America at a Crossroads America at a Crossroads
Discussion Guide

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The War on Terrorism

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Featured in "JIHAD: The Men and Ideas behind Al Qaeda"
Question #1
Discuss the differences between the historical religious meaning of jihad and Osama bin Laden’s interpretation of this term. What can the United States and its allies do to help counter bin Laden’s use of the term to recruit young men to jihad?

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Featured in "JIHAD: The Men and Ideas behind Al Qaeda"
Question #2
Describe the connection that early Islamic reformist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood made between Egyptian and American societies in the 1950s. Why did they feel this connection was harmful to Islam?

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Featured in "Europe's 9/11"
*Clips include reenactment.
Question #3
Why do you think there is more locally instigated terrorism in such democratic societies as Spain (and Great Britain and the Netherlands) than in the United States? How can these countries balance the need for tighter security with their democratic principles?

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Featured in "Struggle for the Soul of Islam: Inside Indonesia"
Question #4
Indonesia, the world’s most populated Muslim country, is a democracy. What challenges has it faced trying to fight Islamic extremism? How have Indonesia’s efforts differed from the way the United States is fighting Islamic extremism? What lessons can each country learn from the other’s experience?

Question #5
Why do some Islamic fundamentalists feel democracy and Islam cannot coexist? Why do some Muslims argue that Islam and democracy are compatible? How would you defend each side of this argument?


Additional Resources on the War on Terrorism

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