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Islam and terrorism

  1. 1. Islam and Terrorism: Lebanese Muslim Views on September 11 Author(s): Simon Haddad and Hilal Khashan Source: The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 46, No. 6 (Dec., 2002), pp. 812-828 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. Stable URL: . Accessed: 21/12/2010 02:56 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact Sage Publications, Inc. is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Journal of Conflict Resolution.
  2. 2. Islam and Terrorism LEBANESE MUSLIM VIEWS ON SEPTEMBER 11 SIMON HADDAD Political Science Department Notre-DameUniversity,Lebanon HILALKHASHAN Political Science Department AmericanUniversityof Beirut LebaneseMuslim reactionsto the September11 attacksare assessed using the hypothesesthat receptivenessto dogmasof militantIslamandyoung age wouldpredictapproval the attacks,andeducationand of in income, althoughimportant explainingthe domesticcomponentof politicalIslam,wouldhaveno bearing on supportfor the September11 terrorist attacks.In view of the recentsurgeof SunniMuslimmilitancy,it is proposed that Sunni respondentswould show greatersupportfor the attacksthan Shi'is. The data were to obtainedfroma stratifiedrandomsampleconsistingof 337 SunniandShi'i male andfemale respondents an opinionpoll conductedin the GreaterBeirutareaduringOctoberandNovember2001. The findingsverof ify thepropositionthatpronenessto militantIslamandage predictedapproval the attacksbutdo not verify the hypothesisthat Sunni respondentsexceeded Shi'is in approvalfor the attacks. Even though Islamic militants,especially Usama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida organization, have repeatedlyattackedU.S. targetsduringthe past two decades, hardlyanybody imaginedthatthey would mount such horrificacts as those carriedout on September11, 2001. Foryears,Islamicmilitancyhas presenteditself as a securityissue on both the domestic and global scenes, which generatedan intense academic debate aboutits nature,scope, and strengthin Arab-Islamicsocieties. The evolutionof antiand Islamicmilitancyhas been paraWestern(specifically anti-American anti-Israeli) doxical. SuicidalShi'i militancyin the 1980s and 1990s servedas an unlikely precursor to a far more destructiveversion of Sunni suicidal militancy,one that has been acceleratingsince the early 1990s. Sunnis, who prevailin the world of Islam, do not generally look up to Shi'is-often treatingthem as apostates-as role models. The politically dominant Sunnis for centuries persecuted and marginalized Shi'is on rangholgroundsof defectionfromthe community;the latter'sconceptof martyrdom But low in the former'sreligiousinterpretation. thatdid not seem to withstandthe test AUTHORS'NOTE:The datafile pertainingto this study is availableat and jcrdata.htm from the authors. 2002 Vol. OF JOURNAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION, 46 No.6, December 812-828 DOI:10.1177/002200202237930 ? 2002SagePublications 812
  3. 3. AND TERRORISM 813 Haddad,Khashan/ ISLAM from of the 1980s and the ultimateachievementof Israel'sunceremoniousdeparture southernLebanonin May 2000. Supportedby Iranand toleratedby Syria, Shi'i Hizbullahintroducedin 1983 the in concept of martyrdom waging war againstthe Westernmilitarypresence in Lebanon. On September23 of thatyear,in two simultaneousandwell-coordinatedattacks, of Hizbullah suicide bombers destroyedthe headquarters the U.S. Marines and the force operatingin Beirutundera manFrenchcontingentattachedto the multinational date from the UnitedNations (UN) SecurityCouncil following Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. The bombings proved decisive in ensuring the pullout of all U.S. and achieveFrenchtroopsfrom Beirutshortlyafterwards. Encouragedby its remarkable ment in evicting two major Western powers from Beirut, Hizbullah immediately unleasheda wave of takingWesternnationalsliving in Lebanonas hostages in a saga thatendedin the killing of a few of themandthe releaseof the restafterseveralyearsin suicidebombingsas a new variablein captivity.In the meantime,Hizbullahintroduced the equationof militaryconfrontationbetween Arabs and Israelis. The new rules of combatin the Jewish state'slow-intensityLebanonwar seemed utterlyincomprehenIsraelipolitical-military sible to the Western-minded establishment.The dividendsof religious militancy inspiredthe second intifada, led by Hamas and al-Jihad,in September2000 in the West Bank and Gaza less than4 monthsafterIsraelitroopspulled out from southernLebanon.Curiously,the al-Qa'ida-linkedOctober12, 2000, attack on USSCole in the portof Aden occurredonly 2 weeks afterthe beginningof violence in the PalestinianTerritories. STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVE AND SIGNIFICANCE Appleby and Marty(2002, 16) stressthatreligious militantsare not the monopoly of the Islamic faith.They statethatthey "arelikely to springup anywherepeople perceive the need to fight a godless, secularculture-even if they have to departfrom the orthodoxyof theirtraditionsto do it."Thereis no dearthof social scientists,nevertheless, who claim that the Muslim communityunquestioninglysupportsanyone who opposes the hegemony of the United States in world politics, even if they do not possess religious credentials,such as Libya's Mu'ammarQhaddafiand Iraq's Saddam Hussein.Rashid(2001,397), for example,lists bin Ladenas "thelastfigurein thispantheon of heroic rogues."Using dataobtainedfrom a public opinion poll of 337 Lebanese Muslims surveyedshortlyafterthe WorldTradeCenter(WTC)andthe Pentagon for attacks,this studyaims to empiricallyassess the incidenceof approval the terrorist act in the Muslim sectorof Metropolitan Beirut.The studyseeks to accountfor (1) the (2) strengthof radicalIslamicorientation amongthe respondents, the extentof support for the September11 attacks,and (3) the determinants that support. of We areinterestedin assessing the strengthof political Islam,age, income, andeducation as determinants supportfor the September11 terrorist of attacks.Furthermore, we propose that Sunni political Islam has replacedits Shi'i counterpart the main as in proponentof anti-Westernism ArabandIslamic societies. The brief Shi'i encounter with the West in the 1980s was inspiredby a transientmessianicperspectivethatthen
