16 January 2015
Violence in the name of religion, especially Islam, is a global concern: the Charlie Hebdo and Paris attacks, and the ongoing ISIS conflict being two prominent examples. The language used to discuss this is, however, deeply problematic, with terms used by the media, politicians, and academics often distorting or oversimplifying the issues.
The focus, here, on Islam is because it is the most discussed example, although I do not believe Islam is inherently violent or more violent than any other religion. Indeed, no clear evidence suggests religion is more likely to incite violence than other ideologies or worldviews; nevertheless, in the current geopolitical environment it often provides a claimed motivation or seeming explanation, both for actors and commentators.
…Paul Hedges is associate professor in Inter-religious Studies at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He maintains a blog on Interreligious Studies and related issues at www.logosdao.wordpress.com.
GPO / SRP / Online
Last updated on 03/12/2015