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Chapter Four: The Advent of Religious Terrorism. Analysis of Religious Terrorism.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter Four: The Advent of Religious Terrorism. Analysis of Religious Terrorism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter Four: The Advent of Religious Terrorism

2 Analysis of Religious Terrorism

3 Religious fanaticism and technology Religious fanaticism and technology Terrorists behave differently from regular criminals, religious terrorists behave differently from political terrorists 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 Religious terrorists are not constrained by the same factors that inhibit other types of terrorists

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

5 True believers True believers Religious terrorists dismiss the religious views of others 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 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 Analysis of Religious Terrorism

6 Other dangerous trends in holy terror 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 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 Religious terrorists demonize their enemies; that is, they equate their enemies with the ultimate source of evil

7 The Social Characteristics of Terrorists: Juergensmeyer’s Terror in God’s Mind

8 Holy warriors 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 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 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 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: Juergensmeyer’s Terror in God’s Mind Commonalities of holy warriors from different faith traditions Commonalities of holy warriors from different faith traditions Al Qaeda, the Covenant, the Sword, the Arm of the Lord Al Qaeda, the Covenant, the Sword, the Arm of the Lord Manuals begin with theological passages Manuals begin with theological passages Manuals quote U.S. Army manuals Manuals quote U.S. Army manuals

10 Religions That Kill: Stern’s Terror in God’s Mind

11 Myths Myths A myth is a sacred story that conveys deep-seated truths; it explains the basis of belief 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 Terrorists use myths as a story to explain a religious struggle

12 Religions That Kill: Stern’s Terror in God’s Mind The return to the sacred story 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 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 Old truths in one society may collide with the truths of another society. When mythological truths compete, violence often results

13 Religions That Kill: Stern’s Terror in God’s Mind Changes in the structure of terrorist organizations 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 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 center of rigid structures Some grow when a number of insecure people gather around a strong personality Some grow when a number of insecure people gather around a strong personality Some groups are informal, and everybody has a leadership function Some groups are informal, and everybody has a leadership function Some loners loosely affiliate with a group but tend to act on their own Some loners loosely affiliate with a group but tend to act on their own

14 Religions That Kill: Stern’s Terror in God’s Mind Professional terrorists in religious organizations 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” 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 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” 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 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 Killing and nonkilling religions 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 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 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 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 Ordinary and extraordinary worlds We use language and logical concepts to describe the ordinary or everyday world 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 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 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 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 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 The symbol becomes the object of worship, and has taken the place of the sacred

19 The Logic of Religious Terrorism The Promised Land The Promised Land In the sacred story of the Israelites, God promises the Hebrews a land flowing with milk and honey 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 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” The story is misinterpreted as “God promised Abraham the state of Israel”

20 The Logic of Religious Terrorism The Balkan Peninsula 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 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 The Turner Diaries A fictional work by white supremacist William Pierce in which the main protagonist has a religious experience 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 God’s plan to create a racially pure world in the face of Jews and people of color The main character, Earl Turner, joins The Order. The Order gives Turner “The Book”, a “holy” book describing God’s 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 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. Terrorism and religion are fictionally united, and the Turner Diaries inadvertently illustrates the “logic” of religious violence.

22 Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations and Esposito’s Response

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

24 Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations and Esposito’s Response Eight primary cultural paradigms or civilizations dominating the modern world Eight primary cultural paradigms or civilizations dominating the modern world Western Western Confucian Confucian Japanese Japanese Islamic Islamic Hindu Hindu Slavic-Orthodox Slavic-Orthodox Latin America Latin America African African

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

26 Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations and Esposito’s Response Daniel Pipes Daniel Pipes When looking at Islam, the major clash is not between civilizations, but rather within Islamic civilization When looking at Islam, the major clash is not between civilizations, but rather within Islamic civilization Thomas Barnett 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 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 Huntington’s clash comes between economic rather than cultural civilizations Believes Huntington’s clash comes between economic rather than cultural civilizations

27 Role of Eschatology

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

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

30 Role of Eschatology Political Eschatology Political Eschatology Daniel Pipes says that traditional Islam is concerned with political morality 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 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 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 Reuvan Paz Reuvan Paz Islamic fundamentalism is related to political violence Islamic fundamentalism is related to political violence There is an Islamic terrorism There is an Islamic terrorism Islam sees itself in a global war with the West Islam sees itself in a global war with the West

33 Two Views of Islam and Terrorism David Kibble David Kibble Islamic fundamentalism seems to be a threat at face value 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 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 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 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 Daniel Pipes American political leaders have had bad political advice from academic experts who told the West not to worry about militant Islam 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 John Esposito There are a variety of Islamic political groups, and most of them see violence as counterproductive 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 It is not possible to rely on stereotypes or classify Islam as a violent religion


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