Muslim Terrorism: Causes and Consequences

EVENT VIDEO: On Tuesday 28 August 2012, the AIIA NSW hosted Dr. Jan Ali, who presented his soon to be published paper proposing the idea that Muslim terrorism is a misnomer. He will discussed the causes and consequences of Muslim terrorism and explored the idea that what we are dealing with today is actually a mindset induced by the crisis situations that afflict many Muslims today. His argument examines marginalisation, post colonial challenges, disaffection and conditions in the Middle East which are ripe for the radicalisation of muslim youths.

Dr Jan Ali is a sociologist of religion (Islam). He is a lecturer in Islamic studies at the School of Humanities and Languages. He is also the community and research analyst in the Centre for the study of Contemporary Muslim Societies at the University of Western Sydney. Dr. Ali’s main areas of research include: sociology of Islam, Islamic revivalism, Shariah (Islamic Law), sufism, terrorism, transnational Islamic movements, theories of social Change, Muslim women and piety, multiculturalism and social and religious movements.

Dr. Ali has published several articles in international journals and book chapters. Recently he published a book Islamic Revivalism Encounters the Modern World: A Study of the Tablīgh Jamā’at. For a complete list of Dr. Jan Ali’s publications: http://www.uws.edu.au/hca/school_of_humanities_and_communication_arts/key_people/academic_staff_directory/doctor_jan_ali

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One response to “Muslim Terrorism: Causes and Consequences

  1. From Geoff Miller: Dr Jan Ali’s address on Muslim terrorism reminded me of a criticism made of George Bush’s phrase “the war on terror”.  The criticism was that “terror” is a tactic, not a foe, and how could you declare war on a tactic?  There’s something in that, but of course what you can feel about a tactic is abhorrence, and that is what most people feel about the cowardly and murderous attacks made so frequently in the name of Muslim terrorism against defenceless targets, often ordinary citizens carrying out their normal peaceful pursuits.
     
    So listening to Dr Ali I felt that at times he came close to blurring the distinction between understanding and feeling sympathy for the causes of the alienation of some young people in some Muslim countries,and extending the same understanding to the disgusting terrorist methods which they sometimes adopt, or are persuaded or coerced into adopting.
     
    Also, in describing the causes of the alienation of some Muslim youth Dr Ali concentrated on the Muslim reaction to colonialism and the West.  But the fact is that a lot of Muslim terrorism is directed against other Muslim sects or religious groupings, Sunnis against Shias for example, with mosques or religious processions frequent targets, as well as busy markets. Those acts of terror certainly can not be excused or rationalised in terms of reactions to the incursions of the Western world.

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