Islamic Terror: Conscious and Unconscious Motives

By Avner Falk | Go to book overview

Biased Views of Islamic Terrorism

Unfortunately, the feminist, right-wing views of Chesler and Kobrin on Islamic terror are not only reductionist and distorted, they are also strongly biased. They carry their views of woman abuse and child abuse in Arab and Muslim society to extreme lengths, and reduce the complex causes of Islamic terrorism to the simplistic explanation of “the abuse of women.” As the Chesler-Kobrin case indicates, one of the crucial problems in academic discourse is how to keep one’s personal and political feelings from affecting one’s scholarship. Chesler began her career as a leftist, but she turned to the political right in response to what she came to see as the anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic viewpoints increasingly prevalent on the far left of political discourse in the United States, in Europe, and in the academic world. As a Jew, a woman, and a feminist, she has three sources of scholarly bias to overcome. She often confuses “Muslim” with “Islamic fundamentalist,” thus aggravating the black-and-white “us and them” mentality, as if the entire Muslim world were of one piece. Black-andwhite thinking is dangerous and unrealistic (Mack 2002, p. 174), and the unconscious roots of Islamic rage, terrorism, suicide bombing, and suicide murder are far more complex that Phyllis Chesler and Nancy Kobrin would portray them (Falk 2004, pp. 159–173).

Another biased scholar is Raphael Israeli (not his original name), an extremeright-wing Moroccan-born Israeli “Orientalist” who, like those who coined Islamofascism, coined the neologism Islamikaze for Islamic suicide bombers (Israeli 1997, 2003). Israeli got the idea for his neologism from an article published in June 1996, which had originally appeared in the London Arabiclanguage publication al-Watan al-Arabi (the Arab Motherland), was translated

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