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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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? Both have a sense of mission to civilize the world. It has little trace of ethnocentrism.

How do you make sense of politics that consciously wears the mantle of religion? Islam and Christianity have one thing in common. All of this is true, but I don’t think it explains terrorism.

It is true that, unless we learn to forget, life will turn into revenge-seeking.

Perhaps no other society paid a higher price for the defeat of the Soviet Union than did Afghanistan. It is an Islamic version of the Christian notion of “just war”. This is umslim it goes. Both share a deeply messianic orientation. In one of these articles, Eqbal distinguished between two broad traditions muslik the understanding of Jihad.

The Contras were not only tolerated and shielded by official America; they were actively nurtured and directly assisted, as in the mining of harbors. 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. Both consider the world beyond a sea of ignorance, one that needs to be gpod. I use the word Crusade, not Jihadbecause only the notion of Crusade can accurately convey the frame of mind in which this initiative was taken.


By doing so, goor broaden the bounds of lived community, and of lived humanity. First, it drooled at the prospect of uniting a billion Muslims around a holy war, a Crusade, against the evil empire. 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.

When the Soviet Union was defeated in Afghanistan, this terror was umslim on Afghanistan in the name of liberation. Ever since September 11, there has been a growing media interest in Islam.

In Europe, its urgency was underlined by the changing political situation in Yugoslavia, Albania, and particularly, Greece. The question of responsibility for postwar reconstruction did not just arise as a moral question; it arose as a political question. In msulim follows, I would like to offer you a perspective on contemporary terrorism from an African vantage point.

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

Think, for example, of the Arabic word al-Jahaliyawhich I have always known to mean the domain of ignorance. Instead, it habitually looks for a high moral pretext for inaction. Instead of dismissing history and politics as does culture talk, I suggest we place cultural debates in historical and political contexts.

How, one may ask, does the literal reading of religious texts translate into hijacking, murder, and terrorism? Could it be that a person who takes his or her religion literally is a potential terrorist? I remain deeply skeptical that we can read people’s political behavior from their religion, or from their culture.


This was bood a backwater family steeped in pre-modernity, but a cosmopolitan family.

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

The new thing was that these terrorist movements specifically targeted civilians. By including those previously excluded, we give those previously alienated a stake in things.

The contemporary history of Southern Africa, Central America, and Afghanistan testifies to this tendency. Modernity in politics is about moving from exclusion to inclusion, from repression to incorporation. But it was not the only context. And so did the center of gravity of US-sponsored terrorism.

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.

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.

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

The shifting center of gravity of the Cold War was the major context in which Afghanistan policy was framed. I am aware that this does not exhaust the question of culture and politics. Are there really two meanings of culture?