Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bin Laden and Other Thoroughly Modern Muslims

Tradition and modernity : contradictions yet the two can be personified by one example: Islamists. Charles Kurzman, author of "Bin Laden and Other Thoroughly Modern Muslims," explains that today Islamists have gone to modern schools, use modern technology and go by modern laws. They still hold their traditional values, however. Bin Laden, for example, had training in civil engineering. Under the heading of Modern Goals, Modern Methods, Kurzman explains the differences between the Taliban and Islamists. Taliban outlawed women from attending school, but Islamists actually raised the girls education level in Iran. Kurzman also talks more about techonlogy, and how radical Islamists use satellite phones etc., leading to use of the newest high-tech skills. Kurzman ends his article by describing Americas war on terrorism and how it might possibly help the Islamists by fueling the idea that the US is against Islam. He also describes the longer affects, however, saying that "the modernization of Muslim societies, promoted by the United States and its allies as a buffer against traditionalism, may wind up fueling Islamism" (Kurzman 357).

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