  4. 4. 814 JOURNAL CONFLICT OF RESOLUTION galvanizedIran'sIslamic revolution.Shi'i Islam appearsmore concernedaboutmere world of Islam thanworryingaboutthe pitphysical survivalin the Sunni-dominated falls of an unevenconfrontationwith the West. Ourcontentionis thatpolitical Islamandage, regardlessof gender,serve as importantdeterminants support the terrorist of for attacks,whereasincome andeducationdo not. This line of reasoningdeviatesfromthe conventionalwisdom of Westernscholarship,whichholds thatpoorsocial andeconomic conditionsfostermilitancyandterrorism. In theirexplanationof Islamicmilitancyin Egypt,Esposito andVoll (1996, 186) arguedthat "youth,unemployment,and lack of housing have createdconditions for recruitment Islamists and have made for an explosive mix." Following the same by the logic, Anderson(1997, 20-22) attributed ascendancyof Islamic militancy in the MiddleEast to the economic difficultiesthatArabcountriesbeganto encounterin the pasttwo decadesas a resultof the oil glut in the 1980s, the cessationof Moscow's economic assistanceafterthe collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, andthe accumulation of foreign debt. Nevertheless,Andersonsoundeduncertainabouteducationas a predictor of supportfor religious militancy.This uncertaintywas most evident in her statementthat"althoughthe Islamistmovementshad widespreadappealin the lower strata of society, the active adherentstended to be university graduates"(p. 23). Huband(1998, 99) saw the resurgenceof political Islam as a directreactionto social and andeconomic failures.He soundedconfidentthatpooreducationstandards rising illiteracyhave exacerbatedthe phenomenonof Islamic militancy.Conversely,Euben the violence to the frustration of (1999, 26) attributed appealof Islamicfundamentalist the overeducatedand underemployedclass "who might have led the modernization MarkTessler (1997, 107-11) process undermore fruitfuleconomic circumstances." of dwelt on the social andeconomic discontentment NorthAfricansandotherArabsas a preconditionfor turningto Islamistpolitical movements. A few scholarshave stressedthe inadequacy the social andeconomic variablesto of accountfor the rise of the Islamic movementsince the late 1960s. Using surveyfindcollege studentslivings datingbackto the early 1980s aboutmiddle-classPalestinian in Kuwait,Sivan (1985, 170) notedthe salience of religion in the students'hieraring and chy of groupaffiliation.These urbanized well-educatedstudentsexhibiteda great deal of opennesson issues relatedto family,child rearing,genderrelations,andcareer He orientation. observedthat"therealmof religion has been... the least amenableto to transformation" 176). Indeed,manyArabssee in revitalizedIslaman alternative (p. defeated Arab nationalismand stifled leftist ideologies. This probablyexplains the ease with which manyLebaneseShi'i communistsandArabnationalistshadshiftedto Hizbullahin the 1980s. The unfavorablesocial and economic conditions that frequentlyinvite Western scholars to interpretIslamic radicalism in their light fail to account for the antiWestern agenda of political Islam. In our opinion, the destructionof the Islamic Caliphatesome 80 years ago, the inception of Europeancolonialism in Muslim and Arab lands, and Westernendorsementof the creationof a Jewish state in Palestine seem to betterexplain political Islam's grudge against the West than the simplistic Lawrence(1989, 201) concurredwith this assessmentand socioeconomic argument. thatthe long-termconsequencesof colonialism on Araband Muslim peosuggested
  5. 5. AND TERRORISM 815 Haddad,Khashan/ ISLAM ples "have yet to be exhausted."Rejwan (2000, 137) detected a general Muslim response to the West that confirmedits perceived attempt"to dominateand subvert Muslim societies througheconomic and culturalpower." The presentstudy'seffortto shed light on the reactionof LebaneseMuslims to the September11 attacksis significantfor threereasons.First, it is necessaryto put into of perspectivethe inundation criticismin the WestagainstIslamas a belief system. For Yuksel(2001, 4) seeks to convince us that example, It Islamhaslittleto do withMuhammad's today's original message. hasbecomea reliwho the of with narraby gionconcocted scholars traded teaching theQur'an fabricated tionandmedieval Arab culture. viciousandoppressive laws,misogyny, Theypromoted terror aggression. and hatred, Second, Lebanonhouses Sunni and Shi'i Muslims in significantnumbers,especially in Metropolitan Beirut,where the two sects have nearlyequal demographicstrength. militantIslamicgroups,includingShi'i Hizbullah,enjoy strongsupportin West Major Beirutand its southernsuburb,the Muslim partof Metropolitan Beirut.Third,Lebanon is the only Arab country where the authoritiesneither require permission to administer public opinionpolls norplace hurdlesin theirway.Even thoughfew public opinion polls surveyedAraband Muslim reactionsto the September11 attacks,none seem to havedealtwith sensitivequestions.Thus,the GallupPoll, which includednine Muslim countries,contenteditself with reportingthattwo-thirdsof those interviewed expressedunfavorable opinionsof the UnitedStatesandthatthe September11 attacks had no moraljustification( 2002). Similarly,a poll by Birzeit University (2001) limited itself to reportingthat64% of Palestiniansit interviewedbelieved thatattacksagainstU.S. civilians were anathema shari'a. One of the advantagesof to conductingpublic opinionspolls in Lebanonhas to do with the fact thatthe Lebanese are probablythe most politically informedand outspokenArabs,thanksto the availmediasourcesandunobstructed access to the Internet, faciliall abilityof independent tatedby the widespreaduse of English and French. Before we proceedwith the presentation ourfindings,we deemedit necessaryto of attacksof bringto the attentionof the readerthe gist of Arabreactionsto the terrorist September11 as reportedin the media.In addition,we will say a wordaboutIslamand violence in relationto the conceptofjihad, a corrupt nationalgovernment,andgeneral disaffectionwith the West. ARAB REACTIONS TO THE REPERCUSSIONS OF SEPTEMBER 11 That Arabs and Muslims express anger against the United States is hardlynews. it "callousindifferenceto theirsufJoyce (2001, iii) readilyattributes to Washington's fering."Khashan(1991) found sweeping supportamong Lebanese Sunnis for Iraq's 1990 invasionof Kuwait,with the vast majorityof respondentscondemningthe U.S.
