SUNY ONEONTA “ANALYSIS OF TERROR”. Wednesday - October 3, 7:30 PM Moderator Dr. Alexander Thomas: Sociology PANELISTS Dr. Leslie Downing: Psychology Dr. Robert Compton: Political Science Dr. Fida Mohammad: Sociology Dr. Joshua Rosenthal, History . September 11, 2001 (10:15am).
SUNY ONEONTA“ANALYSIS OF TERROR”
Wednesday - October 3, 7:30 PM
Dr. Alexander Thomas: Sociology
Dr. Leslie Downing: Psychology
Dr. Robert Compton: Political Science
Dr. Fida Mohammad: Sociology
Dr. Joshua Rosenthal, History
September 11, 2001 (10:15am)
My personal reaction at
witnessing of the
WORLD TRADE CENTER
destruction on TV.
THE ROLE OF IDEOLOGY: WHAT DID THE TERRORISTS BELIEVE?
Excerpts from a speech by Osama bin Laden in 1996:
Billed as a Declaration of War against the United States.
“ Our youths believe in paradise after death. They believe that taking part in fighting will not bring their day nearer; and staying behind will not postpone their day either.”
“Pen lifted, papers dried, it is fixed. Nothing in these truths can be changed"
“Our youths took note of the meaning of the poetic verse: If death is a predetermined must, then it is a shame to die cowardly."
"A martyr will not feel the pain of death except like how you feel when you are pinched"...
"Martyr privileges are guaranteed by Allah; forgiveness with the first gush of his blood, he will be shown his seat in paradise, he will be decorated with the jewels of belief, married off to the beautiful ones, protected from the test in the grave, assured security in the day of judgement, crowned with the crown of dignity, a ruby of which is better than this whole world and its' entire content, wedded to seventy two of the beautiful ones of Paradise, and his intercession on the behalf of seventy of his relatives will be accepted"
“Those youths know that their rewards in fighting you, the USA, are double their rewards in fighting someone else......
They have no intention except to enter paradise by killing you.
An infidel, and enemy of God like you, cannot be in the same hell with his righteous executioner.”
THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF IDEOLOGICAL CONVERSION AND COMMITMENT:
IDEOLOGICAL CONVERSION: How might some individuals be persuaded to believe in an ideological view, (one divergent from that of the larger culture in which they are embedded), that justifies behaviors such as the World Trade Center attacks?
IDEOLOGICAL COMMITMENT: How and when does behavior, even behavior that seems incompatible with basis human values or with one’s own self-interest, actually occur as a result of accepting such ideological beliefs?
IDEOLOGICAL COMMITMENT: (From “Fragile Realities: Conversion and Commitment in Cults and Other Powerful Groups.” Downing, L. L. - Unpublished manuscript).
A NON-EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF COMMITMENT MECHANISMS
1. Voluntary and Public Endorsement
2. Irreversible Behavioral Commitment
3. Personal Sacrifice and Investment
4. Burned Bridges
6. Narrow Attentional Focus
CONCLUSION: Conversion and Commitment of individuals to a terrorist ideology and subsequent terrorist activity can be best understood as consequences of social psychological processes operating in the context of powerful groups.