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Chapter Four: The Advent of Religious Terrorism

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Title: Chapter Four: The Advent of Religious Terrorism


1
Chapter FourThe Advent of Religious
Terrorism
2
Analysis of Religious Terrorism
3
Analysis of Religious Terrorism
  • Religious fanaticism and technology
  • Terrorists behave differently from regular
    criminals, religious terrorists behave
    differently from political terrorists
  • Religious terrorists are not constrained by the
    same factors that inhibit other types of
    terrorists

4
Analysis of Religious Terrorism
  • Holy Terror vs. Secular Terror
  • Secular terrorists operate within a dominant
    political and cultural framework
  • Secular terrorists would rather make allies than
    indiscriminately kill their enemies
  • Holy terrorists see the world as a battlefield
    between the forces of light and darkness
  • Holy terrorists see killing as a sacramental act.
    Examples can be found in
  • The Koran
  • Christian Old Testament
  • Hebrew Bible

5
Analysis of Religious Terrorism
  • True believers
  • Religious terrorists dismiss the religious views
    of others
  • When a person becomes a true believer and a
    religious doctrine sanctions the use of violence,
    deified terrorism results, that is, the act of
    terrorism itself is made sacred and holy

6
Analysis of Religious Terrorism
  • Other dangerous trends in holy terror
  • Religious terrorists are not utilitarian that
    is, they are not a person seeking the greatest
    amount of good for the greatest number of people.
    Religious terrorist seek the greatest good for
    themselves
  • Religious terrorists demonize their enemies that
    is, they equate their enemies with the ultimate
    source of evil

7
The Social Characteristics of Terrorists
Juergensmeyers Terror in Gods Mind
8
The Social Characteristics of Terrorists
Juergensmeyers Terror in Gods Mind
  • Holy warriors
  • The call to violence is a call to purify the
    world from the nonbeliever and the incorrect
    interpreters of tradition in a holy war
  • Those who do not stand with the holy warrior are
    evil
  • If the holy warrior falls, the warrior becomes a
    martyr for hope if the holy warrior is
    successful, it is a victory for the deity

9
The Social Characteristics of Terrorists
Juergensmeyers Terror in Gods Mind
  • Commonalities of holy warriors from different
    faith traditions
  • Al Qaeda, the Covenant, the Sword, the Arm of the
    Lord
  • Manuals begin with theological passages
  • Manuals quote U.S. Army manuals

10
Religions That Kill Sterns Terror in
Gods Mind
11
Religions That Kill Sterns Terror in Gods Mind
  • Myths
  • A myth is a sacred story that conveys deep-seated
    truths it explains the basis of belief
  • Terrorists use myths as a story to explain a
    religious struggle

12
Religions That Kill Sterns Terror in Gods Mind
  • The return to the sacred story
  • People around the world are returning to their
    religious roots as a means to escape the
    complexity of modern life
  • Old truths in one society may collide with the
    truths of another society. When mythological
    truths compete, violence often results

13
Religions That Kill Sterns Terror in Gods Mind
  • Changes in the structure of terrorist
    organizations
  • Stories change the nature of terrorist
    organizations, and they help to produce a number
    of different group organizations and styles
  • Some center of rigid structures
  • Some grow when a number of insecure people gather
    around a strong personality
  • Some groups are informal, and everybody has a
    leadership function
  • Some loners loosely affiliate with a group but
    tend to act on their own

14
Religions That Kill Sterns Terror in Gods Mind
  • Professional terrorists in religious
    organizations
  • Leaders originally join a group because they
    believe in the myth, but after a time the
    lifestyle produces the need for professional
    behavior
  • The power of the myth becomes less important, and
    the day-to-day job of terrorism grows
  • The impact of religion on the lone wolf
    avenger
  • Lone wolf avengers have a special, narcissistic
    relationship with their deities. In essence, they
    create a god in their own image

15
The Logic of Religious Terrorism
16
The Logic of Religious Terrorism
  • Killing and nonkilling religions
  • Killing religions were based on the premise that
    a deity would help the community in a time of
    crisis. In the killing religions, gods
    slaughtered enemies
  • The nonkilling religions embraced enemies and
    developed elaborate ideologies to justify
    violence as a last resort
  • Nonkilling transcendence is often transformed
    into a militant ideology designed to protect a
    state or some other social group by this
    rationalizing of the use of violence as a last
    resort

17
The Logic of Religious Terrorism
  • Ordinary and extraordinary worlds
  • We use language and logical concepts to describe
    the ordinary or everyday world
  • We use symbols and myths to talk about the
    extraordinary or spiritual world
  • It is difficult to put extraordinary events into
    words, so we are forced to use everyday language

18
The Logic of Religious Terrorism
  • Paul Tillich
  • Because we put spiritual experiences in common
    language, we literalize symbols- the symbol no
    longer represents the sacred experience because
    it becomes the experience
  • The symbol becomes the object of worship, and has
    taken the place of the sacred

