Hijacked Islam - The Influence of Islam on American Foreign Policy
Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,0, Humboldt-University of Berlin, language: English, abstract: The events of September 11th 2001 were crucial in the history of the United States of America because then, according to George W. Bush, 'the first generation of students [...] witnessed a war fought in America.'1 However, the events that followed were more than a war. Put in the President's words, 'this is good versus evil.'2 Obviously, the head of the United States sees his country's experience as invested with a higher, quasi religious, meaning. While it is often bewildering to Europeans, this way of understanding one's nation is shared by many citizens of the U.S.A.3 One way of explaining this is the concept of 'civil religion' by Robert Bellah. According to this concept, 'Americans share common religious characteristics expressed through civil religious beliefs, symbols, and rituals that provide a religious dimension to the entirety of American life.'4 It is 'not [...] a form of national self-worship but [...] the subordination of the nation to ethical principles that transcend it in terms of which it should be judged.'5 Being only a religious dimension, American civil religion is no alternative to existing religions; rather, there is a division of function. --- 1 Bush, George W.. 'President Launches 'Lessons of Liberty''. (October 30, 2001). May 23, 2006. . 3 Studies suggest that indeed, 'a wide cross section of citizens do share such civil religious beliefs.' Swatos, William H.. 'Encyclopedia of Religion and Society. Hartford Institute for Religion Research Hartford Seminary. CIVIL RELIGION'. (1998). May 23, 2006. 4 Swatos 1998. 5 Bellah, Robert N.. 'Civil Religion in America'. Dædalus. Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 'Religion in America' Vol. 96, No. 1, pp. 1-21. (Winter 1967). May 23, 2006.
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