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IS 112- History of Islamic Civilization
About the Author
• American Professor of Global
Studies, Sociology, and Religious
Studies in University of California,
Santa Barbara.
• Expert on religious violence,
conflict resolution and South Asian
religion and politics
• His commentary on contemporary
issues of global religion and
politics appear in different news
Mark Juergensmeyer
• Introduction
• Terror and God
• Culture of Violence
• Soldiers of Christ
• Zion Betrayed
• Islam’s Neglected Duty
• The Sword of Sikhism
• Armageddon in Tokyo Subway
• The Logic of Religious Violence
• Theater of Terror
• Cosmic War
• Martyrs and Demons
• Warriors’ Power
• The Mind of God
Religious Terrorism
• Terrorism is meant to terrify
• Latin word terrere “to cause to tremble”
• Reign of Terror in French Revolution in
18th century
• Terrorist act is provided by the us- witness
and not by those who committed violence.
• Terrorist as murderer
• In many cases religion supplied the
ideology, motivation and organizational
structure for perpetrators.
Religious Terrorism
• In 1980, US State Department roster of
international terrorist group listed
single religious organization
• In 1998, US Secretary of State listed
thirty world’s dangerous group, half
were religious.
• Proportion of religious group increase
from sixteen of forty nine terrorist
groups in 1994 to twenty six of fifty
six in 1995
“To a large extent the use of the term
depends on one’s world view, if the worlds is
perceived as peaceful, violent acts appear as
terrorism. If the world is thought to be at
war, violent acts may be regarded as

-Mark Juergensmeyer
Inside Culture of Violence
• Terrorism is seldom a lone act
• Takes a community of support and large
organizational network
• Needs moral, ideological and
organizational support
• Communities are already under attack
• Feeling oppressed, deprived
• Religious and individual freedoms are
imperiled by the government conspiracy
Sword of Christ
Abortion Clinic Bombings
Michael Bray
• Cheerful, charming handsome man
• Raised in a family focused around sport,
church and military life
• Dropped out, living what he described as
prodigal life
• Mormons to Born Again but never rejected
• Became an assistant pastor and formed
Reformation Lutheran Church in 1984
• Envisioned to establish a new moral order in
America based on biblical law and spiritual
and not secular
• Launched anti abortion crusades
• Christianity gives him the right to defend
unborn child even by the use of force, whether
it involves destroying facilities.
• “Do not think that I have come to bring peace
on earth; I have come not to bring peace but
sword.” Mathew 10:34
• Just war of Cicero, later developed by
Ambrose and Augustine.
• Thomas Aquinas reaffirm that war is always
• Crusade and Inquisition
Righteous force is sometimes necessary to
extirpate injustice and subdue evil within a
sinful world and that small strategic acts of
violence are occasionally necessary to
deter large acts of violence and injustice

-Reinhold Niebuhr

Reinhold Niebhur Dietrich Bonheoffer

Dominion Theology
Reconstruction Theology
Oklahoma Federal Building Bombing
Timothy McVeigh William Pierce
“Such efforts were necessary
because of the mindset of the
dictatorial secularism that had been
imposed on American society”

- William Pierce
Christian Identity
• Founded by John Wilson, 19th century
• Theology based on racial supremacy
and biblical law
• Perceived UN and Democratic Party
• Were alleged to be accomplices in
Jewish Freemason conspiracy to
control the world
• Gun control of America
Zion Betrayed
Yoel Lerner
• Illigitimate
• Anti-Jewishness
• Treason
• “it is heretical to give up
least a bit of biblical land to
Arabs and Palestinian
• Yitzak is leading them to the
wrong direction

