Suicide, Violence, and Cultural Conceptions of Martyrdom in Palestine

Whitehead, Neil L.; Abufarha, Nasser
June 2008
Social Research;Summer2008, Vol. 75 Issue 2, p395
Academic Journal
This article takes a cultural perspective on suicide terrorism in Palestine. The distinction between Western discourses on the subject, which address suicide, and Palestinian discourses, which describe martyrdom, are discussed. The contrast between martyrdom, which is seen as a religious act, and self-sacrifice, which is seen as a political act, in Palestinian discussions of terror is noted. The media representations of suicide bombings in the U.S. is contrasted with their treatment in the Palestinian territories. The contextualization of Palestinian violence within the conflict between Israel and Palestine is described. Territorial conflicts are also addressed.


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