Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.2, Summer 20028Violence and Terrorism: Feminist Observations on Islamist Movements,States, and the International SystemValentine M. Moghadam*The horrific events of September 11, the discovery of a transnational network of Islamicextremists, and the U.S. bombardment of Afghanistan compel us to think seriously about thecauses of religious terrorism, the broad implications of violence and militarism, the nature ofIslamic fundamentalist movements, and the gender dynamics of political violence. What are thereligious, ethnic, political, social, and economic factors behind the deployment of terrorism as apolitical strategy? Why do Muslim countries produce movements that seek religio-politicalobjectives through violent means? What link, if any, is there between terrorism as a politicalstrategy and militarism as a state strategy? How might the violence of political movements andthe violence of states reflect not only dysfunction in domestic and international relations but alsohighly problematical concepts of masculinity? And what are some urgent alternatives toterrorism and militarism?These are, I believe, some of the pressing questions that confront and require seriousattention from researchers, policy-makers, and decision-makers.1I cannot begin to provideanswers or explanations to all of the above questions and issues.2I will, however, address thegender aspects of terrorism and violence and describe some feminist alternatives. And because
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