The Anthropology of Terrorism

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Since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, “terrorism” has been a word that every American has used daily. It has been eleven years since these attacks, and our country is still at war, and we use terms like “acts of terror” to justify our invasion of their civilian space. Personally, I do not care much for conspiracy theories, but I was interested to know a little bit more about the Islamic culture that these “terrorists” stem from. While the majority of the population of Iraq and Afghanistan are practicing Muslims, they can not all be defined as “terrorists.” In all actuality, a lot of them may define Americans and other westernized countries with seemingly unlimited war powers as “terrorist” groups. There are many differences from the American view of acts of terror, the Iraqi view of acts of terror, and the view of how those who commit crimes of terror see their own actions. I think it very important that American civilians, especially those who are not well educated on our foreign policies and the current war situation, take time to see how Iraqi civilians and the Muslim population view the September 11 acts of terror, and the subsequent war compared to those who chose to commit these acts. I think that most would be surprised when they find that the Islamic religion does not actually promote those extensive “acts of terror” that they do not support the extremist groups like Al Quaeda, and that our presence in their civilian areas, like market places may not be necessary or productive for their day-to-day routines. In order for many people to understand these differing viewpoints on terrorism, I think it is important to focus on how different people may define an act of terror. In December of 1994, the Unite Nations General Assembly Resolution 49/60, "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism," describes terrorism as: “Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the


Bibliography: Abedin, Mahan. "Asia Times Online :: Middle East News, Iraq, Iran current affairs." Asia Times Online :: Asian news hub providing the latest news and analysis from Asia. N.p., 29 Dec. 2009. Web. 5 Dec. 2012. Arena, Michael P., and Bruce A. Arrigo. The terrorist identity: explaining the terrorist threat. New York: New York University Press, 2006. Print. Baudrillard, Jean. The spirit of terrorism and requiem for the Twin Towers. London: Verso, 2002. Print. Borgeson, Kevin , and Robin Valeri. Terrorism In America. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2009. Print. Moeller, Susan D.. Packaging terrorism: co-opting the news for politics and profit. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Print. Reuter, Christoph. My life is a weapon: a modern history of suicide bombing. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004. Print. Various Definitions of Terrorism." Department of Emergency & Military Affairs (DEMA). DEMA, n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2012.

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