Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror

Front Cover
Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony, Jun 21, 2005 - Religion - 320 pages
5 Reviews
In this brilliant look at the rise of political Islam, the distinguished political scientist and anthropologist Mahmood Mamdani brings his expertise and insight to bear on a question many Americans have been asking since 9/11: how did this happen?

Mamdani dispels the idea of “good” (secular, westernized) and “bad” (premodern, fanatical) Muslims, pointing out that these judgments refer to political rather than cultural or religious identities. The presumption that there are “good” Muslims readily available to be split off from “bad” Muslims masks a failure to make a political analysis of our times. This book argues that political Islam emerged as the result of a modern encounter with Western power, and that the terrorist movement at the center of Islamist politics is an even more recent phenomenon, one that followed America’s embrace of proxy war after its defeat in Vietnam. Mamdani writes with great insight about the Reagan years, showing America’s embrace of the highly ideological politics of “good” against “evil.” Identifying militant nationalist governments as Soviet proxies in countries such as Nicaragua and Afghanistan, the Reagan administration readily backed terrorist movements, hailing them as the “moral equivalents” of America’s Founding Fathers. The era of proxy wars has come to an end with the invasion of Iraq. And there, as in Vietnam, America will need to recognize that it is not fighting terrorism but nationalism, a battle that cannot be won by occupation.

Good Muslim, Bad Muslim is a provocative and important book that will profoundly change our understanding both of Islamist politics and the way America is perceived in the world today.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
1
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

The author traces the rise of Islamic terrorism from American training of the mujahadeen in Afghanistan to fighting the Soviets. There, the CIA found it could recruit anti-Soviets by using Muslim ... Read full review

Good Muslim, bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the roots of terror

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Osama bin Laden's pronouncements are rarely published in full in the United States, but transcripts of his messages--often available overseas--provide startling insight into the political, rather than ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
1
The Cold War After Indochina 6 3
63
The High Point in the Cold War I I 9
119
From Proxy War to Open Aggression 78
179
Conclusion
229
Notes 2
266
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Mahmood Mamdani was born in Kampala, Uganda. A political scientist and anthropologist, he is Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University. His previous books include
Citizen and Subject and When Victims Become Killers. In 2001 he presented one of the nine papers at the Nobel Peace Prize Centennial Symposium. He lives in New York City and Kampala with his wife and son.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information