ERIC Number: EJ733615
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Some Thoughts on the "Staircase to Terrorism"
Paniagua, Freddy A.
American Psychologist, v60 n9 p1038-1039 Dec 2005
Comments on F. M. Moghaddam's article (see record 2005-01817-002) which uses the metaphor of a narrowing staircase "to provide a more in-depth understanding of terrorism." In the article, "staircase to terrorism," a person will become a terrorist because he or she experiences "injustice and the feelings of frustration and shame" on "the ground floor." If this situation does not change on higher floors, particularly on the fourth and fifth floors, this person will realize that terrorism is the only way to have a "democratic participation in addressing perceived justices." Therefore, the prevention and end of terrorism will be achieved "only by reforming conditions on the ground floor." People who perceive injustices and unfairness in a given political system may, indeed, try to destroy that system with terrorism. But this is political terrorism, not the form of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism or messianic terrorism directed by Osama bin Laden and Abu Musad al-Zarqawi. The author concludes that the metaphor may explain the origin of political terrorism but not the origin of Islamic fundamentalist or messianic terrorism.
Descriptors: Terrorism, Political Attitudes, Figurative Language, Justice, Democracy, Crime Prevention, Muslims, Islamic Culture, Social Action, Political Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A