Terror is violence or threat of violence perpetrated by private individuals or small groups from the hegemonic strata against members of negative reference groups and that enjoys the tacit approval if not active participation of members of the security forces. A terrorist is an individual who carries out or threatens to carryout acts of terror, for hire or not for hire. The act of harming or killing others, who are direct enemies or innocent victims, may be for monetary gain, gain of group principle, gain of personal principle, or any combination. Terrorism is an international problem with new terrorists groups emerging all over the world and the governments had little success to resolve the issues in which terrorism is used.
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Religious terrorism has become a tool for the political terrorism in the modern world. Religious terrorists are more dangerous than the national terrorists as they target mostly the people than a nation. It is referred to holy or sacred terror and confined not only to Islam but also includes Jews in Israel, Sikh terrorists in India and few other groups in United States. History shows that people have involved in violence to promote their religious belief. Thus religious belief and willingness of people to die for their religion has lead to many wars for centuries.
Islamic terrorism dominates the world in the 21st century and caused many deadly acts in the world. Most of the religious terrorists group fight for the Islamic belief and act violently against the people who don’t believe Islam. Some of the main religious terrorists groups are listed below.
Al-Qaeda is the world’s most dangerous terrorists group and a major threat for United States. They were responsible for the attacks on world trade centre, Khobar Tower residence In Saudi, Bali bombings, U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and many more violent acts throughout the world. Islamic terrorism also caused serious problems in India. Destruction of Babri Masjid caused many serious problems in India. Hindus destroyed the Mosque because the location of the building was the birth place of Lord Ram and this is root cause for the further terrorist acts in India. This essay argues that the religious justifications for terrorism cause more terrorists acts with Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-E-Toiba taken as an example for religious terrorists group.
There are different religions in the world with different ideologies formed around governments. Extremists in the religion provoke the people to act violently and cause terrorism in a society. Many terrorists’ actions are committed in the name of religion, but no religion sponsor the act of terrorism. Ramzi Ahmad Yousef, Islamic terrorist was involved in much violence and responsible for the World Trade Centre bombing. This incident would later turn out to not be the only attack on the World Trade Centre. Many Islamic militants act individually and it is hard to trace them because not every member of the Islamic faith is a terrorist. Religious belief and its justification resulted in many terrorists’ attacks in India, Unites States, Israel and Kenya. India and Israel faced more problems and terrorist activities continue to grow killing thousands of innocent people every year. The principle of Religious terrorist is that their violent acts from feelings of rage and hatred reinforced by their belief system. Thus the terrorists groups justify their violence in the name of god and they are the follower’s of God. But all terrorist groups and countries argue that their “enemy” are evil, corrupt, uncivilized, and subhuman and that it is only through violence that peace and prosperity for all begin. America’s done this to justify the invasion and attacks on Iraq. Al Qaeda has done this to justify their terrorist attacks on Unites States and England. In return, terrorists act will continue to justify for some reasons and result in massive terrorism acts. Hafiz Saeed, a Islam Scholar, stated that the purpose of Jihad is to carry out a sustained struggle for Islam dominance in the world and to eliminate all evil forces. He considers India, Israel and United States to be his major enemies and has threatened to launch ‘Fidayeen’ (suicide squad) attacks on American interests too.
THE ROLE OF ISLAM IN TERRORISM:
Militant Islamic Beliefs
â€¢ Jihad (holy war) Ø¬Ù‡ØØ¯ is the “revolutionary struggle to seize power of the good
of all humanity” and in the last resort “an armed struggle”.
â€¢ Universal Jihad against the modern Jahiliyyah Ø¬ØÙ‡Ù„ÙŠØ© (ignorant barbarism) is
â€¢ Western governments contain the possibility of “evil, oppression, and
â€¢ Democracy (in which the people usurp God’s rule) is Jahiliyyah.
â€¢ All westernized forms of government usurp God’s authority.
â€¢ Secular so-called Muslim rulers have departed from God and God’s law.
â€¢ Muslims are “duty-bound to overthrow every corrupt secular dictator.
â€¢ Jihad against corrupt Muslim rulers is necessary..(ISLAM-EID PAPER)
AL-QAEDA-THE ISLAMIC TERRORIST GROUP
The origins of Al Qaeda are rooted in the Afghanistan resistance to the Russian invasion from 1979 to 1989. Osama, belong to millionaire family moved to Afghan in 1980s to unite Muslims. In 1992, he aimed to attack United States and argued that they not only supported Israel but also kept Arab regimes in power that did not follow Islamic beliefs. In 1998, Al-Qaeda joined with Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the leaders of the group published a fatwa which states ‘Ruling to kill Americans and their allies’. Their role is to kill all Americans and spread Islam through out the world. There is no rule in the Quran to kill the people but the extremists convince the act in the name of the religion. In the book ‘Messages to the world’ where Osama states, “What are we calling you to? The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam. It is the religion of the Unity of God, sincerity, the best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety. It is the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice between them.” His statements strongly prove that he wants to threaten the non believers of Islam and expel the westerners and non Muslims from his region. He used terrorism as a tool and religion as a reason to achieve his goal. Even many Muslims were killed in the world trade centre attack and Osama justified by saying that they are not Muslims and a real Muslim should not stay long in the land of infidels.
