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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Prof examines attack

To make sense of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., Americans must look into why it happened, and examine the mind of the perpetrators, said Dr. Anthony J. Black, professor of political science and policy at the University of Dundee, Scotland.
Approximately 100 people attended a forum Tuesday concerning modern Islamic fundamentalism given by Black at the George Bush Presidential Conference Center. “[Black] was originally brought in for a talk on his research in regard to Islamic political thought for just a small group of faculty and graduate students who are interested in political theory,” said Dr. Cary Nederman, a political science professor at Texas A&M. “Due to the recent events in New York and Washington, D.C., I asked Dr. Black to talk to a larger group of mainly undergraduates to help frame what has gone on and to help inform them on the topic of Islam.”
Black opened with an analysis on the possible military action to be taken against Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, an Islamic-fundamentalist controlled country.
“People, and especially Americans, want to make a rational strategic response to the terror of two weeks ago,” Black said. “To do this, one must first look into the causes of why it happened, and because this is a human action, we must look into the minds of those that committed these acts.”
One modern school of thought discussed by Black is the idea that Europe and America are now the leaders in constitutional government, rule of law and respect of property. Many believe that these countries took this power from Islamic fundamentalists.
“Now these Islamic fundamentalist leaders want this power back and to add to it their Islamic principles,” Black said.
Black highlighted several key events in the past 100 years that have pushed Islamic fundamentalists to act as they have in the recent past.
“The first event that cause a disruption among the Islamic nations was World War I. Secondly, the conduct of the British and French colonial powers in the 1930s and 1940s, and thirdly, the formation of the State of Israel,” Black said.
The capture of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank by Israel, the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991, and the subsequent presence of U.S. soldiers in Saudi Arabia are several issues that recently set off Islamic fundamentalists such as bin Laden, Black said.
Black also noted the constraints the Islamic religion places on political institutions.
“The religion of Islam does not have in place a system for political or legal agendas, but calls for control over economic and all social issues,” Black said “These constraints cause a failure in countries like Afghanistan from forming true nation states and allows for people like Osama bin Laden to have power.”

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