Is Religion Being Used as a Reason to Start a War?

Is Religion Being Used as a Reason to Start a War?

This article speaks about a recent conference “United Against Violence in the Name of Religion” that took place in the Austrian Capital consisting of religious leaders including top leaders of Saudi Arabia, several church representatives and rabbis from American Jewish Committee. They called on this conference to discuss the current violence, taking place by the so-called Islamic State (IS). One of the leaders spoke about how the way jihad is being represented by the IS is not the religion of Islam at all. He went on to say that he strongly condemns this type of behavior, which is completely against Islam. The State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Nizar Madani condemned strongly against the IS, stating that they are destroying civilizations and destroying lives. He also said that the Islam they are representing is incorrect and they should revisit their beliefs. The conference focused on how to deal with the violence and extremism being reported to social media by the IS, which is helping them recruit more and more people to IS. The conference towards the end emphasized that religious communities around the world must coexist peacefully, respecting one another.

In this article we can see the struggle the religious leaders are facing due to extremism. IS believes it is representing the ‘true’ religion, while the leaders believe, IS is misrepresenting its religion and using jihad as a means of violence towards people. Religion here seems to be interpreted differently by different people that say to have the same beliefs. A very interesting point in this article is the emphasize placed on ways to stop IS’s influence through social media. IS is using Internet to recruit militants to join in jihad to fight against its ‘enemies’. Here we can see that religion is being influenced on people through social media and causing them to join fights against religion that they weren’t even aware of before having a Facebook or twitter account. In this day and age, religion can be spread from a Smartphone rather then a church leader, a rabbi, or a sheikh. The downside of this is that extremism can be also spread through these techniques as well.

Personal Identifier: sr

Course: #200


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