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October 18, 2006


Jon Fernquest

"From what I've seen during fieldwork in Europe, it seems that the jihadi idea is spreading way beyond the terrorists who are attacking us. It is now a "cool" way to express dissatisfaction with the status quo — with globalization, with America's dominant role in the world, with the power elite..."

Within weeks after 9-11 there were a variety of black T-shirts sporting sentimental portraits of Osama bin Laden and flaming Twin Towers for sale all over Thailand where I live and work.

Only a few months later there the local discotheque in Maesai, Chiang Rai sported a show with an American GI chasing someone in Arabic costume and another with a conical rice farmers that like that worn in Vietnam.

My point is that this was happening in Asia almost after the 9-11 event itself. As an American the T-shirts and show disturbed me. The most obvious point being, that local Thais would hardly have stood someone ridiculing their suffering in a similar disaster. Realistically, the further 9-11 fades into the past, the more people are going to use it for their own ideological purposes.

tiania stevens

Is there anyone in London who is a Middle Expert who tutors? You can contact me on tiania_aus@yahoo.co.uk

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