Prior to September 11, 2001, a substantial majority in the United States approached Islam with a strange kind of detailed ignorance. For many Americans the words Islam and Muslims evoked disjointed images of violence, religious fanaticism, rejection of the modern world, mistreated women, and praying men bowing in the direction of Mecca.
War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. By Chris Hedges. Public Affairs, 211 pp., $23.00; paperback, $12.95.
Chris Hedges's penetrating insights into war are as current as the daily headlines. The images of the war in Iraq and the proclamations of political, military and religious leaders vividly etched in our minds make Hedges's analyses all the more compelling.
Commentary since September 11 has produced a cognitive dissonance among Americans about Islam, the world’s second largest religious tradition. On the one hand, selected Muslim leaders declare that “Islam is a religion of peace” and President Bush asserts repeatedly that the U.S.