Trans-state Muslim Movements and Militant Extremists in an Era of Soft Power
In a globalizing world, members of the same religious community, anchored in different parts of the world, have greater capacity to increase their cultural, social, and economic links with one another. Ironically, this chapter points out how the rise of religious pluralism amid globalization has also strengthened the hand of Muslim leaders such as Osama Bin Laden, intent on destroying pluralism altogether. Al-Qaeda preaches peace but glorifies violence. Bin Laden’s view that violent jihad is an obligation on individual believers isolates him from leading Muslim scholars and jurists. Still, he has been able to gather and hold a sizable following, through dramatic actions, but also through the very same communications technologies that drive religious pluralism and create soft power in world affairs.
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