AL-QAEDA MOTIVATES OTHER TERRORIST GROUPS:
Al-Qaeda’s terrorists activities includes hijacking, bombing, suicide attacks, kidnapping and assassinations. They target mostly public buildings, embassies, modern Muslim monuments so they can make a powerful impact among the public. Former CIA Director George J. Tenet states, “Osama Bin Laden’s organization and other terrorist groups are placing increased emphasis on developing surrogates to carry out attacks in an effort to avoid detection.” Al-Qaeda’s activities motivate many Muslim terrorists organization to perform terrorist attacks. Like Egyptian Islamic Jihad has linked to Al-Qaeda has grown in to a big group and has operative locations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Europe. Sunni Muslim extremists have grown and have their presence in North Africa, Palestine, Pakistan and Central Asia. The state government sponsor those people to perform terrorist’s acts against United States. Some of the major Al-Qaeda’s attacks linked to car bombings in Saudi Arabia and Kenya, Bali bombings, US embassy bombings, attacks on World Trade centre and Pentagon. Osama said Al-Qaida decided to destroy World Trade Centre and listed several factors that motivated the attack, including frustration over the American policies. He said Israel’s bombing attacks on Beirut in 1982 gave him the idea of hijacking the flights. Al-Qaeda proved their strength by these attacks and thus many terrorists’ organizations acted violently with the support of Al-Qaeda.
ISLAMIC TERRORISM IN INDIA:
India is a Hindu populated country and Muslims were minority. The extremists in the country decided to secularize and act against the minority Muslims. Many actions were taken against Indian Muslims including the elimination of Muslim education system of ‘Madrassas’. Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh implemented policies for cow protection against the beef eating Muslims. This further angered the Muslim community in India and several communities were formed to act against the Indian government. Extremism amongst the Hindu community is explained or justified by the existence of Muslim extremism, especially as allegedly exported by
Babri Masjid mosque was first constructed by Emperor Babar in Ayodhya and was destroyed on December 6, 1992 by Hindu nationalists which followed by waves of violence in India. The minority Muslims were beaten, Killed and their houses were set fired. The issue started in 1527 when Babar defeated the Hindu King, destroying the temple and constructed a mosque in Ayodhya. During the British rule in 1853, a riot broke out between Hindus and Muslims and the British government erected a fence dividing the worship area. In 1949, both the communities moved the court claiming ownership of the land and signed a petition on 1950. The solution for the verdict was announced on October 2010. During the period innocent Hindus and Muslims faced many problems as the extremists performed many riots. Riots around India caused the death of 2000 Muslims and were severe in Mumbai organised by Shiva Sena, a regional Hindu extremists.
MUSLIM REACTIONS FOR THE BABRI MASJID ISSUE:
Muslim community increasingly tended to react by violent and politically inspired action that meets the terrorism. The terrorism actions are generated from Kashmir and speeded through out the country. Following the destruction of the Mosque, the Muslim extremists targeted Mumbai and bombed the city in several places. It was the worst terrorists act in India killing 257 people and 1000 were injured. Muslim terrorist, Dawood Ibrahim was suspected for the Mumbai attack. He was claimed to be assisted by Pakistan’s ISI and explosives were provided to him. But Ibrahim has never been brought to trial; however the bombings were certainly conducted by the Indian Muslims and provoked other Muslims in India to act against Hindus. Indian Muslims also performed many alleged actions by bombing trains and attacks on Hindu political buildings.
The religious extremists began to act violently throughout the country and the Hindu-Muslim controversy soon began to the International concentration. According to B. Raman, a former additional secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, the Jihadi terrorism has been forming since Ayodhya issue, not only in Mumbai but also in other states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, New Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. India focussed only in Kashmir terrorism and did not pay attention to the terrorism that threatens other regions of India. Three major terrorists group namely Lashkar-e-Toiba(LeT), Ahl-e-hadith and Student’s Islamic Movement of India(SIMI) has emerged and waged many terrorists attacks in India.
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LASHKAR-E-TOIBA(LeT) – A THREAT TO INDIA:
(Mumbai paper) LeT was announced as a terrorists group by the Indian government as they attacked India in the name of Muslim religion. India came fourth next to Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan in terms of casualties of terrorist attack. LeT, meaning ‘army of the pure’ has been active since 1993. In 1990s it was argued that LeT was funded by ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) and PIA (Pakistan Intelligence Service). In return LeT should kill Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir and to train Muslim extremists on Indian soil. But Pakistan’s government has repeatedly denied allegations of supporting terrorism.
Until it was banned in Pakistan in 2002, LeT claimed responsibility for many attacks. In 2000, three people were killed during the attack at Delhi’s Red Fort, Srinagar airport attack in 2001 killing five people and an attack against Indian border security forces in 2002 killing four people. In 2008, LeT used Ajmal Kasab and team to wage attacks in Mumbai which killed almost 170 people and some 300 were wounded. The motivation of the attack was purely religious and to provoke conflicts between Hindus and Muslims. Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington stated that LeT is one of the most significant terrorist groups. “Why are we waging jihad,” is the title for LeT’s agenda and it includes the restoration of Islamic rule over all parts of India. They argue that India, Israel and United States are existential enemies of Islam and seek to create a unity among the Muslim countries that surround Pakistan. LeT justifies its ideology by the Quranic verse stated, “You are obligated to fight even though it is something you do not like”.
The al Qaeda network has not been alone in the religious assault on the secular state. In the
last fifteen years of the post-Cold War world, religion seems to have been connected with violence
everywhere: from the World Trade Center bombings to suicide attacks in Israel and Palestine;
assassinations in India, Israel, Egypt, and Algeria; nerve gas in the Tokyo subways; abortion clinic
killings in Florida; and the bombing of Oklahoma City’s federal building. What unites these
disparate acts of violence is their perpetrators’ hatred of the global reach of the modern secular
state.( e scholar ship paper)
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