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Religion and Violence
Scholars in fields like sociology, political science, religious studies, history, and theology have
attempted to explain the relationship between religion and violence. Each field has its
justification but all point towards the inseparable connection between political institutions and
religion as the major cause of violence. The essay aims to further an understanding on what
issues that makes religion a divisive and potentially violent issue in society, possibilities of
differentiating religious beliefs from political calculations, and issues that are overlooked in
discussions about secularism.
Religion tends to be a divisive and potentially violent issue today because people are conditioned
to accept religion as a foundation for political ideologies (Tignor, Adelman, Brown, Kotkin,
Elman, Prakash& Tsin 816). Since each religion advocates for different belief systems, people
come out to defend their religion and beliefs. Tignor et al. (816) further borrow the ideologies
from Hindu nationalism and Islamic conservatism to argue out the different stands that nations
took since the Cold War era. Due to such beliefs, it is almost impossible to separate religious
beliefs from political calculations. For instance, in the Islamic conservatism, people believe that
the American-dominated influence deprives them of freedom by forcing them to accept
oppression. The Middle East region is an oil and natural gas-rich area, and the inversion of
American and other European nations has a materialistic agenda with a promise for failed
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Islamic nations have been using religion as a guide to influence political decisions. Pro-secularist
nations have met resistance from these nations who tend to treat them as rebels. The argument
can explain why Islamic militia groups have been on the rise, brainwashing people to self-bomb
themselves with reference from religious texts that they will get an award for liberating their
religion and nation from Western civilization. The same trend is evident in Buddhist-dominated
nations like China, which perceive democracy (Tignor et al. 818) as an attack to societal norms
and an easy way to allow free global markets that can destabilize the Chinese economy.
Religion influences most of the political decisions today. Most reforms and government policies
are influenced by religion. Therefore, in instances where there is a disagreement due to differing
religious beliefs, violence is unavoidable. However, it is important for religious and political
leaders to reach an agreement rather than incite the public into resorting to violence.
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Works Cited
Tignor, Robert, et al. Worlds Together, Worlds Apart. W. W. Norton, 2014.

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