Terrorism and Religion

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by asaratis, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. asaratis
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    asaratis Uppity Senior Citizen Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    A friend recently held out to me that the current "war on terrorism" is incorrectly named a war, and is mistakenly described as a religious conflict. I think him to be correct, with reservations regarding the religion facet and with absence of any notion that our efforts to track down, engage and kill known terrorists should be reduced.

    War may not be the proper name for what we are doing. It is the wide variety of connotations of substitute words that make one think of the dictionary meaning of the word.

    war n.
    1. a. A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states or parties.
    b. The period of such a conflict.
    c. The techniques and procedures of war; military science.

    2. a. A condition of active antagonism or contention: a war of words; a price war.
    b. A concerted effort or campaign to combat or put an end to something considered injurious: the war against acid rain.

    warring intr.v.
    1. To wage or carry on warfare.
    2. To be in a state of hostility or rivalry; contend.

    The continuous conflict between radical extremists and the forces tasked with thwarting their efforts, hunting and killing them is most certainly war by the above definition. It is not war in the sense of historical battlefield warfare.

    What I have long considered war is what the history books describe and depict....deadly battles between uniformed armies of warring nations. Today's conflicts in Afghanistan and elsewhere differ from history book examples of war in that there are no specific nation's uniformed armies on the other side. Their army blends into society to some degree in every governed population on earth...with possible exception of some obscure, ethnically pure, native tribe of hunter-gatherers that lives peacefully in isolation, completely ignorant of the savagery that occurs without end in the "civilized" world. In that sense, I agree it is not a war. However, it makes no difference what one chooses to call it. It is just as much a war as the war on crime, the war on drugs, the war on obesity, the war on poverty, a local gas war, the war of the Rose's....in this sense; that war is a constant struggle between combatants until one side gives up or becomes extinct.

    I choose to call the war on terrorism a war...until further notice.

    To define the combatants:

    coalition forces: The governments of nations with uniformed troops assigned to coalition command within designated battlegrounds and those that support, plan, assemble, enable or participate in the maintenance of those troops. This would include uniformed troops of those governments whether located inside or outside of designated battlegrounds, support facilities such as training bases, supply bases, recruitment facilities, civilian contractors, security personnel, intelligence groups, law enforcement and concerned citizens in all countries.

    enemy forces: Those that support, plan, assemble, enable or participate in the terrorism of others by way of threats to harm, acts to harm or encouragement of acts to harm others by any means, most particularly with explosive devices, chemical dispersants, germicides, attacks on transit systems, power systems, communications systems, food and water supplies, government buildings, public markets, schools, hotels, weddings and the like.

    Refinements to these definitions may be necessary in order to debate issues related to this topic, but dwelling on minutia is neither productive nor welcome in whatever discussion may follow.

    The above proposed definitions of the forces involved in the conflict were purposely left devoid of ties to religion. I agree completely with my friend that this is not a religious war. It is a political war, fueled by religious zealots on both sides. The terrorist's justification of the terrorism is, for the most part based on political dogma. The political dogma is, in some cases generated by religious dogma. Muslims and Christians have been killing each other "in the name of their lord" for centuries. Muslims have also been killing Muslims for centuries.

    Muslim on Muslim Violence: What Drives It? (And Where Is It Taking Us) :: Islamic Issues :: Freedoms Zone



    Today, they still kill their own....for political cause...anyone not in full agreement is subject to be blown to pieces by the great leader's inexhaustible supply of suicide bombers and others seeking martyrdom.

    Ahhh, yes...martyrdom...to be remembered....that is another topic. Most of the definitions I find for martyr involve religion, with some suggestion of an afterlife or being remembered forever...a spiritual ongoing of the martyred one. We give medals postumously, carve names in marble, read names aloud, have memorial services and moments of silence, all in remembrance of those that died.

    Regarding religion...the Oklahoma City bombing was not rooted in religion. It was rooted in politics. The Columbine shootings could have had an occult enfluence, but I am not aware of any religious motive. The Atlanta Day Trader shootings can be attributed more to lunacy than religion, though in some cases, those do go hand in hand. What these non-Muslim examples of terrorism have in common is the that each event was followed by extensive coverage including smiley-faced photos of the killers in their happier times, their life stories and friend's life stories and undue attention to what THEY went through in arriving at their role as terrorist and killer of innocent people. After 9-11, we were exposed to seemingly endless photos of the smiling faces of the terrorists along with studies to varying depths of the history of each. We remember their names. I just refuse to type them anymore. I grimace internally upon being reminded of their names or images. I firmly believe that publishing of terrorists' life stories contributes to terrorism...not so much as to classify the media as terrorists, but still evoking a sentiment of disdain.

    Though I do believe that organized religion is the prevalent source of divisiveness and conflict on earth, I do not consider religion to be the root cause of today's terrorism. It is politics...tribal politics based on long standing, bigoted dogmas that will continue until changed from within the participating groups. Condemnation of entire religions based on the actions of a minority among them is nothing more than unwarranted guilt by association. Though the overwhelming majority of today's terrorists appear to be Muslim, the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists.
     
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  2. Marie888
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    Marie888 † † †

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    What some call "religion", or call some others "religous", I refer to as our very lives. God's Word says that Jesus Christ IS our life - pretty heavy statement there...


    As for the "war on terrorism"... well there are things behind the scenes that we do not know about and are kept hidden from us. Satan has/is/will be setting up his temporary kingdom on earth and he is using people whether they know it or not. This is going to be allowed and it's foretold to us by the Lord, as His purposes continue to be fulfilled. God's will is that none shall perish, but sadly, too many will reject Him.

