Mention a relevant assumption or hypothesis from the readings for this topic.
- Combs, Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century, Chapter 3: Ideology and Terrorism: Rights From Wrongs?
- Michael Stohl, "The Mystery of The New Global Terrorism: Old Myths, New Realities?" In Kegley, The New Global Terrorism: Characteristics, Causes, Controls, pp. 84-91.
- Paul Wilkinson, "Why Modern Terrorism? Differentiating Types and Distinguishing Ideological Motivations," in Kegley, The New Global Terrorism: Characteristics, Causes, Controls, pp. 106-138.
- Mark Juergensmeyer, "The Religious Roots of Contemporary Terrorism," In Kegley, The New Global Terrorism: Characteristics, Causes, Controls, pp. 185-193.
David C. Rapoport,"Fear and Trembling: Terrorism in Three Different Traditions," In Mahan and Griset, Terrorism in Perspective, pp. 47-68.
Paul Wilkinson hypothesizes that motivations for terrorism vary with the ideological roots of the various terrorist groups. This suggests that as there is not only one terrorist group, so there is not only one motive for terrorism.
What's the difference between guerilla warfare and terrorism? One could argue that warfare, in whatever its form, is politically or religiously motivated; looking deeper at the religious argument, however, leads to a political argument; deeper still leads to an economic one.
Modern terrorism is a specific function of religion rather than politics. We cannot compare Al Queda to the IRA, since the former's purposeless attacks are entirely meant to foster fear and submission, while the latter intended to free their nation from oppression by England. Al Queda intends only to destroy the Western world with terrorist attacks; the IRA intended to raise awareness and fight against an occupying nation.
I'm familiar with a couple of these writers. David Rapaport has emphasized the variety of forms terrorism has taken over the years. He has discussed terrorism in Russia (anarchist terrorists in the nineteenth century; anti-colonial terrorism; leftist terrorism; and now religious terrorism. So religious beliefs are indeed key to the particular brand of terror we are faced with today, there are other forms that terror can take linked to particular times and situations. Paul Wilkinson, on the other hand, is more interested in how terrorism can be contained or dealt with by liberal democracies. Certainly this entails some aspects of what accessteacher is talking about, as it emphasizes how terror relates to Western dominance and how it is harder to control in a liberal state with civil liberties protections.
In response to #2, I wonder whether one way we could analyse this assumption that terrorism is based on religious convictions by thinking about the ways in which terrorism is also a product of nationalism or Western dominance in the world. This is something that could be used to usefully question such claims. From the various titles of the articles that you have written about, it seems clear that the roots of terrorism and its links to religious beliefs are a key component of the ideas represented in your texts.
Mark Juergensmeyer, "The Religious Roots of Contemporary Terrorism."
This article, which isn't easily accessible on the web, seems to assume that contemporary terrorism is often rooted in deep-seated religious convictions. It would be hard to argue with this claim, as the history of the past twenty yeas (at least) seems to provide plenty of evidence to support it.