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pakistan-terrorismIn the current geo-political climate, many express a fear of religious extremism. Especially in the light of ongoing Islamic terror attacks, many lump together all those who take their religious beliefs “to the extreme.” The assumption is that the more dedicated one becomes to his religion in general, the more likely he is to commit indiscriminate acts of violence in the name of that religion. Is this true?

The answer to the above question depends on several things. First, what does it mean to be extreme? Is it the devotions of the believer that are extreme or that to which the believer is devoted? Second, by what measuring rod should one determine his devotion to his religion? Religious propositions are the same as any other propositions; that is, they are either true or they are false. In many cases, religious extremism results from large segments of a religious community believing certain propositions to be true. For example, many Jews, Muslims, and Christians believe that God wants His followers to make converts. This proposition is either true or false.

This essay will address the above questions, starting with a discussion of the paradigm example of Islamic extremism. Then I will argue that one should not expect the same type of actions to result from Christian extremism as from Islamic extremism. Finally, this essay will determine whether or not one is justified in lumping Christian extremism in with Islamic extremism.

Islamic Extremism

AP_ISIS_TG_140620_16x9_992The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS, is currently attempting to create an Islamic state known as a caliphate in the Sunni territories in Iraq and Syria. So far, ISIS controls hundreds of square miles in Iraq and Syria. This group rules itself by the dictates of the Muslim scriptures known as the Qur’an. This is known as Sharia law. Sharia law shows no tolerance for the religious or ideological beliefs of others. There is not room for disagreement with laws that are founded on Qur’anic teachings. This is because to do so is to believed to defy the will of Allah. There is literally no separation between Mosque and State in Sharia law; they are one and the same. Thus, any challenge to Islamic teachings is both an affront to Allah and traitorous to the state. This leaves very little room for those who are not Muslims to exist.

ISIS suggests that the imperative to spread Islam motivates them to engage in jihad. As ISIS has expanded, they have practiced mass killings on several occasions, tortured people, and carried out crucifixions. Their violence has been highlighted by the recent public beheadings of several of their western captives. These acts are extreme indeed. One of the individuals who beheaded the victims in the videos speaks with a British accent, a fact that made many aware that Islamic extremism is not limited to the middle-eastern countries; it exists in the western nations as well.

It goes without saying that ISIS is not the first Islamic group to use violence. The Nation of Israel is under constant threat of attack by the Hamas terror organization. Many Islamic nations desire to see Israel destroyed. This is not because of economic disparity; it is because many believe it to be their religious duty to destroy Israel and to retake the Holy Land that they believe rightfully to be their own.

Americans have on several occasions felt the violence of extremist Muslim groups. On October 23, 1983, two truck bombs exploded, killing 273 United States Marines at their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. This was merely one of three attacks that year. A year later a truck bomb exploded outside a United States embassy and killed twenty-four people. That same year Kuwait Airlines was hijacked, and two Americans lost their lives. Year after year, the violence has continued.

article-2031325-02FEEE740000044D-412_468x474In 1993, the first attempt to bring down the World Trade Center was motivated by the militant Islamist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. Eight years later, with several terrorist attacks in between, Islamic hijackers successfully took down the Twin Towers. America has been engaged in a war against extreme Islamic terrorists ever since.

Americans have had differing responses to Islamic extremism. One response is to distrust Muslims altogether. The other response is to show tolerance and trust to a fault. On the one hand, many people perceive non-violent Muslims as a potential threat. On the other hand, there are those who perceive those who worry about Islamic extremism as “Islamophobes.”

Is all this evidence that the more committed one is to his religion, the more likely he is to commit violence? More specifically, is all this evidence that the more committed one is to Islam, the more likely he is to commit violence. And finally, does an extreme devotion to the tenets of Christianity lead to violence?

First, devotion to Islam does not necessarily entail violence in the form of Jihad. It is true that all Muslims who are fighting to establish a caliphate ground this desire on Islamic teachings. However, not all who follow Islamic teachings are fighting to establish a caliphate. This is because there is a division over the nature of the practice of Jihad.

quran-tafseer-urdu_002Liberal to moderate Muslims believe that physical fighting is not mandated by Islam. This is based on interpretations of the writings that describe Muhammad’s sayings and acts known as the hadith. These are surpassed only by the Qur’an itself. With this, the liberal and moderate Muslims refer to combative jihad as the “lesser jihad.” Conversely, they believe that the greater jihad is against one’s desires rather than against the infidels. Thus, liberals and moderates teach that Islam is a religion of peace, and that violence has no place in it. According to this, jihad is only justified when it is a defensive war. With that in mind, those who are devoted to the liberal or moderate form of Islam are less likely than their conservative counterparts to participate in combative jihad.

Although they may recognize that there is a spiritual jihad against the desires, those typically considered to be extremists interpret the words attributed to Muhamad as a command for combative jihad against non-believers. These extremists take seriously the passages in the Qur’an such as 2:190-194, which states: “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out…. But if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress the faith.”

Contained in these extremist Qur’anic interpretations is the notion that if one fights for the furtherance of Islam, then he will receive a higher reward in heaven. On the other hand, those who are able to fight and refuse to do so suffer divine punishment. For the Muslim who believes these propositions to be true, there lies a very strong motivation to engage in combative jihad. Those who sincerely believe these propositions to be true will act on them. The dedicated Muslim of this type will fight offensive wars that target non-Muslims or those he believes to have violated the teachings of Muhamad.

