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Howard W. French
HM Analyzes Terrorists and Their Victims
   
     
  October 15, 2001
  The New York Times

For Haruki Murakami, Japan's most popular living fiction writer, the current struggle against terrorism is no clash of civilizations, much less a crusade.
 
 
Rather, as the novelist sees it, the war that opposes the United States and its allies against reputed terrorist groups like al Qaeda is a collision between incompatible networks, or what he calls circuits, whose apprehension of reality is every bit as irreconcilable as matter and antimatter. And whose collisions are bound to be just as explosive.

"The open circuit is this society," Mr. Murakami said, "and the closed circuit is the world of religious fanatics: Islamic fundamentalists or groups like Aum Shinrikyo. I think they are all the same in a way. Their worlds are perfect, because they are closed off."
 
 
In the universe of the fanatic, he said: "If you have questions, there is always someone to provide the answers. In a way, things are very easy and clear, and you are happy as long as you believe."

In our open world, however, "things are very incomplete," he said in an interview in his tidy book-filled office, which looks out over the rooftops of Tokyo's fashionable Omotesando neighborhood. He continued: "There are many distractions and many flaws.
 
  continue reading at
  http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/15/books/15mura.html