In the current times, the world is vulnerable to terror attacks. Some of these terrorism activities are always associated with extreme religious organizations. Take for instance, the ISIS, a terror organization operating in Iraq and Syria (Armstrong, 2014). This terror group justifies the killing of non-Muslims on religion. They wrongly believe that the Quran gives them authority to kill and maim anyone who is not practicing Islam. This paper seeks to explain the concept of killing and non-killing religions. It further seeks to identify, which of these is associated with modern day terrorism. This paper takes a stand that killing religions are mostly associated with modern day terrorism.
Killing and Non Killing Religions:
Non-killing refers to attitudes and actions intended to prevent or stop international acts of killing human life. This is a term that seeks to speak against violence, and it promotes a peaceful co-existence. Non-Killing can be used to refer to a religious belief that does not advocate for violence. Examples of such religions include Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, etc (Docker, 2008). These are regarded as non-killing religions, because their teachings advocate against violence. Take for instance in Christianity, the bible teaches that if a person hits you on one cheek, then give him another cheek to hit. This means that a Christian should not take any retaliatory measures, such as paying violence with violence (Docker, 2008).
Killing religions on the other hand advocate for the elimination of anybody who goes against its command. An example includes a religion that supports the murder or killing of people, who do not ascribe to its values (Pallmeyer, 2003). Controversy exists on whether Islam is an example of a killing religion or not. This is because there have been different interpretations of the teachings of Islam. One interpretation is of the need to kill anybody who does not practice Islam. Other hand, other Islamic scholars argue that this is not correct. This is because Islam seeks to embrace other religions (Docker, 2008). However, this is an issue of debate. In a nutshell, while most Muslims view religion and morality as a means of achieving peace, few of them see violence as a means of achieving it. The group view jihadists as an aberration of Islam that offers little more than oppression, religious police, veiled women, and disavowal of modern science.
Christians (Nonkilling Religion) believe that God sent Christ to correct the deviations of the Jews. Muslims on another hand trust that God sent Prophet Mohammed, his final prophet, to correct the deviations of the Christians. They believe that Christianity is not a true representation of the teachings of God (Docker, 2008). For example, the two depart on the use of violence to spread their religion. For instance, one of the teachings of Christianity is that he who lives by the sword, will also die by the sword. This is a condemnation of violence, and it is seeking to promote a peaceful co-existence amongst one another.
The Quran teaches that anyone who tries to leave the religion should be punished. By looking at these facts, it is possible to denote that Christianity and Islam are two very different religions, and they propagate different values and beliefs. Buddhism and Hinduism are other non-killing religions (Pallmeyer, 2003). These religions believe in a peaceful co-existence amongst one another. Furthermore, Buddhism believes that to achieve ultimate peace, there is a need of an individual to constantly meditate. Hinduism believes in the existence of many gods, and goddesses. On this fact, this religion embraces other religions, and their beliefs.
This is unacceptable in Islam. Islam does not tolerate any other religion, and they believe that no God exists, apart from their god, who is called Allah. It is because of this fact that Islamic extremists are willing to kill, for Allah (Pallmeyer, 2003). The violent advocation of Islamic beliefs is referred to as Jihad. Jihad refers to an action aimed at exerting effort for purposes of achieving a desired outcome. Muslims normally fight Jihad on two levels. The first level, is the war against Satanic accusations, poverty, and diseases (Pallmeyer, 2003). The second Jihad is fought against any person who is viewed as going against the principles and doctrines of Islam. Non-killing religions do not support any type of violence, nor do they have any violent ideologies, such as jihad.
Islam stresses that anyone who does not convert to Islam, should be killed, or enslaved. The other non-killing religions do not have these provisions (Pallmeyer, 2003). For them, those who do not agree with their dogmas are never slayed or killed. In this view, we can appreciate the fact that these two religions do contrast in huge steps. While the former propagates for killing the rebels or making them slaves, the latter focuses on tolerance and peace. They do these based on Koran’s Allah doctrines. In addition, in case a Muslim brother gets into the way of murdering the non-Muslims, Islam permits that such an individual is slain. They can go into the levels of leveling a neighborhood to finish off infidel (Pallmeyer, 2003).
In this sense, Islam regards these types of killings as piety, and it sees nothing wrong with it. For example, the word Boko Haram means that Western Education is sinful. This is a religious extremist group that is found in Northern Nigeria and it advocates for the Islamization of Nigeria. In the pursuit of their goal, they burned schools, kidnaped hundreds of children, and left causalities numbering in thousands. Their suspected links with the al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and al-Shabaab in Somalia has made Boko Haram a real menace in the eyes of U.S national security. The other non-killing religions calls for loving your neighbors as you love you. So the notion of killing to gain something is seen as evil in these forms of religions.