30 killed
• Creation of Palestinian government on
west bank posses a danger not only to
the Jews but Judaism as religion
• Religious war is required as moral or
spiritual obligation to protect faith or
defeat enemies
• “No Problem with the use of force to
achieve religious goals”
• “The Lord is a Warrior” Exodus 15:3
Neglected Duty of Islam
Mahmud Abouhalima
• Religious influence began at early age,
Wanted to reach the government
• Active in Islamic
with the message politics,
that we member
are notof
Gamaa Islamiya
tolerating the way you are dealing
• He left Egyptwithatour
the people
age of 21 and went
to Germany
• That’s
Life of the
only thing human can do
•inWent to United
response state
to the and became
injustices, verya
to send
active in Islamic activities
• Join the Muslim struggle in
Hamas Suicide Bombing
• Tomorrow is the day of
encounter, it was to be the day
of meeting the Lord of the
• All people have to die at some
time, one is indeed fortunate to
be able to choose one’s
• Truly there is only one death,
so let it be on the path of God.
Dr. Abdul Aziz Rantisi
• Founder of Hamas
• Do not order them to do Istishaddi
or self chosen martyrdom, they
simply give permission for them to
do it because they are at war.
• Allowed acts of self martyrdom in
response to other acts of violence
from Israeli side.
• $ 12, 000 to $15, 000
• Qur’an commands the faithful to slay not the life that God
has made sacred
• Muslim activists have often reasserted their belief in Islamic
nonviolence before defending their use of force
• Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman: “Muslims can never call
for violence only for love forgiveness and tolerance but if
we are aggressed against, if our land is usurped, we must
call for hitting the attacker and the aggressor to put an end
to the aggression”
• Ayatollah Khomeini: He know of no command more
binding to the Muslim than the command to sacrifice life
and property to defend and bolster Islam.
• Dr. Rantisi and Sheikh Yassin: justified
the use of violence based on the Islamic
sanction for self defense; self defense of
one’s dignity, pride and one’s physical
well being
• The Neglected Duty by Abdul Salam
Faraj: argued that the Qur’an and Hadith
were fundamentally about warfare
• The duty that has been neglected is that of
Jihad that calls for fighting, confrontation
and blood.
• The duty to engage in such actions when
necessary is incumbent on all the true
The Sword of Sikhism

Chief Beant Singh Indira Ghandi

Simranjit Singh Mann
• government of being bent upon
committing genocide of the
• Government is heavy handed to
the Sikh community
• Government as secular and
• They rebel to protect Sikh
community from secular
• Guru Nanak, s spiritual master regarded as the Sikh
founder and portrayed as gentle soul
• Successors engaged in military confrontation with the
Mughal forces
• Jats , the great warriors imposed their martial values to
Sikh community
• Bhindranwale: Like most religious traditions, they
ordinarily applauds nonviolence and proscribes the taking
of human life. It is a great sin to keep weapons and kill
anyone but it is even greater sin to have weapons and not
to seek justice.
Theater of Terror
Performance Violence
• Terrorism is always part of political
• Terrorism is the use of covert violence
by a group for political ends
• Terrorism is the product of an internal
logic and not of random or crazy
• Terrorism is done to make symbolic
• Terrorism is performative acts
Setting the Stage

• The location where the

acts are committed or
rather performed
Time to Kill
• The dramatic time, date
or season or hour of the
day that a terrorist act
takes place.
• Date deemed important
to the group
perpetrating the act or
what is important on
everyone else.
Reaching the Audience

• Don De Lillo:Terrorism is the

language of being noticed,
without being noticed terrorism
would not exist
• Terrorism without its horrified
witness would be pointless as a
play without an audience.
Grand Scenario
• All or nothing struggle against an
enemy whom one assumes to be
determined to destroy
• Existence of the opponent is a
• They are at war, there is a need to
defend themselves
Symbolic War
• The idea of warfare has a long eerie and intimate
relationship with religion
• When religious cultures portray warfare as something that
is acknowledged and ultimately uncontrolled therefore,
they are presenting an almost cosmological reenactment
of the primacy of order over chaos.
• In order to portray state of harmony, convincingly
religion had to emphasize disharmony and its ability to
contain it.
• Religious images have been mechanism through with
peace and order can conquer violence and chaos
When Symbols Become Deadly?
• When and how symbolic presentation
of violence occasionally linked to real
acts of violence?
• The struggle is perceived as
defense of basic identity and
• Losing the struggle would be
• The struggle is blocked and cannot
be won in real time or in real terms
Martyrs and Demons
• Martyr comes from a Greek
term for witness, such as
witness to one’s faith.
• The term suggests that the
very process of destroying is
• The destruction is performed
within religious context that
transforms the killing into
something positive.
Inventions of Enemies

• Religious rival or local

political authority
• Moderate leader on one’s
own side: less obvious threat
America as Enemy
• defender and promoter
of secular government
• Supporter of modern
culture, cultural threat
• Global economical
dominion, financing
primary enemies
Stages of Symbolic

• The world has gone awry

• The foreclosure of ordinary
• Satanization and cosmic war
• Symbolic acts of power
Curing Violence
• Destroying Violence
• Forge by force
• Legal means
• Disband the group
• Terrifying Terrorists
• Separating Religion from politics
• Healing Politics with religion