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Proponents of the myth of the extremist suffer cognitive dissonance from the fact that self-styled jihadists perform the vast majority of terrorist attacks in the world today.

The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?

If the problem is not Islam, but extremism, where have all the non-Muslim extremists gone? How do advocates for the myth of terror as extremism respond to the challenge of overwhelming contrary evidence? One tactic is to look back centuries for examples of Christian intolerance.

Another is to scout around for contemporary examples of terror in the name of any religion but Islam. They believed God was on their side, so any atrocity was justified. Although the Catholic-Protestant divide was the shibboleth for the Irish, in fact the conflict was not driven by religious belief. Personalise your weather. Sorry we couldn't find a match for that, please try again. Change my location.

Islamic Extremism Is Islamic -- Terror, Islam Linked | National Review

Though not overly technical, Moussalli's writing is sophisticated. The explanations given, especially of concepts and terminology, assume a basic prior knowledge of both Islam and the fundamentalist's approach to it.

For instance, part of the entry for "fundamentalism" includes the following passage:. In modern times many movements that call for a return to the fundamentals usul of religion have flourished throughout the Muslim world. Leaders of such movements feel that the Islamic spiritual dimension can aid in developing a clear portrait of the enemy and condemn moral corruption - especially when the perceived corrupted present is contrasted with a perceived idealistic and glorious picture of a past full of ethical idealism.

The moral dimension in tum may be used to urge Muslims to establish anew their civilization, reconstruct their identities, and absorb modernity and change p. Some of the terms used here, such as religion, civilization and modernity, are cross referenced so the reader might learn what Islamic fundamentalists mean by them. Such meanings are not always the same as those assigned these terms in the West. Davidson, Islamic Fundamentalism Greenwood. When thinking of Moussalli's dictionary as a companion piece for the general works on this important subject, one is led to wonder just how wide an audience there is for these books.

Certainly interested scholars and a small number of college students will read them. Some foreign-service personnel might look at them. And there is always the odd browser in the larger public libraries. Yet, despite the obvious growing Western and particularly American obsession with Islamic fundamentalism, it seems that the accurate information offered by these works has not penetrated very deeply into the public consciousness.

The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?

Using this duality, the media redefined the apocalypse for the contemporary Westerner: a cornerstone of modernity technology threatens to fail, while an ancient, allegedly fanatical, enemy Islam threatens to triumph. To a great extent these fears were and are a function of ignorance helped along by media sensationalism.

For instance, the computer glitches caused by the flipping of a century calendar date proved to be few and of minor consequence. Even if such glitches had been widespread, they would still have constituted an inconvenience to only a small percentage of the world's population.

Yet the media was able to build the issue up almost to the point of hysteria. The year is now with us and Y2K's apocalyptic potential has failed to materialize. By the time this book review is published the whole issue will have most likely disappeared from the media "news.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the growing Western fear of Islamic fundamentalism and the media's consistent association of this multifaceted movement with the singular notion of terrorism. Unlike Y2K, this fear is not tied to a moment in time; it has a seemingly endless media shelf life.

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And, it too is fed by ignorance. According to the State Department's latest annual report, Patterns of Global Terrorism, , terrorism in general has been steadily declining. In there were incidents, the lowest yearly number since Of these, were "anti-U. The greatest number of these attacks occurred in Latin America 87 and Western Europe The vast majority of these cases had nothing to do with Islamic issues and were not perpetrated by Muslims. Only five attacks took place in the Middle East.


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In other words, terrorism of Middle Eastern origin is about as much a danger to the average American as the Y2K bug was. Americans have far more to fear from home-grown, mentally disturbed high school students inspired by the latest overly violent Hollywood film than they do from the world's Muslims, fundamentalist or not. This is not to say there are no violent Muslims.

Violent Islamist Extremism: A Global Problem

Islam is the world's second largest religion with over one billion adherents. Like Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism, it has been experiencing a fundamentalist revival for some time now. As Moussalli's dictionary clearly shows, this phenomenon as reflected among Muslims is complex, and its causes are varied.