Religious Terrorism

Topics: Terrorism / Pages: 8 (1939 words) / Published: Apr 15th, 2013
Introduction Religion based terrorism is defined as a group whose motivations have a predominant religious influence or goal. In the last 30 years there has been an increase in terrorist activity motivated by religious beliefs. The different forms of religious terrorism are communal, genocidal, nihilistic, or revolutionary. Religious terrorism can be committed by a person, large movements, organizations, or governments. Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher was quoted in 1980 as saying “that terrorist acts in the name of religion and ethnicity have become one of the most important security challenges we face in the wake of the Cold War.”. Religious terrorism is considered one of the most dangerous forms because ever since early history people have used religion to motivate people to fight and die for their beliefs. The world’s religions all have both peaceful and violent messages from which believers can choose. Religious terrorists and extremists use their interpretation of religion to justify their violence. This can even be seen back hundreds of years ago, during Christian Crusades in the Middle Ages, where Pope Urban II promised martyrdom for anyone who fought and died for the cross. The purpose of the Crusades was to take “the holy land” back from the Muslims; the church used their believer’s loyalty to the Christian religion to help them accomplish their own set goal. Religious terrorist groups glorify any persons willingness to sacrifice themselves in the name of their religious belief will make them a martyr. This helps the terrorist group accomplish their goals by embedding in their followers head the belief that they are actually acting on behalf of their faith. Committing suicide and self-sacrifice for your religious beliefs have been a proven way of terrorist organizations to deliver maximum damage onto their enemy with little or no cost associated with it. The pure shock of a suicide bombing gives the terrorist group all the free

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