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Religion & Terrorism

How do religion and terrorism become related?

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1. How do religion and terrorism become related?

Many would argue that they are not related, but rather terrorist leaders use religion as an excuse to use violence as a means to an end (power and control for the leader). For the "terrorists", the link between religion and terrorism is in the beliefs and values that they proclaim to be rooted in religion. For example, many "terrorists" take traditional religious beliefs and twist them to fit their own terrorist tactics. They are often referred to as "religious extremists" or "religious cults." In other words, the terrorist leaders will deceive followers using religion (Islam, Christianity, etc.) and religious beliefs (the suicide bombers are told that they will go directly to heaven for the bombing; Christian cult leaders have had all their followers commit suicide thinking they would go to heaven, etc.) as an excuse to kill and terrorize other people for their (leaders) own power and advantage.

So in this sense, religion and terrorism are not really related, but terrorist leaders use religion as a means to an end, which usually involves murder and violence. However, the followers usually believe that there is a real relationship between religion and their actions (actions that are defined as terrorism by most people) (e.g., suicide bombings, Iran's desire to eradicate Israel, etc.). However, the people who are using these violent tactics do not consider it terrorism, but rather actions with a religious cause. Perhaps the leaders are also deceived into believing that this what 'God" wants them to do, but it often believed that the leaders are more concerned with power and control over the populace through the use of violence and murder using religion as an excuse and reason.

From an Islamic perspective, for example, Omid (2006) argues that "Jihad" is not an irrational, terrifying word, as presently corrupted. It is an Arabic noun, meaning a holy war; fought only for the sake of God. The word, rarely used by Muslims prior to 9/11, is now a joke on every comedy show and misused on prime time talk shows. Jihad has erroneously become a mask behind which murderers hide, pretending they are fighting for a holy cause. The only justification for Jihad in Islam is to ...

Solution Summary

By example and discussion, this solution discusses how religion and terrorism become related. References are provided.