Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: A Political Perspective on Culture and Terrorism. Mahmood Mamdani. Department of Anthropology and. U. MAHMOOD MAMDANI. Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: A Political Pers on Culture and Terrorism. ABSTRACT The link between Islam and terrorism became a. Mahmood Mamdani’s Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold. War and the Roots of Terror is a book about historical memory and politics. Mamdani hopes.

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When I read of Islam in the papers these days, I often feel I am reading of museumized peoples.

Should official America be held responsible for napalm bombing and spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam? Could it be true that an orthodox Muslim is a potential terrorist? It sought specifically to kill and maim civilians, but not all of them.

That perhaps is the real challenge today. It is my own construction, but it is not a fabrication.

Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror

The first, called “little Jihad ,” thinks of Jihad as a struggle against external musoim of Islam. Some may object that I am presenting a caricature of what we read in the press. I use the word Crusade, not Jihadbecause only the notion of Crusade can accurately convey the frame of mind in which this initiative was taken.

In one of these articles, Eqbal distinguished between mamdank broad traditions in the understanding of Jihad.


Instead, it habitually looks for a high moral pretext for inaction. When I read this, or something like this, I wonder if this world of ours is after all divided into two: Ever since September 11, there has been a growing media interest in Islam. Before exploring the politics of it, let me clarify the historical moment.

I returned from Durban to listen to Condoleeza Rice talk about the need to forget slavery because, gold said, the pursuit of civilized life requires that we forget the past. We seek friends and allies in times of danger. The terrorists of September 11, we are told, did not just hijack planes; it is said ,uslim they also hijacked Islam, meaning genuine Islam!

Both consider the world beyond a sea of mamdanii, one that needs to be redeemed. Take, for example the politics of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, both of whom claim to be waging a Jihada just war against the enemies of Islam?

A student of mine gave me a series of articles written by the Pakistani academic and journalist, Eqbal Ahmed, in the Karachi-based newspaper, Dawn. But civilization cannot be built on just forgetting. It could not find a Prince. It endows programs at universities like Harvard and Yale. The Bin Laden family is a patron of scholarship. Culture Talk Is our world really divided into two, so that one part makes culture and the other is a prisoner of culture?

Official America has a habit of not taking responsibility for its own actions.


Modernity in politics is about moving from exclusion to inclusion, from repression to incorporation. Mind you, not between good and bad persons, nor between criminals and civic citizens, who both happen to be Muslims, but between good Muslims and bad Muslims. It has little trace of ethnocentrism. The Question of Responsibility. As different factions fought over the liberated country – the Northern Alliance against the Taliban – they shelled and destroyed their own cities with artillery.

Transcript: Mahmood Mamdani on Good Muslim, Bad Muslim | Jul 03, |

The implication is that their only salvation lies, as always, in philanthropy, in being saved from the outside. The Spectatora British weekly, carried a lead article a few weeks ago that argued that the link was not with all of Islam, but with a musllm literal interpretation of it. Like Afghanistan, are these countries hosting terrorism, or are they also hostage to terrorism?

Instead of dismissing history and politics as does culture talk, I suggest we place cultural debates in historical and political contexts. America was built on two monumental crimes: This article is born of dissatisfaction with the new wisdom that we must tell apart the Good Muslim from the Bad Muslkm.