19
The Logic of Religious Terrorism
  • The Promised Land
  • In the sacred story of the Israelites, God
    promises the Hebrews a land flowing with milk and
    honey
  • The everyday language of the story makes it look
    as though God promises the Israelites a
    geographical location
  • The story is misinterpreted as God promised
    Abraham the state of Israel

20
The Logic of Religious Terrorism
  • The Balkan Peninsula
  • The Balkan Peninsula has been devastated, and the
    fundamental reason for the conflict is based on
    three interpretations of religion Islam,
    Christian Roman Catholic, and Eastern Christian
    Orthodox Church

21
The Logic of Religious Terrorism
  • The Turner Diaries
  • A fictional work by white supremacist William
    Pierce in which the main protagonist has a
    religious experience
  • The main character, Earl Turner, joins The Order.
    The Order gives Turner The Book, a holy book
    describing Gods plan to create a racially pure
    world in the face of Jews and people of color
  • Turner admits to having a transcendent
    experience, but he cannot express his thoughts in
    ordinary language. He comes to realize that he
    can only experience the extraordinary by doing
    something spectacular, so he goes on a killing
    spree
  • Terrorism and religion are fictionally united,
    and the Turner Diaries inadvertently illustrates
    the logic of religious violence.

22
Huntingtons Clash of Civilizations and
Espositos Response
23
Huntingtons Clash of Civilizations and
Espositos Response
  • Huntingtons historical epochs
  • Medieval Europe from the Reformation (1517) to
    the Thirty Years War (1618\-1648)Characterized
    by religious wars
  • After the Peace of Westphalia (1648), dynastic
    rights and territorial needs dominated
    international conflict
  • Nationalistic wars after the French Revolution
    (1789\-1799)
  • In 1918, ideological conflict moved to the
    forefront
  • Capitalism vs. Communism (until 1991 with the
    collapse of the Soviet Union)
  • Clash of civilizationpost\-Cold War era

24
Huntingtons Clash of Civilizations and
Espositos Response
  • Eight primary cultural paradigms or civilizations
    dominating the modern world
  • Western
  • Confucian
  • Japanese
  • Islamic
  • Hindu
  • Slavic-Orthodox
  • Latin America
  • African

25
Huntingtons Clash of Civilizations and
Espositos Response
  • Huntingtons Thesis
  • International peace will be threatened in torn
    countries. These are regions where more than one
    civilization exists within an area
  • John Esposito
  • Disagrees with Huntington on Two Levels
  • Culture or civilization is defined by more than
    religion
  • There is no Islamic civilization

26
Huntingtons Clash of Civilizations and
Espositos Response
  • Daniel Pipes
  • When looking at Islam, the major clash is not
    between civilizations, but rather within Islamic
    civilization
  • Thomas Barnett
  • Divides the world between a functioning economic
    core and an excluded, nonintegrating gap that is
    not included in the global economy. Terrorism
    comes from the nonintegrating gap
  • Believes Huntingtons clash comes between
    economic rather than cultural civilizations

27
Role of Eschatology
28
Role of Eschatology
  • Eschatology
  • Derived from the Greek word eschatos, a concept
    dealing with the end of all material and purpose
    in time and space
  • In the Greek Hebrew Bible, it is interpreted as a
    final judgment and the realization of Gods
    purpose for creation

29
Role of Eschatology
  • John Domonic Crossans four commonly held
    eschatological frameworks
  • Ascetic Self denial
  • Apocalyptic Gods destruction of the existing
    order
  • Ethical Calls for followers to embrace radically
    moral behavior in recognition of Gods imminent
    reign
  • Political Combines expectations of religious
    judgment with political action

30
Role of Eschatology
  • Political Eschatology
  • Daniel Pipes says that traditional Islam is
    concerned with political morality
  • If one is expecting apocalyptic or ascetic
    eschatology, there is no need to worry, because
    God will make the final judgment. On the other
    hand, some forms of ethical and almost all forms
    of political eschatology rely on the actions of
    human beings
  • Gunter Lewy argues that linking political beliefs
    with an end-of-time theology is a prescription
    for violence

31
Two Views of Islam and Terrorism
32
Two Views of Islam and Terrorism
  • Reuvan Paz
  • Islamic fundamentalism is related to political
    violence
  • There is an Islamic terrorism
  • Islam sees itself in a global war with the West

33
Two Views of Islam and Terrorism
  • David Kibble
  • Islamic fundamentalism seems to be a threat at
    face value
  • The pockets of Islamic extremism in the that
    sustain terrorism Middle East are isolated and
    divided

34
Two Views of Islam and Terrorism
  • Clarence Bouchat
  • American fears and misunderstandings of Islam
    make it appear as if fundamentalists were united
    and threatening to gather the Middle East in a
    war against the West
  • Daniel Pipes
  • American political leaders have had bad political
    advice from academic experts who told the West
    not to worry about militant Islam

35
Two Views of Islam and Terrorism
  • John Esposito
  • There are a variety of Islamic political groups,
    and most of them see violence as
    counterproductive
  • It is not possible to rely on stereotypes or
    classify Islam as a violent religion
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