Lying with the Enemy: Militant Islam in the Global Arena


Osama bin Laden’s rhetoric has consistently voiced a desire for global equality between Muslims and Christians, or between the Islamic world and the West. Having accused America of hypocrisy as far as its advancement of this equality is concerned, Bin Laden turns his attention to the only form in which he thinks such equality is now possible: the equality of death. This is why he has repeatedly emphasized the need for an equivalence of terror between the Muslim world and America, as if this were the only form in which the two might come together and even communicate one with the other. For Al-Qaeda, terror is the only form in which global freedom and equality are now available. Terror therefore functions as the dark side of America’s own democracy, as inseparable from it as an evil twin. So in the aftermath of the 2005 Madrid bombings, Bin Laden issued a statement in which he defined terrorism as an effort to universalize security as a human right, if only by refusing to accept its monopolization by the West. For equality demanded that security should be enjoyed by all or by none.

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Devji, F., 2009. Lying with the Enemy: Militant Islam in the Global Arena. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 16(2), pp.68–71. DOI:


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Faisal Devji (New School for Social Research)



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