Sunday, January 01, 2006

Religion and Resentment

One of my colleagues here at Ohio University, David Curp of the History Department, has offered an interesting alternative explanation for Islamist attitudes towards the West. A view that has been circulating rather widely claims that there is great resentment among certain sectors of the Muslim community over Western incursions into traditionally Islamic areas of hegemony, in particular the Crusades are often singled out as creating a smoldering wound waiting for revenge. Curp argues, on the contrary, that it is not resentment of past Christian affronts that motivates Islamists, but rather resentment of the loss, in 1683, of a potential Islamic empire stretching well into Western Europe, followed by centuries of European colonization and weak local governments.

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