Given the armed struggle between the American government and Al-Qa’ida, some are skeptical President Obama can repair relations with the Muslim world. Better US-Muslim relations require understanding how Usama bin Ladin influences Muslim public opinion to support his cause. Misunderstanding, or misrepresenting, bin Ladin’s pitch as religious, not political, is counterproductive to US counterterrorism goals. We quantitatively analyzed 41 of bin Ladin’s statements and found he cited policy-based grievances for his militancy twice as often as religious-based ones.
[This link was provided to us by Shaykh Ashraf Dockrat]
A preprint of Alejandro Beutel and Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad’s paper “Justification for Violence: Religion or Policies?: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Bin Ladin’s Statements” has been submitted for publication to The Middle East Journal. A pre-print is available on the Minaret of Freedom Institute website (minaret.org/pp2009-1.pdf).