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America and the Misshaping of a New World Order$
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Giles Gunn and Carl Gutierrez-Jones

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520098701

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520098701.001.0001

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Why America has been the Target for Religious Terror

Why America has been the Target for Religious Terror

(p.115) 7. Why America has been the Target for Religious Terror
America and the Misshaping of a New World Order
Mark Juergensmeyer
University of California Press

The United States have been regarded as the source of an oppressive secular political ideology that elicited religious as well as political responses. Even though this was most evident after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, this was not a new development. The global post-Cold War encounter between religious and secular politics was characterized by a strident anti-Americanism that developed in the last decades of the twentieth century and continued into the twenty-first, culminating in the events of 9/11. This chapter explores some of the reasons for the religious animosity towards the United States. Many who attacked it were incensed by what they regarded as economic, cultural, and political oppression under the “new world order” of a secular, America-dominated, post-Cold War world. The United States' economic interests in the oil reserves of the Middle East, and its unchallenged cultural and political influence in a post-Cold War world led many Muslim activists to see America as a global bully, a worthy target of their religious and political anger. America became an enemy in large part because of policies that made it appear as if it was indeed the enemy that some religious radicals imagined.

Keywords:   oppressive secular political ideology, terrorist attacks, post-Cold War, America-dominated, religious radicals

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