Religion og terrorisme

"..religion is not innocent. But it does not ordinarily lead to violence. That happens only with the coalescence of a peculiar set of circumstances - political, social, and ideological - when religion becomes fused with violent expressions of social aspirations, personal pride, and movements for political change" (Mark Juergensmeyer)


Capell, Matthew B. & Emile Sahliyeh, Suicide Terrorism: Is Religion the Critical Factor? (Security Journal (2007) 20, 267–283)
"The purpose of this article is to investigate empirically the validity of the argument that the religious nature of the terrorist groups accounts for the increase in terrorism's lethality today. In an attempt to explore the relationship between religion and terrorism's newfound lethality, the study utilizes the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism's (ICT) "International Terrorism" database between 1980 and 2002. ... The study concludes that to understand modern terrorism's increased lethality, one needs to look further than religion as a motive and take into account modern terrorists' willingness to use "suicide terror" as their primary modus operandi". Download.

Fine, Jonathan, "Contrasting Secular and Religious Terrorism" (Middle East Quarterly
Winter 2008, pp. 59-69
"Some researchers suggest that to understand terrorism it is more important to study what terrorists do rather than what they say. University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape argues, for example, that Islam has little to do with suicide bombing. Rather, he suggests, that suicide bombers, wherever they are in the world, are motivated much more by tactical goals. He juxtaposes the suicide terrorism of the (non-Islamic) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with Islamist suicide bombing to demonstrate that a desire to end occupation is the common factor rather than religion. Therefore, he suggests focus upon religion is a distraction and that policymakers seeking to stop the scourge of suicide attacks should work instead to address root causes, which he sees as the presence of troops or interests in disputed or occupied lands.Despite the revisionism advanced by Pape and others, the fact remains that most suicide bombings since 1980 in the world in general and in the Middle East in particular are sponsored by Islamist and not secular terrorist groups. Pape avoids this conclusion by gerrymandering his data so that he does not need to include the significant numbers of suicide bombings conducted by Sunnis against Shi'a in Iraq". Download

Gibson, David, "Does Religion Cause Terrorism? It's Complicated" (Huffington Post Aug 31, 2011)
"In general, scholars have concluded that religion -- be it Islam or any other faith -- is neither the chicken nor the egg when it comes to creating terrorists. Rather, religion is one of many factors in the explosive brew of politics, culture and psychology that leads fanatics to target innocents -- and take their own lives in the process." "..some researchers have found that the most religious Muslims can also be the most resistant to radicalization. David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in Durham, N.C., studied 188 cases of Muslim Americans who have been connected to terrorism activities, and found that none were raised with "traditional, intensive religious training." Instead, they "adopted fundamentalist views as they radicalized."  Download.

Hansen, Birthe, At definere terrorisme (Kbh. Univ. Institut for Statskundskab 2003/2008)

Paper, Robert A., "It's the Occupation, Stupid" (Foreign Policy, Oct. 18, 2010)
"More than 95% of all suicide attacs are in response to foreing occupation, according to extensive research that we conducted at the University of Chicago's Project on Security and Terrorism, where we examined every one of the over 2,200 suicide attacs accross the world from 1980 to the present day". Download.

Juergensmeyer, Mark, "From Bhindrawale to Bin Laden: The Rise of Religious Violence" (Presentation at Arizona State University/ National Bureau of Asian Research Conference, October 14-15 2004 “Religion and Conflict in Asia: Disrupting Violence”

Stern, Jessica, Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill (2003)
Read an excerpt of the book here. "In this book, terrorism will be defined as an act or threat of violence against noncombatants with the objective of exacting revenge, intimidating, or otherwise influencing an audience. This definition avoids limiting perpetrator or purpose. It allows for a range of possible actors (states or their surrogates, international groups, or a single individual) and all putative goals (political, religious, or economic). This book is concerned only with terrorists who claim to be seeking religious goals, i.e, religious terrorism. It is limited to three monotheistic religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism."

"Wilson, Henry S., "Terrorism and Religions" (Bangalore Theological Forum 34(1), June 2002, pp. 58-74)
"The proposal outlined in this paper, asking for religiously affiliated people to work together to face the issues of terrorism, violence and injustice, in not meant to diminish the important role that all other human agencies, state sponsored or voluntary organizations, groups and movements, have to play. Rather, this is to uphold the importance of religion in people’s worldview, especially in our historical times when many of the age-old values are crumbling. This makes people insecure, who then turn to familiar heritages that are still preserved in historical and enduring world religious traditions. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism have a major share in this, being the faith of half of world’s humanity today."Download.

Zalman, Amy, "Religious Terrorism. A Short Primer on Religion and Terrorism"
"The world's great religions all have both peaceful and violent messages from which believers can choose. Religious terrorists and violent extremists share the decision to interpret religion to justify violence, whether they are Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or Sikh." Download.

Sosis, Richard & Candace S. Alcorta, "Militants and Martys. Evolutionary Perspectives on Religion and Terrorism". (Evolution's Imprint. Psychology and the Roots of Terrorism, pp. 105-124)
"If terrorists in general, and suicide bombers in particular, are not crazed religious zealots, what then is the relationship between religion and terrorism? Various researchers have argued that terrorists have political, not religious goals (Juergensmeyer 2003; Bloom 2005; Pape 2005). Religion is not the root cause of conflicts but is rather a tool used by terrorists to achieve their goals. Recast in evolutionary terms, religious beliefs, rituals, and institutions are proximate mechanisms that facilitate otherwise improbable behavioral outcomes. Here we review four main reasons why religion serves as an effective mechanism for terrorists". Download.


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