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From Bhindranwale to Bin Laden: The Rise of Religious Violence


My involvement in the study of religious terrorism began with the Sikhs. I had lived in the Punjab for several years, and in the early part of my academic career I had focused on the relationship between religion and politics in India in general and the Punjab in particular. During the 1980s, therefore, I watched with mounting horror as a spiral of violence developed between Sikh militants and the government. How could such affable, intelligent people be swept up in an encounter that was so vicious, so unforgiving?

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