Terrorism Across Nations


Ghada Hashem Talhami


“The Clash of Civilizations” purveyors of continuing and future bloody confrontations between the West and the Islamic world have succeeded in impressing upon the Western mind the essential violent nature of Islam. In this context the struggle against terrorism has been reduced to the struggle to save Western civilization, consistently represented by the US and Israel, from the non-Judaeo-Christian barbarians at the gate. This paper will argue that Israel as a state routinely condones official terrorism even in open debates of the Knesset. Some of Israel's prominent historians of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict like Benny Morris advocate a pre-emptive form of state terrorism. The endorsement of a violent solution to this conflict was always supported by the US which views global terrorism through the same lenses like Israel. The US has also resorted to redesigning the world and its security organizations in a manner compatible with its own understanding of this problem. According to Professor Mahmood Mamdani of Columbia University, the world is now living under a new "Humanitarian World Order" perpetrated through the US-controlled Security Council which selectively condemns some types of terror, as in Darfur, and ignores others. This paper will conclude with a plea for a universal definition of terror and a unified campaign against it.


Born in Jordan to Palestinian parents, Ghada Talhami received a Ph. D. in African History from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She has taught Middle Eastern and African politics at Lake Forest College, where she holds the title of D. K. Pearsons Professor of Politics, emerita.  She is also a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute. Talhami has been a frequent guest on various television and radio programs including on CNN, Al Jazeera, and Voice of America. She has published widely on Palestine, the question of Jerusalem, development in the Arab World, African-Arab relations, women in Islam, Palestinian human rights, and political Islam.

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