Trends in terrorism over the past three decades, however, have contradicted the conventional thinking that terrorists are averse to using WMD. It has become increasingly evident that the assumption does not apply to religious terrorist groups or millenarian cults (see Glossary). Indeed, since at least the early 1970s analysts, including (somewhat contradictorily) Jenkins, have predicted that the first groups to employ a weapon of mass destruction would be religious sects with a millenarian, messianic, or apocalyptic mindset.
Religion can inspire people’s potential and make them undaunted in the face of death. However, countless disasters have broken out when religious extremism and terrorism combined with each other. Religious- based terrorism has become a major form of contemporary terrorism. Currently, the world’s situation has experienced drastic changes and religion as a supernatural deity worship met the requirements of people’s spiritual sustenance. Therefore, the religious- based terrorism as a type of terrorist activities spread around the world rapidly and it will long exist. This essay will firstly discuss the similarities between terrorism that is primarily religious and terrorism that is primarily secular. Following this, it will discuss the differences between terrorism that is primarily religious and terrorism that is primarily secular by analyzing one act of contemporary religious violence in detail. Finally, it will analyze the reason why it is not possible for terrorists to achieve their aims by using violence.. Although driving by different forces, the religious-based terrorism and secular terrorism use violence to solve their problem and bring the society a great panic. First, both the religious-based terrorism and secular terrorism are act of violence. They convey their ideas and intentions to certain social groups by those planned violence. They seek political change by the public impact of violence. Second, the religious-based terrorism and secular terrorism are always unpredictable. Organized terroristic activities have a shelter and it is difficult to predict in advance. When and where will the terrorist activities occur? What are their aims? How terrorist activities start on? All of these issues are unknown until the terrorist events happen. Its unpredictability expanding the effect of terrorist violence and terrorism becomes very difficult to deal with. Third, the victims of the religious-based terrorism and secular terrorism have a symbolic meaning. The potential victims of terrorist attacks are not really randomly selected. These targets are the symbol of what the terrorists want to attack because of their status, their location or their activities. Fourth, the religious-based terrorism and secular terrorism’s action usually has a specific political purpose. Terrorism has a political purpose which includes two situations: Firstly, some groups or organizations use such means of violent and terrorist to achieve their own political purposes. Secondly, they adopt that means of violent terrorist to change social political thoughts.
The “religious motive versus secular motive” difference is the principal and the evident distinction between two discussed types of terrorism; however, it gives birth to a range of other differences. First and foremost, secular terrorism lacks a constituency: Religious and secular terrorists also differ in their constituencies. Whereas secular terrorists attempt to appeal to a constituency variously composed of actual and potential sympathizers, members of the communities they purport to ‘defend’ or the aggrieved people for whom they claim to speak for; religious terrorists are at once activists and constituents engaged in what they regard as a total war (Hoffman, 1998). They normally look for an appeal to their own constituency. As a result the self-controls on aggression which are inflicted on secular terrorism by the wish to call to a tacitly helpful constituency are not pertinent in religious terrorism. This characteristic accommodates all individuals including non-members of the terrorists within the religious faction. It not only permits but also boosts vast bloodshed activities among individuals. Since this kind of terrorism depends on the targets, this feature broadens up to all the different classes of objectives.In religious terrorism, the concerned terrorists commence with performance and accomplishment of the assigned task (Rapoport, 1984). Since they are granted an immediate obligation, their first activity is violence and complete destruction. This directly proves that this type of terrorism is carried out magnificently and perfectly. It’s not also restricted by either political or ethical limitations that may affect the terrorists. This therefore justifies the presence of vast terrorism activities related to various religious doctrines.
Obviously, terrorism is a major problem that is reoccurring over the globe in many different forms. The US alone spends about $5 billion dollars a year combating terrorists. The treats of bio-chemical, Suicide or psychological warfare, and information warfare are on the rise in today’s societies as more political argument and groups emerge. Along with the rise of terrorism is also the increase in Counter-Terrorism acts. Even though most counter terrorist groups are kept secret, the increase of terrorism has also countered balanced. Throughout the years many radical and reactionary groups have been the cause for terrorist attacks throughout the world, but the ones that will always remain the most important to you are the ones that happen in your home nation.
Hoffman, B., 1998. Inside Terrorism. Columbia: Columbia University Press.
Juergensmeyer, M, 2004. Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Pape, R.A. and Feldman, J.K., 2010. Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rapoport, D., 1984. “Fear and Trembling: Terrorism in Three Religious Traditions.” American Political Science Review 78 (3), pp. 659-667.