chapter  5
14 Pages

The U.S.’s global war on terror in Africa


The phrase “international terrorism” is now a synonym for Islam. International terrorism and Islam by extension are seen as the new “global devil” of the twentyfirst century, replacing the communist “devil” of the Cold War era. Thus, Islamic fundamentalism is often equatedwith international terrorism, which is dedicated to destroying the Western World and the Western way of life.3 The current discourse on Islam and international terrorism has generated considerable fear-leading to policy options by U.S. and Western policy makers that are less than optimal. What I am arguing in this chapter is that Islamist movements are in large

measure the outcome and response to socio-economic and political conditions that have been aggravated by rapid urbanization and globalization in many Muslim countries, Arab and non-Arab alike.4 And while many analysts argue, and rightly so that globalization through communication and other technologies enhance “terrorism,” what is often lost sight of is the contention that international asymmetries, global inequality, and underdevelopment are important contributory factors to the rise of so-called “terrorism.”5