  6. 6. 816 JOURNALOF CONFLICT RESOLUTION for of militarybuildupin SaudiArabiain preparation the reinstatement Kuwait'ssovereignty.Most of respondentsbelieved that SaddamHussein expressed the ethos of Arab nationalismmore convincingly than formerEgyptianPresidentGamal Abdel Nasser,the celebratedchampionof pan-Arabism duringthe cold waryears (Khashan 1991, 110). Based on his findings, Khashanpredictedthat the last years of the 20th centurywouldwitness a shiftin IslamicmilitancyfromShi'ism to Sunnism(p. 116). By and large, Arab press commentariesand news coverage immediately recognized the severity and seriousness of the September 11 attacks.Analyses centered, lines of thinking:the firstcalled for dispassionatereflection however,on two disparate and advocatedeffecting fundamental changes in Arab-Islamicthinking.It also urged Arabsto revisit core societal values and behavioralpatterns.The second put all the blame on the United States and its arguablyanti-Arabposition on the Middle East's burningissues. In a commentaryon the strongpossibility thatU.S. investigatorswould eventually establish a connection between Muslim militant groups and the WTC-Pentagon for attacks,the senior diplomaticcorrespondent the Saudi-ownedpan-Arabnewspahercoreligioniststo avoidproviding justifications.She arguedthat perAl-Hayaturged be counterproductive Arab intereststo connect between the suicide airfor it would linerattacksand"ill-conceivedU.S. policy on MiddleEasternissues"(Dirgham2001, of 1). A Lebanesecolumnistclaimedthat"traditions violence, which permeateall levels of social interactions,continue to thrive in Arab and Islamic societies" (Hijazi founAl-Khaw'i philanthropic of 2001, 11). The secretary-general the London-based dationdenouncedthe attacksas incompatiblewith Islamic moralsandrebukedArabs and Muslims who imploredthe United States to retaliatewisely and responsibly.He for addedthat"it would be more appropriate us to eradicatethe malignantcancerous tumors from Arab and Islamic societies and take the initiative to crush the culprit [meaning bin Laden]" (Al-Khaw'i 2001, 6). A Saudi academicianwent as far as describingthe outpouringof emotion in Araband Muslim countriesagainstthe U.S. militarycampaignin Afghanistanas an indicatorof "aseriousflaw in the reasoningof Muslimmasses"(Al-Rawwaf2001, 9). A Libyanwriterreasonedthatthe perpetrators of the attacksexemplify a twistedformofjihad, which is "theproductof an obscuranof tist interpretation Islamheld hostageby deludedandhallucinating jurists"(Bul'isha 2001, 12). Arabproponents eliminatingthe core of religiousmilitancyfromtheirmidstdid of Al-Khater not spare U.S. policy for fanning the flames of Islamic fundamentalism. advised the United States to reevaluateits policies in the Middle East in a (2001, 18) way thatwould serve its long-terminterestsin the region,includingthe establishment of a Palestinianstate and putting treatmentof Arabs on a par with the Israelis. An Egyptianwriterechoed the mood of the Arab streetby linking the attacksto "America's flagrantbias for Israel"(Huwaidi2001, 11). This view is sharedby manyArabs, who saw the attacksas including,for example, a memberin the Lebaneseparliament treat"theend productof a cumulativeprocess of humiliatingArabsand preferential ment for Israel"(Qansu 2001, 5). Warningagainsta grandconspiracyagainstMuslims, Huwaidi(2001, 11) seemed contentthatthe attackswere the work of a Western fanaticreligiousgroupintenton using violence to expeditethe secondreturnof Christ
  7. 7. AND TERRORISM 817 Haddad, Khashan/ ISLAM and bringpeace to earth.A Saudi columnist noticed that the Septemberattackshave to revealedthe intensityof Westernhatredfor Islamby referring unsubstantiated accusations that it "embodies a terroristphilosophy"(Lari 2001, 10). Qusaybi, another SaudiArabiancolumnist,was impelledby the events to takea stand.He called on fellow Arabs"todevelop a strategybasedon the premisethatthe West-the articulator of and humanism-has committedgross injustice againstthe Palesdemocracy,liberty tinians when it coerced them to pay for its own mischievousdeeds againstthe Jews" (Qusaybi2001, 10). ISLAM AND VIOLENCE Violence is a qualityinherentin mankind.It is an afflictionthatwreakshavoc both at the level of nationalpolitics and the global system. After all, birthand death are essentially two violent, life-shaping events. Islam has certainlyhad its fair share of truesince this universalisticreligion has assumed,since violence. This is particularly its inceptionin the 7th century,a worldlyrole thatrequired regulationof the behavthe ior of both believers and infidels. Anderson(1997, 17) assertedthat "the substantive dogma of Islam does not tell us when or why its adherentswill actuallyresortto violence to furthera quest understood be Islamic."Evidence suggests otherwise.Islam to came with a zeal for conquest and to spreadthe world of Allah to humanityin its entirety.After successfully taking control of the North African coast, Arab-Muslim "Oh armycommander Uqbabin Nafi criedat the Straitof Gibraltar, God:if the sea had not preventedme, I would have coursedforeverlike Alexanderthe Great,upholding your faith and fighting all who disbelieved"(in Brett and Fentress 1998, 82). The that Qur'anmandated conquest,with the aim of proselytizingnonbelievers,was one of the majorfunctionsof