RELIGION AND TERRORISM

Terrorism is one of the main security epidemics in the international area. Terrorism can appear in different forms and can be actuated by different motivations. The terrorist organizations can be enacted for nationalism, religion, left-right wing problems, and many others. Since religion is a sensitive topic that can easily trigger communities, religiously appeared terrorist groups are one of the dangerous topics of internal and international security. These days and in the past, religious separatist groups are causing massive loss to humanity. These groups have been called as religiously motivated by politicians. However, in the realm of religions, the religions play a role of unifying the society rather than supporting or motivating terrorism, the concept should be used and understood as “religiously appeared terrorism” not as “religiously motivated terror”.[1]

ISIS militant carries the so-called flag of the terrorist organization.

Over the years, the terrorist organizations that appeared for Islam are the most politicized and securitized topic by the states in the international area because of their massive attacks.

The religiously appeared most important terrorist organizations in the name of Islam can be sorted as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and the Taliban. These organizations are active in different areas, they are all causing big damages for states and their citizens. The Islamically appeared terrorist organizations are claimed to have generally the same goals such as they want to create an Islamic state that includes important regions for them. They are trying to create a way to jihad. Jihad means fighting against the non-muslim population which has been against Islam with violence. It has been one of the ways of spreading Islam in history. However, in the modern world, these misdeeds are not increasing the Islamic population, on the contrary, they are creating negative profiles for Islam. These organizations have been using Islam as an excuse for their formidable assaults. In spite of that, in the keystone of Islam, there is no place for violence and causing scathes to humanity. Besides, these organizations have been seen as they are taking help for money, weapons, and military vehicles from the non-muslim states,  in fact, some of these states are constantly being against Islam in the international area.

George W. Bush’s Oval Office speech on 9/11.

On 11th September  2001, there were four coordinated terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda in the United States of America. The attacks resulted in 2,977 deaths, over 25,000 injuries, and caused at least $10 billion damage to the state.[2] This horrifying attack fairly started a revolution about fighting against terrorism worldwide. The Former President of United States, George Bush, when he was calling upon the other states for support to fight against terrorism and he was talking about the military operations they made in particular areas, he said that it is an image of crusades. This speech showed and demonstrated the world that Bush was blaming not only Al-Qaeda he was also blaming the Islamic world. This is one of the examples of making religion a topic of politics. As we see in securitization, when a matter of security is being politicized, it is causing illegitimate and false moves of constructor entities. Speeches or attitudes of politicians to make religion a topic of politics are creating a reason for terrorist organizations. Terrorist groups need an urge to make people follow, believe, and support them. In recent history, Islam is a matter of politics and wars because of the terrorist organizations which claimed to act in the name of Islam. The motivation for these misdeeds actually created by the words of the state. Just as, on the 11th September, al-Qaeda said they were doing these attacks because of the acts of the United States against Muslim populations in Somalia, Moro, Lebanon, Kashmir, and many others.  It is, of course, can not be an excuse for damaging and hurting people. But al-Qaeda pretended to make their actions in order to save Islam from its extinction. So in that way, they are legitimizing their violence with the purpose of making Islam live longer and wider in the areas. The penalties of violence are being paid by all Muslim populations. They are all receiving hate from other people because of their religion. These hates are making terrorist organizations more active and more motivated than before. This is leading away to the vicious circle of hatred and terrorism. When the communities and the states are looking for a person to blame, they need to look at the terrorist organizations. The states should take actions against terrorist organizations, not a specific religion.


[1] Ahmet Hamdi, Türkoğlu, “Dini Motifli Terör” Kavramı, https://www.ayk.gov.tr/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/AYDIN-Ahmet-Hamdi-T%c3%9cRKO%c4%9eLU-Mehmet-Emin-D%c4%b0N%c3%8e-MOT%c4%b0FL%c4%b0-TER%c3%96R-KAVRAMI.pdf , 24.04.2020.

[2] Mehmet Can, Kömürcü, 11 Eylül saldırısı nedir ? 11 Eylül saldırısını kim yaptı?, https://www.milliyet.com.tr/11-eylul-saldirisi-nedir–11-eylul-saldirisini-kim-yapti–molatik-9280/ , 26.04.2020.

Güzide Gülizar Doğan
Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of International Relations.
Posts created 5

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