31 January 2014
“Mr Mark, you just don’t get it. All of you are like sheep!
“There’s a war going on, a battle between good and evil. You just don’t see it. Your government will not let you see it.”
It was 1997, and the speaker was red-haired Egyptian terrorist Mahmud Abouhalima.
Mahmud had been sentenced to 240 years in jail for his role in masterminding the February 1993 explosion at New York’s World Trade Centre, which killed six people and injured about 1,000.
Surrounded by a dozen heavily armed prison officers, the unrepentant terrorist was being interviewed in the United States by Professor Mark Juergensmeyer, an American expert in the study of religious violence, who is now 72.
… CENS chief Kumar Ramakrishna says religious extremist leaders like Myanmar’s Wirathu and Indonesia’s Abu Bakar Bashir also exploit nationalist sentiments to get their followers to commit violent acts.
For example, Wirathu has exploited the fear of Buddhists who believe that economically well-off Muslims, a minority group, will replace Buddhism with Islam in Myanmar.
“The case of Wirathu highlights the vexing nexus between non-violent extremist rhetoric and real-world violence,” states Kumar.
CENS / GPO / RSIS / Print
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