secau Security Research Centre, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
Following the 9/11 and similar al-Qaeda attacks, one of the principle questions we ask as a Western Society is why? Researchers on religious terrorism generally agree that psychopathic labelling and descriptions are both unhelpful and inaccurate. Instead what is needed is a look at the broader sociological context. As a result, this paper utilises Foucault’s technologies of the self (formation of the self) as a framework to explore the self transformations and teleology of Osama bin Laden’s actions based on a comparative analysis with the biblical character of Moses. This analysis will include a number of important parallels which include: the rejection of wealth for self gain and privilege, self formation and transformation through trial and suffering, a spokesperson for a captive and oppressed people, as well as being the instrument of God’s wrath through the delivering of the plague of terror. Such insights can contribute to understanding the broad dimensions of this social context that extends well beyond the political domain.