Michael A. Sells
This chapter, which looks at the actual or alleged cases of apocalypticism within contemporary Iranian Shi'ite, Saudi Sunni, and American Christian circles, evaluates the issue of contemporary militant apocalypticism, emphasizing the competition between its American Christian and Islamic versions. The hadith collections present contradictory reports regarding the end-time struggle between the Messiah Jesus and Dajjal. Militant near-term apocalypticism summons the power of religion, imagination, and personal conviction against any serious peace endeavor; demonizes those who work toward such endeavors; and sanctifies those who, once the tribulation or endtimes conflict is underway, kill the peacemakers. The apocalyptic messianism of American dispensationalists, and of the Salafi Sunni figures Safar al-Hawali and Ali al-Timimi, feature scenarios of Middle Eastern and global carnage ending with messianic triumph and theologically grounded rejection of Middle East peacemaking.
Bruce B. Lawrence
This chapter explores the role of violence in Islam, specifically contrasting Islam in 611 with the Islam associated with terrorism on 9/11. When several tribes attempted to draw from the treaty that bound them to Muhammad, Abu Bakr opposed them in what became known as the Ridda wars. The Ottomans succeeded in invoking Islam, and also the doctrine of jihad. Islam became an explicit ideology and building block of public prestige for the newest Turkish Muslim Empire, and also became an idiom of protest against the gradual contraction of internal and external trade. The association of Osama bin Laden with al-Jazeera proves to be almost as significant as his decision to wage jihad. There are many ways to connect Bin Laden to the early generation of Islam. Bin Laden's legacy is one of deviance and damage rather than persistence and profit in the cause of Islam.