Discussion: Life As a Weapon

October 1 2010

The Global Rise of Suicide Bombings
Roundtable Discussion with Prof, Riaz Hassan
Friday, 1 October 2010
5.00pm – 7.00pm
Place:Prof Ahmad Ibrahim Room, Level 4
Muis, Singapore Islamic Hub


Since the 9/11 attacks, suicide bombings have become a staple of daily news, although the practice dates back at least two decades. A commonly accepted narrative frames such acts of self-destruction as the action of psychologically impaired, morally deficient, uneducated, impoverished individuals and, most of all, religious fanatics.
But the analysis of information based on 1597 suicide attacks between 1981 and 2008, which killed more than 21,000 in 34 countries, suggests a more complex set of reasons, an understanding of which is essential if the world is to see an end of such slaughter.
In Prof Riaz Hassan’s new book “Life as a Weapon,” he analyzes suicide bombings as a method of choice among terrorist groups around the world and the motivations.
Surprisingly, altruism emerges as a major factor in the complex set of causes behind the suicide attacks

About The Speaker
Professor Riaz Hassan has published extensively on Muslim societies in an academic career that has spanned more than 40 years. He is the author of Faithlines: Muslim Conceptions of Islam and Society, co-editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Social Sciences in Australia and Local and Global: Social Transformation in Southeast Asia. His most recent book, Life as a Weapon: The Global Rise of Suicide Bombings, was published by Routledge. He is now ARC Australian Professorial Fellow Emeritus Professor at the Department of Sociology, Flinders University, Australia.
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