Discussion Questions: How would you explain the inspiration of both politics and religion upon individuals that choose to carry out terrorist actions? Make sure to address both religion and politics and provide an example of each type of terrorist inspiration. The required readings by Gerges, Hoffman and Tarlow describe religion and terrorism, while the U.S. Army Military Guide to Terrorism in the 21st Century describes the ideological, social, and political spectrum including left wing, right, wing and anarchist inspirations, as well as indigenous, domestic, international and transnational categories.
Instructions: Fully utilize the materials that have been provided to you in order to support your response. Your initial post should be at least 350 words. Please respond to at least two other students. Responses should be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another student’s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.
Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas. Sources utilized to support answers are to be cited in accordance with the APA writing style by providing a general parenthetical citation (reference the author, year and page number) within your post, as well as an adjoining reference list. Refer to grading rubric for additional details concerning grading criteria.
Student #1 Jeffry
The impact that religion has on the mindset of individuals that carry out violent terrorist actions can really be summed up to how devout that individual is and how religion can be interpreted to that individual. There are many people around the globe who are very devout in their faith but would not commit such acts, but if you give them a different interpretation and meaning and make them see a different point of view then that changes everything.
There is no doubt in my mind that religion is a very powerful tool when used to radicalize anyone. In the article, Pakistan’s Deadly Struggles with Politics and Religion, it is clear that the assassin was devout with his interpretation of religion and was not ashamed or remorseful for his action, but proud of what he had done. That same article makes mention that “Counterterrorism and counterinsurgency measures are perceived as a Western-led war against the faithful who are resisting a campaign to tamper with their religion” (Stratfor, 2011, para 3).
This shows how religion can be manipulated to instill a terrorist mindset without feeling or considering oneself to be a terrorist, but a devout follower in their particular religion, or a martyr. This can be seen throughout the history of religion. A simple Google search on such a subject is sufficient enough to reveal what lengths and what has been done in the name of religion.
Everything from terrorism we see today to religious cults that have been started in the name of some religion or another. What is mind-boggling to me is how a person can be radicalized, turned to a different religion and be used as a martyr. I understand the concept, I have done research previously and watched documentaries on this kind of subject, yet I am still in awe the powerful impact a person can have on another individual’s mind an opinion and how effectively they can employ such tactics with the use of religion. As I stated above, religion is a powerful tool when used in an aspect such as terrorism.
Lesson Two: Mind of a Terrorist. (n.d.). Political Opinions & Religious Extremism & Secular Government. Retrieved from https://apus.realizeithome.com/RealizeitApp/
Stratfor. (2011). Pakistan’s Deadly Struggles with Politics and Religion. Geopolitical Diary. Retrieved from https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/securit…
Student #2 David
For this week’s forum we were to explain the inspiration for both political and religion upon individuals that carry out terrorist actions. In today’s world, terrorist attacks have become all too common in society. It is not just limited to the United States, but these attacks happen all over the world with whoever does not agree with their set of beliefs. All too often these terrorist groups utilize many reasons to support their actions such as for religion or political freedom. In the Military Guide to Terrorism, it mentioned Revolutionary as a Motivational Category and is absolutely true. It said that a terrorist group would want to overthrow an established government to replace it with one that supports their own personal views or goals (Mil Doc., 2007, 2-5). I have had the opportunity to witness this first hand during the elections in Afghanistan. It was surprising how many people wanted to vote and to vote against the person who had ties to terrorist organizations. It just proves that just because terrorist groups are associated with an area, does not mean that the whole area supports their beliefs. However, there were many propaganda attacks utilized to shed a bad light on the potential leader.
Many times terrorist who commit these heinous acts use religion as the backbone to support their actions. Terrorist will manipulate religion and the scripture to support their causes, even though it may mean innocent people may die. When Yigal Amir assassinated the Israeli Prime Minister he said that he had no regrets and was on orders from god (Hoffman, 2006 pg. 82). These acts have been going on for thousands of years, where men have committed violent acts in the name of god. Even during the Roman times, warriors would go to war in support of their religious views. Terrorist do not like anyone who does not support their set of beliefs and wish harm or death to them. After the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden said that the United States or the people who live in the United States would know a sense of security (Hoffman, 2006 pg. 82). Even though we may not live in a state of fear, we still have to remain vigilant because these attacks happen without out warning.
Hoffman, B. (2006). Inside terrorism. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy1.apus.ed…
Military Documents (2007). A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century. Chapter 2: Terrorist Motivations and Behaviors. Retrieved from http://apus.intelluslearning.com/v3/course-widget/…