Violence in Religion: Is ISIS Really a Terrorist Organization? -John Hill

Posted on December 13, 2014 by


University of Nebraska at Omaha

John Hill

World Religions 1010

Professor Petersen

12 December 2014


 Violence in Religion:

Is ISIS Really a Terrorist Organization?


America is a nation of immigrants, with many different languages, cultures, and beliefs (including religion). Since September 9, 2001 the nation has struggled on whether or not they are fighting a war on terrorism or religion, and more violence has been connected to religion since that awful date . “One spring morning in 2007, as Virginia Tech University students were setting off to class, fellow student Seung-Hui Cho began a shooting spree that, before turning the gun on himself, claimed 32 lives. Efforts to interpret the massacre, the shooter’s motives, and the trauma’s aftermath were freighted with resonances and attribution that most would call religious.”(Murphy 7) The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria(ISIS), which is claimed to be a terrorist organization by the U.S. journists, but ISIS claims to be a religious movement.

“Some, like Asra Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, say that a fear of being perceived as anti-Muslim inhabits journalists from linking extremism to faith. “I believe that since 9/11 the journalism community in the West has been walking on eggshells figuring out how to cover Islam,” she says. But now, due to the heavily covered ascent of the Islamic State in Iraq State and Syria (ISIS), she thinks that “people are having to confront this 5,000-pound elephant that’s been sitting in the room-an interpretation of Islam that believes in the beheadings, an Islamic state, and an end-time victory of Muslims over the world.”( Massie, Sept. 2014)

ISIS has shocked the nation by their ruthless punishment for not following their beliefs. Mainly focusing on Christians due to the relation between Christians and the west. Besides Christians ISIS will attack anyone who gets in their way. November 4, 2014 CNN reported “ISIS militants killed more than 300 members of a Sunni tribe in a recent series of executions, the Iraqi government said Monday. Some of the 322 people executed were women and children, Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights said. The dead belonged to the Albu Nimr tribe, known for its fighting skill”.(Sadik, Nov. 2014)

With all the fighting ISIS is in the constant need of new recruits all over the world by the use of social media, news reports, and video streams. Through these news outlet, ISIS is not only recruiting but asking people to turn against the western world. It is astonishing how many people and the ages that they put a mind control over. “German authorities intercepted the trio, ages 15, 15 and 17, at Frankfurt airport and put them on a plane back to the United States, where they were greeted by FBI agents.”(Brumfeild, Oct. 2014)

Many Americans have label, ISIS as a terrorists organization, while I believe ISIS is a violent religious movement. Members of ISIS believe they are in the right to kill and start a holy war, because according to their religion, it is. In their minds, groups and organizations that fight against them are the terrorist.

“Muslims justify a use of force when either defending Islam or pursuing objectives relevant to conforming the world to the will of Allah. In situations relevant to these two purposes, Muslims can invoke the idea of holy war. In Islam, a use of force that might be morally justifiably-say, in terms of a concern for justice or self-defense (i.e., just war)- would not be presented as morally justified action but as religiously meaningful, religiously authorized and sanctioned action.”(Steffen 195-196)

September 11, 2001 is a date that Americans will not forget for a long time. This date brought the country closer together, but also has hurt many people even today in 2014, wrong people are blamed for the attacks, beaten, made fun of, and killed because they are a member of a religion.

“A quarter of Americans, as well as 20 percent of New Yorkers, admit they hold negative opinions of Muslims because of 9/11. Among adults who say a close friend or family member was killed on 9/11, 25 percent also say they have negative feelings toward Muslims. As many as 55 percent of Americans say they know people who have negative feelings toward Muslims because of 9/11. New Yorkers and close family and friends of 9/11 victims gave similar answers. More than three in four Americans say it is likely that Muslims, Arab Americans and immigrants from the Middle East get unfairly singled out in the United States.”( Condon, Sept. 2011)

Before we go judging and accusing an entire religion or hemisphere for a terrorist act, we should try to understand their point of view and stop thinking, different people should live and believe the same way we do. We do not live in a small world. 7 billion people, and not one of us are the same. “If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own. ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist“. (Good Reads)

Works Cited

-Brumfield Ben. “Officials: 3 Denver girls played hooky from school and tried to join ISIS”. CNN U.S.. CNN. 23 October 2014. web. 11 December 2014.

-Condon Stephanie. “Poll: 1 in 3 think Muslim Americans more sympathetic to terrorists than other Americans”. CBS NEWS. N.p. 9 September 2011. Web. 12 December 2014.     1-in-3 think-muslim-americans-more-sympathetic-to-terrorists-than-other-americans/

-Good Reads N.p. 2014. web. 12 December 2014.

-Leves Josh, Yan Holly. “Western allies reject ISIS leader’s threats against their civilians. CNN     World. CNN. 22. September 2014. Web. 12 December 2014.

-Massie Christopher. “Is ISIS a faith-based terrorist group?”. Columbia Journalism Review. N.p. 17 September 2014. Web. 11 December 2014.

-Murphy, Andrew R.,ed. The Blackwell Companion to Religion and Violence. UK, Blackwll         Publishing Ltd. 2011. Print. PP 7-8.

-Sadik Odai, Almasy Steve. “ISIS kills 300 members of sunni tribe, Iraqi government says” CNN World. CNN. 4 November 2014. Web. 11 December 2014.

-Steffen Lloyd. Holy War, Just War: Exploring the Moral Meaning of Religious Violence. Lanham, Maryland. Rowman and Littlerfield Publishers, inc. 2007. Print. PP 195-196.

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