the headof the Islamicstate.Using the faithfulas the instrument of war on the infidel, it proclaimedthat soonshallWecastterror thehearts theUnbelievers, thattheyjoinedpartners into of for withAllah,forwhichHehadsentnoauthority; abode betheFire; evilis the their will and homeof thewrong-doers. verse151) al-'Imran, (Surat It exhortedMuslims to fight anddie in the name of Allah: "Forlife of this worldis but goods and chattels of deception"(Suratal-'Imran,verse 185). The Qur'anpromised heavenin exchangefor deathduring jihad:"Thinknot of those who areslain in Allah's way as dead.Nay, they live, findingtheirsustenancefromtheirLord"(Suratal-'Imran, verse 169). In less thana century,Muslimarmiesestablisheda spectacular empirethat spreadfromSpainin the Westto the gates of Chinain the East.Ottomanarmiesclosing in on ChristianEurope approachedthe walls of Vienna and helped engenderin the West an enduringapprehension againstIslam. Reciprocally,the initiationof the Crusades (1095-1271), Europe'scolonizationof Arab-Islamiclands in the 19th and 20th centuries,and the subsequentdestructionof the Caliphate(1924) resultedin a correspondingandequallyenduringMuslimapprehension againstthe overwhelmingmight of ChristianEurope.
  8. 8. 818 JOURNALOF CONFLICT RESOLUTION Dissension in Islam emergedshortlyafterthe deathof the prophetMuhammad in 632. CertainMuslims, the kharijites(seceders), felt that the caliph should epitomize the best qualitiesof the communityof believers (i.e., deep faith, humility,justice, and fairness).In 644, they assassinatedcaliphUmarandusheredin a periodof bloody violence againsttheiropponentsthatservedas a prototypefor the current wave of Islamic fundamentalism has been ragingsince the early 1970s (Mustafa1995, 89). Shukri that Arabrenais(1990, 8) ascribedIslamic militancyto the demise of a Western-inspired sance andits pragmatism. litanyof resoundingdefeatsthatdoomedthe Arabs'drive A for modernityfor two centuries eventually preparedfor the emergence of pristine Islamicmovementscalling for the reenactment Islam'sgolden age. Shukriputmuch of of the blamefor the Arabs'failureto modernizeon theirseeming inabilityto reconcile the veneerof secularismthey took fromthe Westwith the deep-seatedelementsof theocracythatprevailin Islamicsocieties. Theyessentiallyfailedbecausetheybasedtheir new thinkingon a set of dualisms.Arabscould not reconcile the presentwith turath with Islam,knowledgewithfaith,andmodernitywith tradi(heritage),Westernization tion (Shukri 1990, 123). Islamicfundamentalists Leaningon theocracy, soughtdirectionsfromthe Qur'an: this followit:follownot(other) Verily, is MyWayleading straight: paths: willscatthey teryouabout from Path: dothHecommand that mayberighteous. His thus (Surat you, ye verse165) al-An'am, Upon succeeding the prophetMuhammadas the leader of the Muslim community, AbuBakr,the firstorthodoxcaliph,addressedfellow Muslims:"Assistme if I abideby the wordof Allah andcorrectme shouldI deviate"(in 'AbdulWahid1974, 9). In fact, the prophetregarded jihad as the highestformof piety,andhe made it very clearto the believers: "Itis your duty to rally behind everyjihad-mindedprince,whetherhe is a just ruleror not" (in 'AbdulWahid 1974, 134). Inspiredby the Qur'anicmodel, the movement,which set the pace and directionof reformand EgyptianMuslim brethren in transformation Arab-Islamicsocieties, pronounced jihad the duty of the religious entire communityof believers and advocatedthe idea of political organizationas an Islamic necessity to reverse their state of backwardness(see Al-Mawla 2000). Displaying an elitist conception of politics, the militant Islamic movement considered of political struggleandthe attainment power"asthe most pivotalfunctionin its strategy as a whole.... Direct action becomes the substitute for detailed programs and compensatesfor lack of materialpower"(Choueiri 1996, 27). The militantssaw the Islamic statethe only hope for redeemingMuslims. creationof the Qur'an-mandated To secure their unquestioning involvement in highly risky operations that often resultedin self-destruction,militantgroupsdemandedthatthe rankand file "surrento der ... theirown rationality the belief into a God ordainedsystem"(Farah1986,43). The idea of jihad ranksprominentlyin the thinkingof militantIslamic thinkers.Salih jihad as the sixth pillar Sirriya,the founderof the Egyptianjihad movement,regarded of Islam, calling it the forgottenobligation (see Voll 1991, 383). Pronenessto join the ranksof militantIslamicmovementsis often relatedto young age. Membershipis usually associated with a clash between traditionalvalues and
