Politics, media and war: 9/11 and its aftermaths
Politics, media and war: 9/11 and its aftermaths

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1.4.1 Section 9: The impacts of 9/11 on British society

Sections 9 and 10 explore the complex and diverse issues surrounding the impacts of 9/11 on British society as the ‘war on terror’ has progressed and further bombs were detonated in Bali, Morocco and in Spain – and then in London on 7/7. This action in particular directed attention to the position of British Muslims; how they were affected by the impacts of 9/11 and the actions taken in response to it; and how in turn they have responded in various ways to these developments. The position of British Muslims and their attitudes is an issue of major significance to the UK as a whole. Their attitudes are incredibly complex, and there is little firm evidence. In Section 9, we present some of the major approaches that have been taken to understanding these issues.

In this area there are some big questions that have yet to receive any clear answers.

  • Were the perpetrators of the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks motivated primarily by religious or political convictions?
  • Are acts of terrorism best understood in terms of individual psychology or by motives derived from the socio-cultural context?
  • What are the perceptions and judgements of the overwhelming majority of the British Muslim population, who have no connection with the criminals nor any association with their activities?

There are no accepted answers to any of these questions and Section 9 presents a range of articles and extracts from books that explore them from some informed sources, and provides some of the best evidence that is currently available to help answer them.

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