Essay Example on Violence and Religion

Published: 2021-07-01
677 words
3 pages
6 min to read
Wesleyan University
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Throughout history and even in the modern world, religion is affiliated with the aspects of violence. It is perceived to have always motivated people to result in violence, with a good example being the holy wars. The world is dominated by three major religions that include; Christianity, Islam, and Judaism by which the religions have experienced various strains in justifying themselves (Crabtree). The focus of the analysis is to look into the issue of violence among the three religions.

The 9/11 attacks that took place in 2001 brought about a huge conflict between Christians and Muslims. It became difficult for individuals from the Muslim religion to walk comfortably without feeling judged or being viewed as terrorists. Also, whenever terrorist attacks take place, the proponents are mostly affiliated to Islam. Nonetheless, the majority of the Muslims are peaceful people, and the same case applies to both Judaism and Christianity.

According to Karen Armstrong, the Christian Bible portrays more violence when compared to the Quran. She asserts that the view that Islam operates by the sword is fictional and that history shows Christians waging aggressive holy wars on Muslims (Bistrich 20). According to Ibrahim in his article, Are Judaism and Christianity as Violent as Islam?, All monotheistic religions, proponents of such an argument say, and not just Islam, have their fair share of violent and intolerant scriptures, as well as bloody histories, (Ibrahim) with reference to the view presented by Armstrong.

One of the reasons that are perceived to bring about violence among the three religions is the idea of which religion is greater than the other. From a theological viewpoint, the conflict between Judaism and Christianity emanate from the conception of the church. Judaism did not and still does not align with coming of Jesus. It is perceived that the concept of monotheism is what has brought about violence between cultures and people such that they can tolerate people with other beliefs. Monotheism brings about strictness that makes individuals in respective religions be violent on others. According to Crabtree, Public opinion (in the USA) correctly rates Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism as the most violent religions (64%, 9%, and 4% said so); Judaism was rated last at 2%. The aspect of monotheism puts into perspective the issue of irrationality in belief whereby people act just because they belong to a certain religion instead of thinking rationally about the consequences of their actions.

Another possible reason for violence among the three religions is the legitimacy that beliefs place on actions through the people on authority. The authorities do not include teachings that allow critical judgment on situations or claims. Crabtree states, For some people, voices in their heads are all that are required as long as they believe in god(s) who have authority to speak to them. For others, including atheist skeptics, such voices are immediate warning signs of impending mental ill health.

The other reason is the global fixation on the view that people from other religions are immoral and corrupt and hence calling a need for isolation and perceiving others not to be clean. The fixation makes it difficult for people to accept each other, accept the differences and lead positive lives. Possibly, this explains why extremists groups such as the Al-Qaeda and ISIS justify their actions as they find it necessary to stage a war on people who do not align with their religion.

As stated earlier, the focus of the analysis is to look into the issue of violence among the three religions. From a personal perspective, the violence associated with the religions may not be solved easily as long each group will still abide by its stand that is superior from the others. Furthermore, the fixation that people from other religions do not lead upright lives makes it difficult to establish peace among the three groups.

Works Cited

Bistrich, Andrea. "Discovering the common grounds of world religions." Interview with Karen Armstrong, Share International, 19-22, 2007. Print.

Crabtree, Vexen. Religion, Violence, Crime and Mass Suicide. The Human Truth Foundation.

Ibrahim, Raymond. Are Judaism and Christianity as Violent as Islam?. The Middle East Quarterly, 16.3, 2009. Print.

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