Americans are struggling with trying to understand the motivation behind the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Professor Charles Selengut of County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph, NJ, is an internationally recognized expert on terrorism, religion and political violence and can offer insight into how the Tsarnaev brothers may have become so politicized to undertake such a violent act. Author of Sacred Fury: Understanding Religious Violence, (AltaMira Press), Selengut can talk on such points as:
“We cannot deal with the dangers that exist until we recognize the importance of religion in international terrorism,” says Selengut. “We believe the whole world wants to imitate the West, but what these terrorists are doing is they are trying to protect their way of life.”
- How the Tsarnaev brothers could have become attracted to militant thinking and behavior.
- The danger of assuming that terrorism is about people who are mentally ill or about economic issues and the need to acknowledge that there are fanatical subgroups within Islam and other religions that are willing to use violent means.
- The potential of Americans becoming radicalized as the result of the bombings.
- The importance of recognizing the dangers that exists without stereotyping entire groups.
Selengut has spoken widely on the topic of religious violence including at the International Conference on Terrorism’s Global Impact and as a keynote speaker for the Colloquium on Religion and Violence, an international association of scholars dedicated to exploring the relationships between violence and religion.
Selengut joined the CCM faculty in 1970. He received his B.A. from Brooklyn College, his M.A. from New School University, and his Ph.D. from Drew University. Included among his honors and recognition, he was named a member of the McArthur Foundation “Project on Fundamentalism,” a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at Harvard University, and a 1997 finalist for the Carnegie Professor of the Year Award. Locally, he has spoken and given courses on the topics of religion and fundamentalism at CCM, Drew University, and religious and civic groups across New Jersey.
To arrange an interview with Selengut, contact Kathleen Brunet Eagan, director of Communications and College Relations, at 973-328-5052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.