  9. 9. AND TERRORISM 819 Haddad, Khashan/ ISLAM exposure to secularlearning.In connection with this, Hoffman (1993, 210) asserted that "thevalues learnedfrom the past and the realities of the presentconfrontyoung people with bewilderingcontradictionsand often a multitudeof moral choices that Hardacre createa sense of anxiety,loneliness, anddisorientation." (1993, 141) insisted that those contradictionsand others (such as the adverse effects of urbanization, immiseration of rural areas, and national appeals) afflict women, not just men: "Womenare thus powerfully attractedby fundamentalisms' networks interpersonal that invoke the language of kinship and in which the religion itself is portrayedas a family." Islamic Dekmejian(1995, 3-4) noted the polycentricnatureof the contemporary revival movement, despite its pervasiveness and persistence. This implies that, in essence, Islamic movementsemerge in responseto local conditions.Even thoughthe proliferationof Islamic movements in certain countries may encourage the rise of elsewhere,it is unlikelythatthey will join in a commoncause or see eye to counterparts eye on issues. Khashan(2002, 111) opined thatthe roots of the Islamic movementin Egypt and the Levant,which revealthe extentof theirdisaffectionwith the West, "go back to the last days of the eighteenth century,when Napoleon's armies landed in Egypt and showed Muslims, in a spectaculardisplay of force, the extent of theircultural,scientific, and militarybackwardnessvis-a-vis the West."The Wahhabimovein ment, which appeared Najdin the 18thcentury,seemed morepreoccupiedwith rectifying the doctrinesof Islamthanwith the adventof Westernmightinto the core of the Islamic world. Saudi Arabia'spresentIslamic resurgence,which resents the corrupt regime of the Saudi royals and their American sponsors, finds its recruits mostly among "recentlyurbanizedBedouins, whose statusof relativedeprivation among the more affluenturbanitesmade them eager convertsto the activist cause" (Dekmejian 1994, 629). METHOD SAMPLE CHARACTERISTICS Six well-trainedfield-workerscollected a stratifiedrandom sample, which consisted of 337 LebaneseMuslims,duringOctoberandNovember2001. We selectedthe threesectarianphilanthropic respondentsfromthreepublic-sectordepartments, orgaBeinizations,and eight privatebusinesses.All respondentscame from Metropolitan rut, the hub of the Lebanese political system and the home base of its main political movements.The sample included 51% Sunnis and 49% Shi'is, of whom 37% were females (see the appendixfor the items of the survey).To circumventthe problemof lack of opinion formationthat obstructsfield researchin underdevelopedcountries, the principalinvestigatorsdecided againstincluding illiterateor minimallyeducated elements of the populationin the sample.Forthis reason,50% of the respondentshad college degrees, 36%had completedtheirhigh school education,and 14%had diplomas of vocationaltraining.The distribution the respondentsby income showedthat of 15%of themreported high incomes, 55%averageincomes, and30%low incomes. As
  10. 10. 820 JOURNALOF CONFLICT RESOLUTION TABLE 1 Factor Analysis Scores for Approval of September 11 Attacks Using Varimax Rotation Item Supportfor the September11 attacks GrievancesagainstU.S. policy warrantattacks Supportfollow-up attacks,includinguse of weapons of mass destruction Emotionalreactionto the images of September11 Loading .79 .86 .87 .76 far as the distributionof the respondentson the basis of displaying radical Islamic views, the sampleconsisted of 15%highly radical,23%moderatelyradical,and62% nonradicalrespondents.Because the literatureon the appeal of religious radicalism strongly suggests that most of its recruitsand sympathizerscome from among the of this young, we chose to overrepresent age group.Therefore,the breakdown respon62%for those in the 18 to 28 years dentsby age grouptook the following distribution: category,20% for the 29 to 39 years category,and 18%for respondentsolder than39 years. THE VARIABLES The dependent variable pertainedto approvalof the September 11 attacks. Its into operationalization a scale (M= 2.00, SD = 0.79) consistedof fouritems whose text and factor scores, which ascertaintheir constructvalidity,appearin Table 1. variablesto test theirhypotheses:endorseWe used the following fourindependent mentof politicalIslam,'education,income, andage. Education(M = 1.50, SD = 0.50), income (M = 2.15, SD = 0.66), and age (M = 1.57, SD = 0.78) were measuredby one item each. The text and factorscores of the four items that measuredendorsementof political Islam (M = 1.97, SD = 0.77) appearin Table 2. To ensure the unidimensionalityof the dependentvariableandits distinctionfromthe politicalIslamscale, we The four factoranalyzedthe eight items pertainingto the two scales in one procedure. items representingsupportfor the terroristattacksloaded on the first factor,whereas the otherfouritems indicatingpoliticalIslamloadedon the secondfactor.The strength of the loadings precludedthe possibility of item interactions. We took pains to ensure the reliabilityof the instrumentby ascertainingits adeof quacythroughpretesting(n = 25) andthe administration the congruencewith reality items of of responsesreliabilitytests. Cross-tabulation representative andconsistency 1. Endorsement politicalIslamdiffersfromreligiosity,andwe deliberatelyavoidedusing the latter of Muslims confine theirpiety to engagementin Islam's five basic pilfor two main reasons.First,traditional lars, which do not allude to political action. Second, radicalMuslims believe in the need to re-createthe the Islamicstateon the basis of shari'a, even if it requiresusing force to overthrow government.In addition, for they hold a deep grudgeagainstthe Westfor dismantlingthe Islamicstateand,arguably, encroachingon who describedthe intensityof theirreligiosthe lives of Muslims.The sampleincluded78%of respondents saidtheyeitherhighly or moderately ity as high or moderate.On the otherhand,only 49%of the respondents endorsedpolitical Islamic inclinations.
