Authors: Sharda Jain
Abstract: The post-cold war world is facing a challenge of international terrorism which in turn is the outburst of various forms of fundamentalisms, both religious and political. It is a clash between the violent expression of political and radicalized Islam against the rigidity, universalism, unilateralism and fundamentalism of United States’ foreign policy that after its ‘victory’ in cold-war was too obsessed with reordering the rest of the world in its own image, the so-called – ‘New World Order’ which was accepted by some but rejected by some others, particularly the Islamist fundamentalists who saw in this ‘scheme’ of New World Order a threat to their values, religion, culture and ‘oil’, a precious natural resource. The result was terrorism and more terrorism in the name of countering it. A great challenge of the twenty-first century came with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on United States of America which declared a ‘War on Terror’ which was perceived by Islamist fundamentalists as war on Islam. Also, the phenomenal increase in global terrorism in recent years, and a heightened threat perception by governments and the public has brought to the surface the complex and sinister phenomenon of emerging ties between globally and widely dispersed militant organizations, characterized by flow of funds, personnel and ideological and military support. These phenomena and the related issues of interplay between terrorism and politics need to be probed. This Paper seeks to argue that fundamentalism, a synonym for universalism, be it of any variety, is not the solution; rather, it deepens the ongoing political and cultural fragmentation of the world and leads to disorder. It sees a co-relation between the politics of US foreign policy and the rise of militant religious movements that seems to be one of the main causes of international terrorism in post-cold war world.
Keywords: fundamentalism, universalism, political Islam, terrorism