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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Both have a sense of mission to civilize the world.

We bda also memorialize, particularly monumental crimes. 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. Renamo in Mozambique, and Unita in Angola.

Should official America be hood responsible for napalm bombing and spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam? Official America has a habit of not taking responsibility for its own actions. When I read of Islam in mamdqni papers these days, I often feel I am reading of museumized peoples. Afghanistan was a brutalized society even before the present war began.

After all, we are now told juslim distinguish between good Muslims and bad Muslims. Just as, in another context, the Israeli intelligence created Hamas as an alternative to the secular PLO.

I returned from Durban to listen to Condoleeza Rice talk about the need to forget slavery because, she said, the pursuit of civilized life requires that we forget the past. It sought specifically to kill and maim civilians, but not all of them.


Take the example of Islam, and the notion of Jihadwhich roughly translated means struggle. This partnership bolstered a number of terrorist movements: Ever since September 11, there has been a growing media interest in Islam.

Always, the idea was to leave a few to go and tell the story, to spread fear. But in times of prosperity, the short-sighted tend to walk away from others. I think of it as an enlightened version, because it does not just speak of the other, but also of self.

Instead, it habitually looks for a high moral pretext for inaction. Each has a conviction that it possesses the truth. That perhaps is the real challenge today. This argument was echoed widely in many circles, more recently in the New York Times. Contemporary “fundamentalism” is a modern project, not a traditional leftover. It is my own construction, but it is not a fabrication. It was determined to put a version of tradition at the service of politics.

A student of mine gave me a series of articles written by the Pakistani academic and journalist, Eqbal Ahmed, in the Karachi-based newspaper, Dawn. I would like to conclude with the question of responsibility. But it was not the only context.

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.

Thereby, it hoped to contain the influence of the Iranian Revolution as a minority Shia affair. Here is one version of the argument that the clash is inside – and not between – civilizations. 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 musllm ignore real issues.


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

When the Soviet Union was defeated in Afghanistan, this terror was unleashed on Afghanistan in the name of liberation. Click here for Ahmed’s article explaining Jihad. This is how it goes. Islam and Christianity have one thing in common. Does culture stand for creativity, for what being human is all about, in one part of the world?

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

What is the link, many seem to ask, between Islam and terrorism? By including those previously excluded, we give those previously alienated a stake in things. But it settled for the next best, the son of an illustrious family closely connected to the royal family.

We must not only learn to forget, we must also not forget to learn. Mamdanu initiative was called the Marshall Plan.

Rather, terrorism is a modern construction. Remember, it was not so long ago that some claimed that the behavior of others could mamdsni read from their genes. It is said that culture is now a matter of life and death. The Bin Laden family is a patron of scholarship.

The shifting center of gravity of the Cold War was the major context in which Afghanistan policy was framed.

America was built on two monumental crimes: It was not the US which faced physical and civic destruction at the end of the war.