  11. 11. Haddad, Khashan/ISLAM AND TERRORISM 821 TABLE2 FactorAnalysis Scores for the Political Islam Items Using VarimaxRotation Item Loading Supportcertainreligious groups'use of violence to achieve their objectives Religious leaders should assume public office An Islamic state is the best political system in which one can live of Warmth feeling towardAfghanistan'sIslamic regime .79 .84 .88 .78 invariably produced very high correlations, thus attesting to the reliability of responses. ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS Frequencydistributionsexpectedly showed that a clear majorityof respondents (70%)expresseddisaffectionwith U.S. policy in the MiddleEast. For90%of responsource of disaffectionrelatedto U.S. supportfor Israel.For dents, the most important source of disaffectionconcernedthe U.S. more than 30%, the second most important role in the Gulf Warandthe sanctionsagainstIraqthathavebeen in place since its invasion of Kuwaitin 1990. On the issue of eradicatingglobal terroremanatingfrom the believedthatthe taskcould be accomplishedby a more MiddleEast,most respondents balanced U.S. policy on the Arab-Israeliconflict, as well as the terminationof the sanctionsagainstIraq. Does disaffection with U.S. foreign policy suffice to supportthe September 11 attacks?Apparentlynot. Table 3 demonstratesthat there is a gap between the two because only 30% of the respondentssaid they supportedthe attacks. A sweeping majorityfelt, nevertheless,that Arab grievancesagainstthe U.S. did indeed warrant those attacks.More than one-thirdof the respondentsindicatedthey would support follow-up attacksby Islamic militants,includingthe use of weaponsof mass destrucfromthe images gention. Anotherone-thirdreported derivingemotionalgratification eratedby the destructionof New York'stwin towers. and The dispersionof the reactionsto the September11 attacksbetween supporters dissentersnecessitatedfurtheranalysis, namely,possible linkage to militantIslamic tendencies. Answers to the four items on wedding extremistpolitical tendencies to Islamrevealeddiverseresponses,as shownin Table4. Significantlyfewerrespondents manifestedsupportfor militantviolence or the defunctTalibanregimein Afghanistan than for the right of religious leaders to assume public office or for perceiving the Islamic stateas the best political model. Obviously,the responsesregistereda sizable endorsementof militantpolitical tendencies.The summaryscale revealedthatnearly half of the respondentseither stronglyor moderatelyapprovedof the September11 attacks. The strengthof the approvalratefor the attacksraiseda questionaboutwhetherit was associated with membershipin religiously militantorganizations.Even though
  12. 12. 822 JOURNALOF CONFLICT RESOLUTION TABLE3 Approvalof September11 Attacks (N = 337) (in percentages) Yes Unsure Total 30 58 12 100 High 38 88 07 05 100 Medium 11 37 55 09 10la Low 51 34 Supportfor attacks Grievanceswarrant attacks Supportfollow-up attacks,including use of weapons of mass destruction Emotional gratificationto images of attacks No 65 - 99a Total 100 Scale Summary % a. Percentagesdo not add up to 100 due to rounding. TABLE4 Salient Componentsof EndorsingPolitical Islam (N = 337) (in percentages) Medium Low Total 13 13 75 01a High 15 16 30 53 99a Medium 34 20 25 55 100 Low 51 12 25 64 lOla Total 100 High Supportfor militant violence Supportfor religious leaders'assumption of public office Perceptionof Islamic state as the best political model Views on Afghanistan's Taliban SummaryScale % a. Percentagesdo not add up to 100 due to rounding. affiliationwith political partiesshowed a greaterincidence of approvalof the attacks than the sample average, membershipin militantIslamic, especially Sunni, groups producedoverwhelmingapprovalrates (see Table5). These resultsconformwith the findings of Khashan's(1991) study of Lebanese Muslim supportfor Iraq'sposition supduringthe 1990-1991 crisis in the Gulf, which pointedto muchmorepronounced portfor the invasionof Kuwaitandthe Iraqipresident'srhetoricamongSunnirespondents than their Shi'i counterparts. Eventually,the events of September11 demonstratedbeyond a shadow of doubt that the most formidablesource of anti-Western religious militancycame from Sunnism,not Shi'ism. Khashan(1989, 585) attributed lukewarmShi'i hostility for the Westbecause "Shi'i fundamentalism-in sharpcondebatesoverthornyrelitrastwith its Sunnicounterpart-is engrossedin intra-Islamic
