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Another Perspective on Terrorism

Smacholdt's picture

 It was really interesting to read Path to Paradise and get the perspective of the “bad guys” directly after reading the 9/11 graphic adaptation. While I fully support the idea to read these books back to back to compare/contrast them, I thought that Path to Paradise made the point that the cultures of the US and the middle east do not lend themselves well to comparison. The ideologies of the two counties are just too different. On page 54 when the author interviews Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and asks him what the idea behind suicide bombing is, since the bomber is obviously dead after the attack, Yassin responds with the statement that the bomber is not dead, but alive with Allah. All of the actions of a suicide bomber are done in preparation for the afterlife. It seems to me that many of our diplomatic problems stem from a trouble seeing eye-to eye on even the most basic issues, which creates friction and prevents leaders from agreeing on anything.

  I also found it interesting that Yassin said in his interview that he would not object to his daughter getting ahead in life and getting a good education. This contrasted with many of the beliefs about women that many of the suicide bombers expressed. I was also struck by the humanity that many of the bombers displayed in their interviews, such as the girl who hugged Berko and sobbed that all she wanted was her mother. 



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