The Cult of The Suicide Bomber an Article by Robert Fisk Essay

The Cult of The Suicide Bomber an Article by Robert Fisk Essay

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Robert Fisks’ article “The cult of the suicide bomber” , published in 2008, addresses the rise and a cult like glorification of suicide bombers in the Middle East. Fisk posits that this increase is, in part, due to the US and their coalition forces declaration of a ‘war on terror’.

Fisk offers a unique perspective on the life of a man, Khaled, conditioned to be a suicide bomber. The article touches on the social influences, culture and family, that encourages self-liquidation as an extreme method of religious devotion. Fisk offers a perspective rarely presented in western media, which commonly views these people as faceless “crazed cowards bent on senseless destruction” . By humanising these people he portrays suicide bombers as a cross between people seeking the glory of fighting for their beliefs in a war with that of a victim, brainwashed into this ‘cult’ into sacrificing themselves for the goal of others.

The classification of suicide bombers as a cult by Fisk, emphasises the strong psychological control exerted over those trained to be suicide bombers, controlling the very moment and method they end their life. Fisk also highlights fear as a motivator for these actions. A quote taken from Saddam Hussein's own vice-president, Taha Yassin "The US administration is going to turn the whole world into people prepared to die for their nations" holding the belief that this was the only way to counter US forces and Allies in the Middle East.

Suicide bombers have a distinct image in western media and in academic literature. Gilbert Burnham articulates that suicide bombers arise where there is widespread suffering and anger with a desire for retribution from those who have experiences personal or communal losses . U.S. Senator ...

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...ators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-cult-of-the-suicide-bomber-795649.html 15/04/14

Hicks, Madelyn Hsiao-Rei. Dardagan, Hamit . Bagnall, Peter M. Spagat, Michael. Sloboda, John A. “Casualties in civilians and coalition soldiers from suicide bombings in Iraq, 2003–10: a descriptive study” The Lancet, Volume 378, Issue 9794, 3–9 September 2011, Pages 906-914

Lester, David. “Are Suicide Bombers Heroes?” Psychological Reports Vol. 106, No. 2. 2010, pp. 499-500

Pape, Robert “Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism” Australian Army Journal Vol. 3, No. 3, 2006 pp. 25-37

Tobena, Adolf, and Scott Atran. "Individual factors in suicide terrorism." Science Vol. 304 No. 5667 2004 pp. 47+. Accessed online < > 14/04/14

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