Suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden may be the new arch-villain of Western nations, but to many Muslims and Arabs he's a hero for standing up to America. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, why some people kill for their political beliefs. Also, abolitionist John Brown -- was he a madman, a martyr, or both?
John Esposito directs the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. He tells Judith Strasser that Osama bin Laden distorts the message of the Koran to justify his political ends -- a tactic used by many "true believers" in other causes. Also, historian Antonia Fraser tells Steve Paulson about the Gunpowder Plot, when embattled 17th century English Catholics attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Fraser's book on the subject is "Faith and Treason."SEGMENT 2:
Novelist Russell Banks tells Steve Paulson why he thinks abolitionist John Brown was a genuine American hero, despite his acts of terrorism. Brown believed anything was justified in the fight against the evil of slavery. Banks tells Brown's story through the eyes of one of his sons in the novel "Cloudsplitter."SEGMENT 3:
Journalist Joel Dyer tracks radical right-wing movements. He tells Jim Fleming that as individuals come to believe in radical conspiracy theories, they are more likely to become violent. Dyer is the author of "Harvest of Rage." Also, William Herrick was a true believer of the left. He tells Judith Strasser how he went to fight Fascism in the Spanish Civil War, but ultimately renounced the Communist Party. Herrick's autobiography is called "Jumping the Line: The Adventures and Misadventures of an American Radical."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-09-06-A.
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