Monday May 2, 2011

After bin Laden

University of Dayton terrorism expert Mark Ensalaco explains what the death of Osama bin Laden means for the U.S., the world and terrorism.

A University of Dayton terrorism expert said while Osama bin Laden is dead, Islamist extremism is not.

"This will not end until senior clerics preach that blowing yourselves up in the name of martyrdom and Islam isn't acceptable," said Mark Ensalaco, author of Middle Eastern Terrorism: From Black September to September 11. However, Ensalaco said, bin Laden's terrorism movement is on the ropes.

"Everywhere he preached his message has turned into a disaster for him. You see that in the pro-democracy movements in the Middle East," Ensalaco added.

Ensalaco, who has talked to CNN, CBS Radio News, The Associated Press and Reuters, among others, will discuss theses and other related topics at 8 p.m. Monday, May 2, in Sears Recital Hall in the Humanities Building during "America after the Death of Osama bin Laden, A Community Conversation with University of Dayton Terrorism Expert Mark Ensalaco." It is free and open to the public.

"The hand of justice may not be swift, but it is sure. He chose violence but died violently," said Ensalaco, who has taught Political Science 452 - the "terrorism course" - since 1989 and started a concentration in peace and global security at the University of Dayton.

While bin Laden died in spectacular fashion, Ensalaco doesn't believe President Barack Obama should authorize the release of photos of bin Laden's death.

"That's beneath us," he said.

Ensalaco was inspired to write his book on terrorism after a student asked on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, "Where did this come from?" Ensalaco presents a narrative account of the origins of Middle Eastern terrorism, addressing when and why terrorists started targeting Americans and American interests and what led to the Sept. 11 attacks.

The book has been met with much acclaim. The Journal of American History called it "A must read for everyone." Donna Schlagheck, author of International Terrorism: An Introduction to Concepts and Actors said, "There is little or no work like this available to scholars, teachers, and citizens at a time when an informed public should be engaged in a thoughtful discourse on this matter." Choice said, "In a clear, methodical, and conscientiously neutral way, Ensalaco documents the political history of the rise of terrorism in the Middle East...Essential for anyone beginning a study of Middle Eastern terrorism, or as a historical reference."

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.