  13. 13. AND TERRORISM 823 Haddad, Khashan/ ISLAM TABLE5 PartyAffiliation and Approvalof September11 Attacks(n = 62) (in percentages) Organization Hizbullah(n = 33) Amal movement(n = 8) Seculargroupings(n = 10) Sunni groupings(n = 11) High Medium 55 50 30 91 36 25 20 09 Low Total 9 25 50 -100 100 100 100 NOTE:Cramer'sV = 0.36. Level of significance = 0.02. who shouldpresideover the Muslim community." data, The gious issues, particularly show thatSunni respondents'mobilizationinto politics remainsquite modhowever, est comparedwith the Shi'is.2Unlike the regressionanalysisthatfollows, mere statistical associationshave no inferentialutility. The regressionequationfor determiningthe correlatesof approvalof the September 11 attacks included the following four independentvariables:endorsementof political Islam, age, income, and education.Analysis sought to take note of possible differencesbetween males andfemales, Sunnisand Shi'is. We expectedthe correlates of approval the attacksto be strongeramongSunnisthanShi'is, males thanfemales, of and youngerthanolderrespondents.Regressionanalysis for the entiresample,which appearsin Table6, revealsthatthe paramount strengthof political Islam,followed by for the September11 attacks.As expected,income andeducaage, predictedapproval tion failed to providesignificantscores. Many scholars,such as Hoffman(1993, 208), refuseto link militantIslamto povertyandlow levels of education.Youngage persists as a significantcorrelateof extremism,butit no longerpossesses a quasi-monopolyin predictingit, as it did in the 1970s (Hiro 1988, 274). Since then, the Arabpublic has growndismayedby the generalpoliticalfailureof theirrulingelites andthe increasein foreign power interventioninto their local affairs,namely by the United States. The summaryregressionanalysis for determiningapprovalfor the attacksby gender(see Table6) showedpoliticalIslamas a stronger and predictor age as a weakerone for males than for females. Comparatively, this implied that the tenets of political Islamhad a relativelysmallerimpacton females, whereasage appearedslightly more significant.Even thoughyoung men carriedout the suicide attackson September11, it is plausibleto arguethattheirappealextendsto olderage groups.It is commonknowledge thatmanyof bin Laden'sal-Qa'idarankandfile foughtas mujahidinin the 1980s againstthe Soviet armyin Afghanistan,andseveralof his top leadershipwere veterans of the Egyptianjihad movement.In Lebanon,Hizbullah'sfrequentralliesto condemn U.S. policy in the MiddleEastandexpresssupportfor the intifadausuallyattractaudiences from all age groups. 2. For years, it has been the policy of Syria, the majorpower brokerin Lebanon,to fight off Sunni political groups.It eventuallysucceeded in virtuallyeliminatingthem. Syria's Alawite rulingelite seemed concernedthatif they allowed LebaneseSunnis to grouppolitically,they might eventuallylink up with the Sunnis in Syria, who form the country'smajorreligious group.
  14. 14. 824 JOURNALOF CONFLICT RESOLUTION TABLE 6 Summaryof MultipleRegressionAnalysis Showing the Determinants Approvalof September11 Attacks of EntireSample Males R2 Political Islam Age Income Education CombinedR2 Constant .44 (8.95)** .19 (3.81)** .06 (1.12) .01 (0.25) 6.40** .21 .04 .25 Females Sunnis R2 R2 R2 .51 (8.25)** .28 .14 (2.25)* .02 .06 (0.91) .02 (-0.02) .30 4.77** .30 (3.44)** .11 .29 (3.31)** .08 .03 (0.33) .34 (4.40)**.13 .16 (2.03)* .02 .06 (-0.75) -.07 (-0.97) .15 9.18** (0.26) 4.16** .19 Shi'is R2 .49 (7.09)** .26 .20 (2.91)* .04 .11 (1.59) .06 (0.78) .30 3.97** NOTE:t scores are in parentheses. *p< .05. **p < .02. yielded almostidenticalresultsfor politRegressionresultsfor female respondents ical Islam and age as predictorsof approvalfor the attacks(see Table6). Whatmakes attacks?It is likely youngerfemales more inclined thanmales to supportthe terrorist which alteredLebanon'sdemographicdistributionin recent thatrapidurbanization, years, has acceleratedwomen's political awareness.Many life roles, such as breadwinning, which had hitherto been performedby men, suddenly became women's domain soon after relocating to Beirut. Heavy Israeli retaliatory raids against Hizbullahcaused immense sufferingfor civilians;these developmentsbroughtLebanese women into directcontactwith the country'spoliticalrealitiesandchargedthem with resentmenttowardthe United States for unconditionallysupportingthe Jewish state. Unlike their mostly uneducatedmothers,young women, especially those who migratedto Beirut,have been able to receive an educationand form opinions, sometimes militant,aboutpolitical events. Regressionanalysisevinced the saliencyof politicalIslamandthe moderatesignifas icance of age in predictingSunni approvalof the attacks.As important they were, both variables lagged, notwithstanding,behind their predictive strength for Shi'i respondents (see Table 6). Regression verified the hypothesis that Sunni respondents' adherence to the imperatives of political Islam generated stronger approval for the in September11 attacksthanShi'is. Likewise,age seemed somewhatstronger predictShi'i than Sunni approvalfor the attacks. ing When Lebanese Sunni clerics harshly criticized the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan,the Sunni prime ministersummonedthe GrandMufti and admonished him for not silencing them (Nassar 2001, 3). Unlike the predominantlyrural and impoverishedShi'is, the Sunni communityis largelyurban,well educated,and affluent. The data showed that, even when they turnedto political Islam, they were less likely to perceive the September 11 attacks in cathartic terms.