In comparison to Christianity, Islam does not offer a chapter about love, 1 Corinthians 13.There exist no parable of Good Samaritan (Docker, 2008). The call to personal holiness doesn’t exist entirely. There is no hope for personal salvation by way of sinless sacrifice just as Christ did upon Calvary. The hope of eternal bliss in holy heaven is non-existent (Ellens, 2004). The sacrifice of laying down the life of one person is not present in Islam. Instead, it is killing others that will let you gain eternity (Docker, 2008). The love for a neighbor is absent in totality among the killing religions. This is seen amongst the Boko Haram militants. This people kill, with the argument that they are advocating for the adoption of Islamic principles.
Prophet Mohammed was a political leader, and the Koran had much to say about how to organize a well-run society in a manner that promotes peace and justice. The two make it true by saying that, modern day Muslims find it very absurd to separate religion from Government. It begs the question, why would human law be above the law of God. It is on this baseline that we find so many extremists rising up to counter government forces in all manner of wicked bloodshed strategies (Docker, 2008). They do not think about who they might be putting in danger, but their main focus is selfishness. In other world religions, the reverse is very evident, Killing is not allowed and is regarded very evil. Such acts attract punishments ranging from eternal condemnation and torture. In these religions, there is the separation of religion and government structures (Docker, 2008).
The holy book of Muslims is the Koran. It is a compilation of God’s laws which were revealed to Mohammed.. Mohammed is respected by most Muslims as a prophet of God and not as an extension of God. Christ in His works here on earth claimed to be God. Mohammed was a mortal appointed by God to proclaim the message of peace and enlightenment and in this sense; he had no supernatural powers (Ellens, 2004). To Christianity, it is contrary to these. Christ in his ministry among the Jews did many miracles that culminated into very many people following His doctrine. This includes raising the dead, healing the sick, etc. For Him, many people believed in eternal bliss in holy heaven because He was an extension of God Himself.
Modern Day Terrorism
Modern day terrorism is deeply associated with killing religions. Take for example, Islam. Most terrorism groups that emerge, normally associate themselves with Islam. An example is Al-Qaeda, whose leaders called for Jihad, against the Americans and the Israeli interests (Ellens, 2004). This is because they believed that America and Israel were working against the interests of Islam. The Quran encourages Muslims to take captives during instances of war (Armstrong, 2014). This can only happen when a jihad is declared. This is the reason why most terror groups normally cite a Jihad, when engaged in terrorism activities.
It might be true theoretically, but modern day terrorism is evident on the verses from Koran like the one above. A lot of emphases are on the jihad as means of seeing the wonderful life ahead of us. In this regard, extremists like the al-Qaeda, al-Shabab and the Boko Haram of Nigeria take it upon themselves to control governments by either hijacking planes, children or just killing using bombs (Armstrong, 2014). What matters to them is exerting fear and anxiety among innocent citizens at the expense of their selfish endeavors. There is a very strong association between modern day terrorism and faith. These words are well depicted in the brutal killing of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo by a recent Muslim convert called Michael Zeharf-Bibeau.
In his submission, he states that it very absurd for a Muslim convert to go on a shooting spree in the Canadian parliament (Docker, 2008). In as much as it is visible that the religion has something to do with behavior, other factors also can contribute. For instance, neglect on upbringing, ideology, mental problems and even criminal past and drug addiction. But of the stated reasons religion has the strongest relation with what Bibeau did in Canada (Docker, 2008). The precipitation of modern day terrorism resurgence of armed and radical jihadi movements are two in nature.First is the revolutionary ideals and ideology of the 1979 Iranian revolution and secondly, the practical application of jihad against the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan.
Religious terrorism is the political insurgency by members of a certain group of doctrinal faith in trying to avert the effects of the stated political system. In this sense, anything that results from such an arrangement is viewed as a huge blessing to the people fighting for that course. Modern day terrorism is visible by many groups of the Islamic faith who have a baseline of bloodletting. The recent events in the United States on September 11, 2001 showed the lengths at which these extremists can extend to. The modern day government or political units should endeavor to reach out to the grievances aired out by political extremists. On a religious scale, it is imperative for the states to try out to counter the effects of religious extremist. The killing religion propagates for modern day hijacking of planes and children, like the Nigerian Boko Haram and the al-Qaeda not forgetting the al-Shabaab in present-day Somalia. In this submission it is practical knowledge to denote killing religions with modern terrorism.
Armstrong, K. (2014). Fields of blood religion and the history of violence. New York, N.Y.:
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Docker, J. (2008). The origins of violence religion, history and genocide. London: Pluto Press.
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Ellens, J. (2004). The destructive power of religion: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Westport,
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Pallmeyer, J. (2003). Is religion killing us?: Violence in the Bible and the Quran. Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity