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Unformatted text preview: 518 PA R T X S O C IA L PR O B LEM S R ELA TED TO PO LITIC A L IN S TITU TIO N S the common cause or causes? Why do these things happen? To what extent does Staub agree with you? 3. Do you think that this type of group violence can happen in 21st-century America? What are some of the characteristics of our society that might prevent it? 4. Looking at these four examples of group vio- lence in one selection highlights their similar- ities and differences. Yet some people would argue that it is misleading to compare these four events because of the tendency to equate them, and this would be inaccurate. What do you think? 5. About these four examples of genocide and mass killing Staub argues, "If we can identify commonalities in their origins, we can gain confidence in our understanding of the ori- gins of genocides and mass killings in gen- eral." Do you agree? 6. "All is fair in war! All four of these examples should be considered to be war—no more and no less. People are killed in wholesale numbers in all wars. We should not single out these types of group conflicts as distinct from other wars." Do you agree? 48 The Global Rise of Religious Violence MARK JUERGENSMEYER The Four Questions 1. What exactly is the problem described? 2. Is it a social problem? 3. What is the cause of this problem, according to Juergensmeyer? 4. Does Juergensmeyer describe what can be done about this situation? Topics Covered Religion Violence Terrorism Culture W hen plastic explosives attached to a Hamas suicide bomber ripped through the gentrified Ben Yehuda shopping mall in Jerusalem in Decem- ber 2001, the blast damaged not only lives and prop- erty but also the confidence with which most people view the world. As in prior acts of terrorism on this same popular mall, the news images of the bloodied victims projected from the scene por- trayed the double arches of a McDonald's restau- rant in the background, their cheerful familiarity appearing oddly out of place with the surround- ing carnage. Many who viewed these pictures saw symbols of their own ordinary lives assaulted and vicariously felt the anxiety—the terror—of those SOURCE: From Mark Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence. Copyright (0; 1999 The Regents of the University of California. Reprinted by permission of the University of California Press. AR TIC LE 48 TH E G LO BAL R ISE O F R ELIG IO U S VIO LEN C E 519 who experienced it firsthand. After all, the wounded could have included anyone who has ever visited a McDonald's—which is to say virtu- ally anyone in the developed world. In this sense, the blast was an attack not only on Israel but also on normal life as most people know it....
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