  15. 15. AND TERRORISM 825 Haddad, Khashan/ ISLAM CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS The extentof supportfor the September11 terrorist attacksamongthe respondents is disturbing.The most strikingresult of this study was not the confirmationof the of impactof militantreligiousdogmaon predictingthe endorsement the September11 attacksbutthe findingthatSunnirespondentsexpressedit considerablyless intensely thanShi'is. The findingssuggest thatHizbullahcontinuesto play a key role in fomenting anti-Americansentiments.This bringsto the picturethe need for restoringLebanon's sovereigntyandterritorial integrity,which would makeit moredifficultfor radical groupsto disseminatebelligerentideas. Sunnis included in this sample do not representSunnism at large; therefore,the magnitudeof theirsupportfor the September11 attacksdoes not accountfor the rapid increasein the Sunniversionof political Islam in countriessuch as Egypt, SaudiArabia, Algeria, and Pakistan.Still, this finding suggests thatthe rapidincreasein Sunni militancy is neitheruniversalnor uniformand that a more equitableglobal environment has the capabilityto arrestit and reverseits surge. Westernfearof radicalIslamis not new.Writingimmediatelyafterthe end of World WarI, Bury (1919) noticed the absence of militanttendenciesin medieval Islam. He saw Islam as a totally peaceful religion as long as Muslims did not feel threatened by foreign intruders.Bury reservedstrong words for WesternEuropeansdrummingup Islam's dreadfulinclinations: Mostpeople haveheard thepan-Islamic of the Someof movement, especially during war. us havecalledit a politicalbogeyandsomea world-menace, theseareextremist but views-it is really practical the of the of protest Moslems against exploitation their spiri- tual and materialresourcesby outsiders.... Hithertopan-Islamhad been an instinctive andentirely natural to or of riposte themenace actual aggression non-Moslems. 11(Pp. 12) More than eight decades after Bury's (1919) declaration,most Arabs and Muslims continueto see militantIslamas a consequenceof Westernincursionsagainstthem, as well as a result of the abuses of local political elites whom they installed in power againstpublic will. The mass media and otheragents of socializationin Araband Muslim lands never cease telling theirpublics thatthe Western-led United Statesis largelyresponsiblefor theirdebacle.They have inculcatedamongmanyArabsandMuslimsdeep resentment for the Westand apparently convinceda good cross section thatterrorist attacks,even againstcivilians, amountedtojihad. ArabsandMuslimsneed to takepositive actionto reformtheirmediaandmakethemamenableto inquisitivereporting criticalanalyand sis. Since its birthas a symptomof frustration, militantIslamhas been aggressive.3 The movement that started as a local phenomenon in the early 1970s soon became a nationaltrend.Before too long, it acquireda global dimension.The approvallevels for the September11 attacksby a significantcomponentof the Lebanese sample are as 3. Bandura(1973) stated in his frustration-aggression hypothesis that frustration triggersa state of incitementto act aggressively.
  16. 16. 826 JOURNAL CONFLICT OF RESOLUTION alarmingas the attacksthemselves.Humanbehaviorusuallyresultsfrom observation and imitation. The sporadic suicidal attacks launched by Hizbullah against Israeli troopsin southernLebanonin previousyears became a daily occurrencein the Palesafterlaunchingthe second intifadain September2000. tinianTerritories The cycle of religiously inspiredviolence has punctuated lives of Middle Eastthe ernersfor more than three decades. It eventuallyspilled into WesternEuropebefore hitting the United States with unimaginableferocity. Bringing peace, stability,and orderto the Middle East is long due. If the problemsof the region are not acted on immediately,they may soon slip past the point of resolution. Since September 11, manyArabshave been imploringthe United States to help resolve the region's problems anddisplaymagnanimity towardthem.Al-Jisr(2001, 7) regarded positive gesa ture from the United States as essential to sway Arabs from furthersupportingthe cause of militantIslam. Speakingin a more seriousvein, Sahhab(2001, 10) implored the United Statesto listen to the "voice of reasonand cease to treatArabsas nonentities."The resolutionof the Palestinianquestionandthe lifting of sanctionson a postSaddamHusseinIraqwould go a long way towardimprovingthe Arabpublic'simage of the United States and stemmingthe tide of political Islam's global dimension. APPENDIX Items Used in the Study on Key Survey Attitudes toward the September 11 Attacks 1. Education(1 = high to 3 = lowa) 2. Occupation(1 = high to 3 = lowa) 3. Income (1 = high to 3 = lowa) 4. How do you describethe intensityof your religiosity? (1 = high to 3 = lowa) "I 5. Tell us youropinionon the following statement: supportcertainreligiousgroups'use of violence to achieve theirobjectives."(1 = stronglysupportto 4 = stronglyoppose) 6. Shouldreligious leadersacquirepublicoffice? (1 = stronglysupportto 4 = stronglyoppose) 7. Tell us your opinion on the following statement:"AnIslamic state is the best political system to live in."(1 = stronglyagree to 4 = stronglydisagree) 8. How do you feel aboutthe Islamicregimein Afghanistan? (1 = stronglyapproveto 4 = stronglydisapprove) 9. What is the name of the political party/groupingwith which you identify? (1 = Hizbullah,2 = Amal Movement,3 = seculargroups,4 = Sunni groups) 10. How do you feel aboutthe attacksthatdestroyedthe WorldTradeCenterand damaged the Pentagon?(1 = stronglysupportto 4 = stronglyoppose) 11. Describe the intensityof your grievancesagainstthe United States. (1 = majorgrievances to 4 = no grievances) 12. Do you feel thatyour grievancesagainstthe United States warrant supportfor the September 11 attacks?(1 = definitelyto 4 = definitelynot) 13. Do you personallysanctionfurtherattacksin the futureagainstU.S. targets?(1 = definitely to 4 = definitelynot) 14. How do you describeyouremotionalreactionto the images generatedby the attackson September11 (hijackedplanescrashinginto the WorldTradeCenterandthe Pentagon)? (1 = vindication,2 = approval,3 = nonchalance,4 = somberness)
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