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Terrorist Violence Religion and Power Since Late 20th Century

Date: August 30,2021 |Hits: 302 Download PDF How to cite this paper

Nikos Kokosalakis

Retired professor, Athens, Greece.

*Corresponding author: Nikos Kokosalakis


Violent terrorist phenomena with religious label, mainly Islamic, have become a serious problem worldwide over the last thirty years. There is a view, supported by New Atheists and others that the cause of terrorist violence, and of much political violence generally, is religion. In this essay that position is rejected and it is argued that the basic values of major religions are incompatible with terrorist violence. Recent terrorist phenomena have a multidimensional aetiology. They can be better explained in the context of power relations and power structures, at national and international level, in the framework of globalization and the advance of technology. The position that late terrorism is a consequence of ‘the clash of civilizations’ is also questioned on the same basis. The article further explores the problem of the meaning of terrorist violence and its relation to the sacred. In this context, there is a condensed account for the development of terrorist violence, mainly by Islamic extremists, since late 20th century. The central point of the essay is that these violent terrorist phenomena, carried out by fanatic fundamentalist extremists under a religious label, should not be associated with Islam and its holy texts as a world religion. The overwhelming majority of Muslims worldwide are very peaceful people.


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How to cite this paper

Terrorist Violence Religion and Power Since Late 20th Century

How to cite this paper: Nikos Kokosalakis. (2021) Terrorist Violence Religion and Power Since Late 20th CenturyJournal of Humanities, Arts and Social Science5(2), 216-224.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/jhass.2021.07.005

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