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The Terrorist as Suicidal Fanatic

The Terrorist as Suicidal Fanatic - The Terrorist as...

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The Terrorist as Suicidal Fanatic Fanatics The other of the two approaches that have predominated, the terrorist as fanatic, emphasizes the terrorist’s rational qualities and views the terrorist as a cool, logical planning individual whose rewards are ideological and political, rather than financial. This approach takes into account that terrorists are often well 32 educated and capable of sophisticated, albeit highly biased, rhetoric and political analysis. Notwithstanding the religious origins of the word, the term “fanaticism” in modern usage, has broadened out of the religious context to refer to more generally held extreme beliefs. The terrorist is often labeled as a fanatic, especially in actions that lead to self-destruction. Although fanaticism is not unique to terrorism, it is, like “terrorism,” a pejorative term. In psychological terms, the concept of fanaticism carries some implications of mental illness, but, Taylor (1988:97) points out, it “is not a diagnostic category in mental illness.” Thus, he
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