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Religious fanaticism and bigotry has often been an element of human history but religious terrorism has never been a part and parcel of it thus it’s a new and most terrible development. Its clear that large acts of terrorism is not allowed by all religions but nowadays things have undergone dramatic changes enabling religious zealots not to spare even the slightest of the oppositions from anybody including their co–religionists. All the world major religions teaches lesson of tolerance and a peaceful coexistence but the irony of all is that that all these religious communities are constantly at daggers drawn at each other. Despite the presence of the philosophy of peaceful living in these religions; it’s highly contradictory to its teaching that each of these religions has an element of terrorism present in each of them.
The constant conflict between religions arises from the fundamental causes of superiority where each religion beliefs that it is on the right path while all other are wrong and this instinct of loftiness has been consciously created in the masses by clever clergies of these religions. These feelings got exploited by selfish leaders and time servers making each community the enemy of the other. People have been exploited and brainwashed into fighting in defense of their religion as they are made to belief that their religion is in danger. This has been achieved through the mobilization of both the public and the state machinery leading to religious terrorism which is basically an ambition of the rules as well as states to be in control of the world affairs with respect to their own selfish wishes. In the book Dying for Heaven the author maintains that its of critical importance that the society takes religion on a scientific approach instead of over simplifying it and this is very particular when it entails vilifying of what we fail to comprehend. This is serious especially when one considers the fact that t there has been a rise on religious activities around the world and this he attributes to religion’s tendencies to making people feel happier and giving them a purpose of belonging. These he summaries in the following quote ‘religion makes us feel good”.
Therefore religion in its implementation has been often used to rule the masses and keep them in the dark making them to commit crimes in the name of religion. Despite the fact that majority of many faith believers have moderate views, there also exist a more radical group of extremist who are motivated to bringing their interpretation of God’s will to fruition and these extremist groups have contributed to escalating conflict and perceive radical measures as fulfilling God’s wishes. Some of the contemporary examples of religiously motivated acts of terrorism include the activities carried out by the terrorism group Al-Qaeda which claims to be motivated by neo-colonialism and presence of foreign military in the Muslim holy lands and its what resulted to the 2001 terror attacks on World Trade centre where the suicide bombers gave up their lives in the name of defending their religion of Islam. In historical context, some of the examples that have seen religion being used to commit terrorist acts include the Crusades, Spanish inquisition, genocides, Pogroms, civil wars, ethnic cleansing and other terrorist acts (Hany, 25th min.).
Slight differences exist between the crusades and the jihad. First and fore most the spirit of jihad entails eradicating the non believers who refuse to convert to Islam and this is dated back to when Islam became the ‘religion of the state’ and Mohamed as the king. He allowed for the ‘converting by sword’ thus canonizing jihad in the Koran. On the other had the crusade were motivated by Edicts that were issued by the popes for the restitution of Christian participating sins and most were aiming at recapturing Jerusalem. Part of this was motivated by nostalgic Zionism as well as by faith and partly by political power that was held by Jerusalem at the time.
Crusade as opposed to jihad is not mentioned in the Christian beliefs or texts thus it is not canon of Christianity. Crusade was therefore an invention of the powerful religious leaders of the time and this is supported by the fact that with an exception of the battles of exodus all other battles mentioned in the bible were all self defense battles. In addition to that it’s very clear that no Christian would willingly go on crusade unless some kind of leader said so or equally the same if one decided that god had spoken to him but for jihad is inescapably part and parcel of Islamic religion and this differentiate the two religious motivated battles.
Another example where religion has been used to justify some terror acts is the war against Russia where after Russia invading Afghanistan in 80’s there was mobilization of the non communist world into fighting against the evil designs of the infidels. Muslims were at the front line and were preached to engage in the holy war, Jihad against the Russian atheists. Jihad exploited the religious sentiments leading to defeat of Russia. After the establishment of own governments the same savior Jihad was labeled as terrorist and west came frontline to eliminate the Augean stable and Islam came under siege. From then Islam has been defamed as the terrorist religion. In this scenario political and religious aims got intermingled with each other resulting to intense emotions of animosity and hatred for one another.
In conclusion terrorism and religion are usually two very distinct things which are of absolute oppositeness to each other but the so called liberators of humanity; the politicians have made religion , a pure thing to be contaminated by the politics and economic advantage making it to take the form of terrorism. Religions are controlled by hearts which are directly linked to strong emotions and when such emotions are exploited for some convert interests result to terrorism.