Religion Causes Violence

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  • Topic: Crusades, War, Violence
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English1101 Dr.Eric Martinson Zibo Liu Oct 23 2012 Religion Causes Violence

LIU 1

September 11th, 2001 was one of the most disconsolate days in the history of the United States. Around 9:00 A.M., American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, and United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into another tower after twenty minutes. About one hour later, another airplane, American Airlines Flight 77, hit the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania (Schmemann). Due to these attacks, all passengers died in the air crashes, and hundreds of people were killed because they didn’t escape from the Twin Towers before collapsing. This series of malicious attacks not only killed 2,947 people, but also left thousands of people suffering in sorrow ("Sept. 11: A Day for Remembering"). It is well known that 9/11 was plotted by a group of religious fanatics called Al-Qaeda. It is an international terrorist group, and its main goal is to fight a jihad (a war waged by Muslims against infidels) against the Western world and Jews. Being based on a frenzy of Islamic fundamentals, Al-Qaeda organized many violent attacks, such as assassinations, suicide bombings, and hijackings to show their respect to Allah (Bajoria and Bruno). Someone can say Al-Qaeda is merely a group of lunatic people who were under the slogan of religion, and they are not religious believers. However, honestly, by either reviewing the history or looking at contemporary era, there are plenty of examples that can show that religion is relevant to violence because of religious fanaticism and demonization. The main reason that religion causes violence is religious fanaticism. Throughout history, it is easy to find some religious wars, such as the Crusades, the Muslim Conquests, the French Wars of Religion, and the Reconquista, which were always related to religious zealotry. Above

English1101 LIU 2 Dr.Eric Martinson Zibo Liu Oct 23 2012 all, the most famous and bloodiest religious wars were the Crusades, the war fight for God. On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II gave a speech to the knights in France. He incited them to liberate the city of Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulcher from Muslim power, and they must fight a holy war for God. Soon, to show their loyalty to the God, more than 60,000 crusaders set out in a few months, and in the spring of 1097, the armies marched toward the Holy Land (Skip Knox). The Crusades lasted more than 200 years, and they were some of the longest religious wars in world history. Fanaticism causes religious believers to blindly adore their religions. In his journal in History Today, Jonathan Phillips, a Doctor from University of London, says “The idea of fighting for God, the ultimate lord, gave service in crusading armies a special attraction, although at times knights’ determination to win fame for themselves could cause them to put notions of honor ahead of the greater Christian cause.” Additionally, religious fanaticism causing violence also happens nowadays. In The Hinge, a political consultant of Virginia, Andrew Lumpkin, notes the Tokyo subway toxic gassing event planned by Aum Shrinko (a cult of Japan), and the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by an angry Jewish fundamentalist, are typically recent examples of religious violence. Hence, by observing history and current examples, it is easy to figure out that religious fanaticism is a big problem religion always has, and it causes violence relevant to religion. Moreover, another fact about religion causing violence is religion is always linked to demonization. Demonizing other religions leads to religious conflicts. As Andrew Lumpkin states, “Religious language that dehumanizes and demonizes other religions may lead to or support the use of violence.” Normally, religious demonization is one religion denouncing another religion by twisting the facts and doctrines of other religions (Lumpkin). However, in...
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