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The Rise of Radical Islam 9/11 cannot be examined in a


The Rise of Radical Islam 9/11 cannot be examined in a vacuum. It is a particularly American trait to formulate an US vs. Them ideology, and ignore the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Rise of Radical Islam 9/11 cannot be examined in a

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • 9/11 cannot be examined in a vacuum.
  • It is a particularly American trait to formulate
    an US vs. Them ideology, and ignore the
    impact of historical events.
  • We hear every day about the war on terror, and
    the need to fight them over there so we do not
    have to fight them here.
  • This week marked year six of the US. Campaign to
    liberate Iraq. (Two years and change longer that
    WWII for the U.S.)

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The Rise of Radical Islam
  • The purpose of this presentation is to examine
    the factors leading to the rise of radical Islam,
    and dispel common misconceptions concerning Islam
    in general.
  • If there are those who are willing to die for a
    cause, then we must examine the historical events
    that lead to this point.
  • This is not simply an examination of the events
    after 9/11.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • First, fundamentalism, in any religion, by its
    definition, means that religious zealots are
    basing all political and public policy on hard
    core ideals that do not reflect the majority of
  • Hence, just as it would be wrong to assume that a
    Christian fundamentalist who believes in
    executing Abortion doctors represents
    Christianity, so to is it incorrect to assume
    that all of Islam is represented by suicide

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • Roots of Arab Nationalism.
  • Post WWI both France and Britain establish
    mandate systems in the Middle East, creating new
    nations like Iraq and re-establishing European
    control over Egypt.
  • Essentially, Arab Nationalism sought an end to
    the westernization of the Middle East, as we can
    begin to view this in the larger context of
    resistance to European colonialism in the 20th
    century, in Africa, India, Indochina and the
    Middle East.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • As we move to the post WWII era, we now see the
    Middle East in the context of the growing Cold
  • Hence, Arab Nationalism is now tied to alliances
    with the Soviet Union as Israel, established in
    1947, becomes a free and democratic state
    established as a homeland for European Jews in
    the Post-Holocaust era.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • As Israel is established in the area where the
    state of Palestine existed, we see a war break
    out in 1948 between the Arab forces of Egypt,
    Syria and Jordan against the Unite States
    supported forces of Israel.
  • One key point to notice is that a core groups of
    Arab nationalists are as disillusioned with the
    overtly atheist Communists as they are the
    godless westerners.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • We associate Arab nationalism with monarchies and
    autocracies that are non-democratic and dominated
    by the military.
  • Keep in mind as well that Oil, and the currency
    that it represents in state like Saudi Arabia
    creates states of such wealth that they are
    starkly contrasted with poorer Arab nations like
    Jordan, Syria and Egypt.

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The Rise of Radical Islam
  • We begin to see the governments of many Arab
    nations like Saudi Arabia making arrangement with
    local authorities, strong members of the Islamic
  • A movement known as Wahhabism gains more
    prominence, and this is critical in our
    examination of Radical Islam.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (d. 1792) was the
    first modern Islamic fundamentalist and
  • Wahhab made the central point of his reform
    movement the principle that absolutely every idea
    added to Islam after the third century of the
    Muslim era (about 950 CE) was false and should be

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • A critical moment in the rise of radical Islam
    was the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
  • Iran was previously run by the Shah of Iran, who
    had adopted many of the facets of Western society
    that were repugnant to hard line and pious
  • With the takeover of Iran by the Ayatollah
    Khomeini in 1979, we see established in the
    Middle East a powerful theocracy, which could
    exert influence on other Arab communities.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • Iran became a state sun by the precepts of the
    Koran, and the holding of American hostages for
    444 days begins a new era in Western/Middle east
  • Further, even Arab States like Saudi Arabia and
    Egypt began to be called into question by Islamic
    extremists who felt that there was to much
    western Influence, even in those Arab nations.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • Hence, by placing Arab Nationalism beyond the
    concept of the rejection of all things western,
    and radicalizing it so that Islamic
    fundamentalists call for a purification of Islam
    itself, we see a key shift taking place in the
    Middle East.
  • There grows a sense among many Arab governments
    that these fundamentalists pose a threat to them,
    not only to the powers in the West.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • We see the assassination of the leader of Egypt,
    Anwar Sadat, in 1981 as an expression of the
    anger that many extremists had with leaders who
    had become too western.
  • The group responsible for Sadat's death was
    called the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Now we move to a critical event in the latter
    part of the Twentieth century that will forever
    alter the relations between East and West

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • The Afghanistan War.
  • Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1979.
  • Seeking to impose a communist, hence Western
    regime in Afghanistan, and we see a convergence
    of Cold war and Islamist politics.
  • Muslims resting the Soviet advance began a Jihad,
    or holy war, against the Soviets.
  • Fundamentalist from all over the Arab world were
    drawn to the conflict.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • What is critical is that the United States
    supported conservative Islam forces against the
  • Remember this was the cold war, after all, any
    enemy of the Soviets was a friend of ours.
  • Conservative Arab governments saw this war as a
    way to diver radicals from their countries, and
    US saw it as another round of the Cold War.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • The Soviets withdraw in defeat, and their is
    power vacuum in Afghanistan.
  • By 1998, a group known as the Taliban imposed a
    regime of public executions, strict
    fundamentalist law.
  • Within the Taliban a group terrorists known as Al
    Qaeda found refuge and support in Afghanistan.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • Essentially, the jihad against the United States
    that saw the destruction of the World Trade
    Towers was a continuation of the jihad that began
    against the Soviet Union.
  • Once the US intervenes in the Persian Gulf War,
    when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
  • Remember that Arab states like Saudi Arabia
    supported the US against Saddam because they
    didnt want the region de-stabilized.

The Rise of Radical Islam
  • Osama Bin Laden, born in Saudi Arabia was the son
    of Billionaire construction father.
  • Bin Laden left Saudi Arabia in 1979 to fight
    against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
  • Most scholars agree that Bin Laden was trained by
    forces supported by the CIA when he was in
  • Essentially, the forces we supported against the
    Soviets in Afghanistan evolved into the Taliban,
    and eventually Al Qaeda.

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The Rise of Radical Islam
  • Where are we now?
  • Post 9/11
  • Iraq is a fledgling Democratic state that
    continues to be polarized by the Shiite and Sunni
  • The US. under Barak Obama plans a withdrawal of
    combat troops by 2011.
  • Further, President Obama plans a greater presence
    in Afghanistan.
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