    Satan will take up an earthly throne and have many followers because they have been deceived. If you think it's bad now, just give it a while. Things will continue to get worse and worse, and also closer together - like birthing pains. Think about it...we've had two of our "world wars" in the last 100 years alone.

    Therefore, we are definitely in a spiritual battle and it manifests in the flesh. Either within ourselves, or outwardly to others. Basically, sin is what causes us to war either within ourselves our outwardly or even nation against nation. We need our Lord Jesus Christ to cover those sins, to help us to stop sinning, because we cannot possibly do it on our own.


    Not sure what else to reply right now but that we are encouraged to put on the whole armour of God, which includes the "Sword of the Spirit" - which is the Word of God.


    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  3. Marie888
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    Marie888 † † †

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    Oh and also what Jesus Christ told us here - so very important. Notice how 2000 years ago Jesus said that the Gospel will be preached in all the world... then the end will come (verse 14). ? How much longer until the Gospel is preached to all the nations?

     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  4. Baron
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    Baron Gold Member

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    You are wrong:

    Why "majority of Muslims" do not curse terrorists in mosques?
    Why "majority of Muslims" do not fire all radical imams?
    Where are rallies and outrage of "majority of Muslims" about radicals?

    Islam is Terror and Murder!

    Quotes from the Qur'an

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIP6Rq2KqSI]270 Million Murdered Since 610 AD, I Wonder By Whom? - YouTube[/ame]
     
  5. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    The violence that you see as intrinsic to Islam...is not. Your explanation of it being a combination of religion and politics is spot on!

    It is a function of Qutb's views of Islam, and the totalist political views of Marx and even the Nazis.

    1. During its five hundred years of world domination, Europe exported innumerable customs and ideas, including the spirit of self-destruction; some began to prosper in the Arab and Muslim world.

    a. Communism was the first of the new mass movements in Europe, and the first to flourish in the Middle East as well.

    b. In Iraq, the Communist Party by the late ‘50’s, has the support of over a million people. In Indonesia, it became an enormous movement, requiring a gigantic massacre in the ‘60’s to defeat it. South Yemen found it to be a popular movement in the ‘70’s. Afghanistan saw its power in 1978, shored up by the Soviet invasion.

    c. Timeframe aside, the universal nature of its doctrine was seductive: the same German philosophy, worship of the same founder, the same partisan goals, and the same network of international organizations.

    2. During the ‘30’s and ‘40’s, the Pan-Arabists tended to align with the Fascist Axis, since their enemies were the British and French imperialists. Of course, there were reasons beyond realpolitik,…

    a. From Sami al-Jundi, an early Baath (Renaissance) leader: “We were racists, admiring Nazism, reading its books and the source of its thought, particularly Nietzsche…” Arabs and Nazis - Can it Be True?

    b. This did not exclude other totalist influences. “Saddam expressed his admiration for Stalin on numerous occasions and describes him as not being a communist but a nationalist..” Saddam | The Browser This mix can be found in National Socialism and Mussolini’s Fascism, as well.

    3. Sayyid Qutb, the single most influential Islamist writer. His masterwork, “In the Shade of the Qur’an,” commentaries on the various suras: Most of the original 30 volumes (114 Surahs) were written (or re-written) while in prison following an attempted assassination of Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1954. Fi Zilal al-Quran - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    4. The notion of Islam as totality was Qutb’s most important concept, distinguishing Islam from all other worldviews- ‘Tawhid,’ the oneness of God. (Of course, Marxists had the same belief: George Lukacs defined that characteristic of Marxism that distinguished it from bourgeois thinking: ‘the primacy of the category of totality.’)

    5. Truth, according to Qutb, can only be obtained through active struggle. Again, this mirrors the Karl Korsch school of German Marxism, who argued that Marx’s dialectic can only be understood at certain moments in history, those of intense class struggle, during which the truth, i.e., the proletarian revolution becomes clear. Sidney Hook added dose of John Dewey’s Pragmatism, that only via the experiment of revolutionary action, militant effort, is truth revealed. Qutb, two or three decades later, suggested that Koranic truth requires more than religious commitment, it requires revolutionary action on Islam’s behalf. Read between the lines, and you find the link between truth and martyrdom.

    6. The suggestion of martyrdom can be found in one of his screeds against the Jews. “The Koran points to another contemptible characteristic of the Jews: their craven desire to live, no matter at what price and regardless of quality, honour, and dignity.” Imam Zaid Shakir’s Powerful Rebuttal Against Muslim Extremists « Allahcentric

    An excellent expositon can be found in Paul Berman's "Terror and Liberalism," ch. 3 & 4
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  6. asaratis
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    asaratis Uppity Senior Citizen Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Muhammad was born in 570AD, had a vision in 610AD....Muslim violence began in 622AD...

    Marxism and Communism did not emerge until the late 1800s, over 1200 years later.

    The Muslim violence was not limited to that against non-Muslims. Muslims have been killing Muslims for centuries. It is a simple extension of logic to say that if the violence was based on religion, there would be no attacks on fellow Muslims.

    It is the radical Muslims that promote the continued terrorism. It is the politics of radicalism that drives the terrorism from Islam.

    This has little to do with Marx and his contemporaries in Europe.

    ...and I humbly disagree that this violence is not intrinsic in the Islamic faith. The founder of Islam encouraged it, preached it and demanded it of his followers.

    The Quran was passed down by memory for many years. The first written copy of it was not a bound book but a compilation of writings on various media. There are differing opinions regarding who wrote the first Quran in book form...and certainly there exists the possibility that some verses may have been corrupted prior to the advent of the printing press. [The same might be said of the Bible.]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011

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