Common stereotypes on the relationship between international terrorism and religion
purport an inherent link connecting the two. These beliefs seek to establish the fact that most
modern terrorist acts get committed by individuals and organizations seeking to advance
religious agenda and ideologies. This standpoint raises the question as to whether justifications
for international terrorism can be based on religious perspectives. Mostly, Islam, Hinduism,
Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity get associated with religion-based terror acts.
of these acts attack and destroy individuals, private, and public property, others can be
considered retaliatory. In both cases, individuals within different sects take personal initiatives to
execute terror. In cases where groups are involved, the ideologies they profess do not get
justified by their religious societies. Instead, it is the involved groups that advance the ideologies.
Because all known religions condemn terror and related acts, no justifications for international
terrorism can be based on religious perspectives.
A review of Islamic and Christian standpoints on terrorism presents an express
contradiction of beliefs that would associate them with terror. Islam holds the fundamental belief
that life is one of the most precious gifts. Because of this, every human being is charged with the
responsibility of protecting life. To this extent, murder is considered a horrendous crime that
must not be permitted. If one commits murder, they get considered as persons with the potential
of eliminating the whole society. This perspective is also applied to the good act of sparing life.
Further, the religion adopts the belief that all humans are created in the image of Allah. This
creates the necessity for brotherhood and love among all nations and tribes. Other than these
fundamental beliefs, the Islamic Quran condemns aggression because it is not liked by Allah. It
. Hashmi, Sohail. Just Wars, Holy Wars, and Jihads: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Encounters and
Exchanges (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 19.
. Juergensmeyer, Mark. Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 2013), 28.