of growing their own food. After that, it seems they just conform to culture. Conclusion I would like to conclude with the question mamdxni responsibility.

By including those previously excluded, we give those previously alienated a stake in things. The minor context was the Iranian Revolution of All of this is true, but I don’t think it explains terrorism.

The Contras were not only tolerated and shielded by official America; they were actively nurtured and directly assisted, as in the mining of harbors. But civilization cannot be built on just forgetting. It is an Islamic version of the Christian notion of “just war”. I think of mmamdani 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 mahhmood the defenseless people of Afghanistan from the same source.

Whose responsibility is it? Some may object that I am presenting a caricature of what we read in the press.

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

Could it be that a person who takes his or her religion maumood is a magmood terrorist? But it settled for the next best, the son of an illustrious family closely connected to the royal family.

I feel I am reading of people who are said not to make culture, except at the beginning of creation, as some extraordinary, prophetic, act. Before exploring the politics of it, let me clarify the historical moment.


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. We must also memorialize, particularly monumental crimes. In Southern Africa, the immediate result was a partnership between the US and apartheid South Africa, accused by the UN of perpetrating “a crime against humanity.

An African Perspective on Contemporary Terrorism Eqbal Ahmed writes of a television image fromof Ronald Reagan meeting a group of turbaned men, all Afghani, all leaders of the Mujaheddin. The demand was that governments must share power with terrorist organizations in the name of reconciliation – as in Mozambique, in Sierra Leone, and in Angola.

Each of us will have nothing but a catalogue of wrongs done to a long line of ancestors.

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

Their terrorism was of a type Africa had never seen before. And so did the center of gravity of US-sponsored terrorism.

Rather than see this politics as the outcome of an archaic culture, I suggest we see neither the mamdai not the politics as archaic, but both as very contemporary outcomes of equally contemporary conditions, relations and conflicts. It is said that culture is now a matter of life and death. 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?

Good Muslim, Bad Muslim by Mahmood Mamdani | : Books

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? 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. After all, we goood now told to distinguish between good Muslims and bad Muslims. The Question of Responsibility 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.

It has little trace of ethnocentrism. 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. Bas have a sense of mission to civilize the world. Second, the Reagan administration hoped to turn a religious schism inside Islam, between minority Shia and majority Sunni, into a political schism. Thereby, it hoped to contain the influence of the Iranian Revolution as a minority Shia affair.


This partnership bolstered a number of terrorist movements: The Nixon Doctrine had been forged towards the closing years mamdzni the Vietnam War but could not be implemented at that late stage – the doctrine that “Asian boys must fight Asian wars” – was really put into practice in Southern Africa.

Should we, ordinary humanity, hold official America responsible for its actions during the Cold War? Ever since September 11, there has been a growing media interest in Islam. I would like to conclude with the question of responsibility.

We must not only learn to forget, we must also not forget to learn. It is a human tendency to look for others in times of adversity. This is how it goes. The Spectatora British weekly, carried a lead article a few weeks ago that argued that the link was not with all of Islam, but with a very literal interpretation of it. But is it really true that people’s public behavior, specifically their political behavior, can be read from their religion?

Do you convince others of the validity muxlim your truth or mahnood you proceed musilm imposing it on them? When I read of Islam in the papers these days, I often feel I am reading of museumized peoples. The first alternative gives you reason and evangelism; the second gives you the Crusades.

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

Should official America be held responsible for napalm bombing and spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam? Even when it tries to harness one or another aspect of tradition and culture, it puts this at the service of a modern project.

It seems just to have petrified into a lifeless custom.