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Book Title: Terrorism: Theirs & Ours (Open Media Series)|
The author of the book: Eqbal Ahmad
Edition: Seven Stories Press
Date of issue: January 4th 2011
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 478 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.6
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In 1985, President Ronald Reagan received a group of bearded turban-wearing men who looked like they came from another century. After receiving them in the White House, Reagan spoke to the press, referring to his foreign guests as "freedom fighters." These were the Afghan mujahideen. In August 1998, another American president ordered missile strikes from the American navy based in the Indian Ocean to kill Osama bin Laden and his men in the camps in Afghanistan. The terrorist of yesterday is the hero of today, and the hero of yesterday becomes the terrorist of today. In Terrorism: Theirs and Ours, Eqbal Ahmad holds up the concepts of "terrorist" and "freedom fighter" to U.S. foreign policy. What do these terms mean? Where do they apply? How can the roots of political violence be stemmed? An invaluable primer.
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Read information about the authorEqbal Ahmad was a Pakistani political scientist, writer, journalist, and anti-war activist. He was strongly critical of the Middle East strategy of the United States as well as what he saw as the "twin curse" of nationalism and religious fanaticism in such countries as Pakistan.
Eqbal Ahmad was born in the village of Irki in Bihar, India in 1933 or 1934. A few years later, his father was murdered over a land dispute, while the young Eqbal lay beside him. During the partition of India in 1947, he and his elder brothers migrated to Pakistan.
Ahmad graduated from Foreman Christian College in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1951 with a degree in economics. After serving briefly as an army officer, he enrolled at Occidental College in California as a Rotary Fellow in American History in 1957. From 1958 to 1960, he studied political science and middle eastern history at Princeton, later earning his Ph.D.
From 1960 to 1963, Ahmad lived in North Africa, working primarily in Algeria, where he joined the National Liberation Front and worked with Frantz Fanon. He was a member of the Algerian delegation to peace talks at Evian.
When he returned to the United States, Ahmad taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1964 - 1965) and Cornell University in the school of Labour Relations (1965 - 1968). During these years, he became known as "one of the earliest and most vocal opponents of American policies in Vietnam and Cambodia". In 1969, he married the teacher and writer Julie Diamond. From 1968 to 1972, he was a fellow at the Adlai Stevenson Institute in Chicago.
In 1971, Ahmad was indicted with the anti-war Catholic priests, Daniel and Phillip Berrigan, along with four other Catholic pacifists, on charges of conspiracy to kidnap Henry Kissinger. After fifty-nine hours of deliberations, the jury declared a mistrial.
From 1972 to 1982, Ahmad was Senior Fellow at the Institution for Policy Studies. From 1973 to 1975, he served as the first director of its overseas affiliate, the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam.
In 1982, Ahmad joined the faculty at Hampshire College, in Amherst Massachusetts, where he taught world politics and political science.
In the early 1990's he was granted a parcel of land in Pakistan by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's government to build an independent, alternative university, named Khaldunia. The land was later seized by Bhutto's husband, Asif Zardari, reportedly to build a golf course and club.
A prolific writer and journalist, Eqbal was widely consulted by revolutionaries, journalists, activist leaders and policymakers around the world. He was an editor of the journal Race and Class, contributing editor of Middle East Report and L'Economiste du Tiers Monde, co-founder of Pakistan Forum, and an editorial board member of Arab Studies Quarterly. Ahmad was "that rare thing, an intellectual unintimidated by power or authority, a companion in arms to such diverse figures as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, Richard Falk, Fred Jameson, Alexander Cockburn and Daniel Berrigan."
Upon his retirement from Hampshire in 1997, he settled permanently in Pakistan, where he continued to write a weekly column, for Dawn, Pakistan's oldest English language newspaper. Eqbal died in Islamabad on May 11, 1999, of heart failure following surgery for colon cancer, diagnosed just one week before.
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