The 'War on Terrorism'- perspectives from radical Islamic groups
Cavatorta, Francesco (2005) The 'War on Terrorism'- perspectives from radical Islamic groups. Irish Studies in International Affairs, 16 (1). pp. 35-50. ISSN 0332-1460
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Contrary to both popular and academic belief, the ‘War on Terrorism’ launched by the United States has one very clear enemy: radical Islamism. The varied and complex world of Islamism has been reduced to one unitary enemy, and that enemy is being fought both militarily and ideologically. This paper analyses the impact that the War on Terrorism is having on its target and contends that the ‘simplification’ of the concept of radical Islamism by the US administration, while beneficial for the purely practical purposes of war, is very much detrimental to the understanding of such a phenomenon and leads to policy choices that deepen the fault lines between Islamists and the West. The paper concludes by arguing that the current War on Terrorism is running the risk of causing a ‘return’ of the jihadi Islamist ideology that had been comprehensively defeated within the vast Islamist world and that has been replaced by a much more pragmatic and much more peaceful approach to gaining political inclusion.
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