The above is very important to understand. This is because many claim that Islamic extremists are “crazy.” This is not true. The Islamic extremist is one who takes seriously enough a strict interpretation of the Qur’an so as to carry out its injunctions. The Islamic extremist’s interpretation may be incorrect, but he is not necessarily insane. Out of political correctness many would rather say that insane extremists have “hijacked the true Islam” rather than say that Islam is a false religion altogether. Perhaps the motive for doing so is to keep from insulting the liberal and moderate Muslims.

Christian Extremism

So what about Christian extremism? Is what is true about Islamic extremism true for Christian extremism? In some ways, yes, these forms of extremism are similar, but in other ways they are different. First, both religions have scriptures that their adherents interpret differently. Furthermore, there are also differing levels of devotion to the religious teachings each group believes to be true. One could say then that if extremism is merely a statement describing devotion to one’s beliefs, then the two religions are similar. Therefore, one could be extremely devoted to a liberal version of Christianity just as one could be extremely devoted to a liberal or even “extremist” version of Islam. Yet, describing the level of commitment to a particular belief is not what those who decry extremism have in mind.

holy_bibleThe vast majority of those who denounce religious extremism do so because of some pre-supposed evil or a violent element that it brings with it. Is this true of Christian extremists? First, what is meant by “Christian extremist?” If one takes extremism in this case to mean merely a strong devotion to the Christian teachings, then one may have a hard time justifying his or her condemnation of the extremist. Just as not all Muslims who take their religion seriously do not commit violence, neither do all Christians who take their religion seriously commit violence. Unlike Islam, which contains a doctrine of holy war in its scriptures, the Christian scriptures do not teach combat as an ongoing religious practice against one’s enemies.

Actually, the Christian scriptures seem to imply that adherents must resist engaging in combat. This is true even if Christians themselves have justified the waging of war. This principle is especially applicable when it comes to making converts. Just war theory in the Christian tradition, in fact, demands that governments justify the waging of war in light of Jesus’s pacifistic teachings. With that said, the more devoted to Jesus’s teachings about violence one is, the less likely he will be to wage an unjustified war. In fact, Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount focused much on how one should treat his enemies. It is very difficult indeed to interpret Jesus’s language as a call to arms. For example, Jesus taught “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth”; “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy”; “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God; “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Keep in mind that Jesus spoke these words to Jewish adherents who were looking forward to the coming of a great messianic king that would militarily lead them out from under the yoke of Roman oppression. Jesus also warned his disciple Peter, when he cut off the ear of the Jewish soldier who came to arrest Jesus, that “all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

waco_fireUndeniably, Christians have committed violence. There have even been groups that have used the Christian scriptures to justify violence. However, these are not major sects of Christianity. Instead, the tendencies of these groups have centered on idiosyncratic interpretations of the Christian scriptures that are not shared by the rest of orthodox Christendom. The idiosyncratic nature of such beliefs is especially evident when the violent act is performed by an individual. However, this type of religiously-fueled violence also manifests itself with some groups. For example, the Branch Davidians’ interpretation of the Christian scriptures originated from a man named Victor Houteff. Houteff’s own denomination, the Seventh-Day Adventists, rejected his use of the scriptures and denounced his fellowship with them. In 1993, the new leader of the cult, David Koresh, and his followers stockpiled weapons. The result was a standoff with the United States government that led to the death of seventy-six Branch Davidians. Though there were survivors of the siege, Koresh’s violent interpretations of the scriptures died along with him.

The major tenets of orthodox Islam and Christianity are consistent among those who interpret the respective writings of each religion. For instance, the Christian teaching of mercy is consistent over time and location, and it does not depend on who interprets the scriptures. In the same vein, the concept of jihad is consistently exegeted from the Qur’an. Whether the command for Jihad is waged against the desires or against non-believers, it is present in the Muslim scriptures.

In reality, those who are devoted to the cause of Christianity tend to give money to charities, feed the poor, house the homeless, build hospitals, start schools, or go on mission trips to teach the Gospel. This type of extremism does not seem so bad. So what is it about certain Christian “extremists” that is so unsavory? The problem appears to be that some Christians make unpopular moral stands. For example, those labelled as Christian extremists tend to believe that homosexuality is immoral, and that abortion is the intentional, unjustified, killing of a human.

Pro-choice groups, same-sex marriage advocacy groups, and many anti-religious organizations view the above moral positions to be extreme, and many lump them together with Muslim jihadists as though these positions pose a threat to society. They imply that just as violent jihad is evil, so too are the beliefs that women should not have abortions or that one should not have homosexual relations.

There are at least three problems with the above juxtaposition of the extreme Christian ethic and Islamic jihad. First, pro-life groups are arguing to stop what is to be believed to be the unethical taking of innocent babies’ lives. This is in stark contrast to the Islamic command to “slay the infidel where you find him.” On occasion, it must be admitted, there are Christian individuals that take violent action against abortion clinic buildings and even abortion providers. However, the vast majority use peaceful, non-violent means to argue their case. Most of all, there is nowhere in the Christian scriptures that suggests that Christians are obligated to engage in violent acts against those who disagree with them or act immorally.

The second problem with this juxtaposition is that these moral claims are not exclusive to Christianity or even to religion. Whereas the concept of jihad is almost exclusively contained in the Muslim scriptures, arguments against abortion and homosexuality are found in most cultures. In fact, there are atheist groups that condemn abortion. More than that, there are homosexuals who believe that homosexuality is unnatural, and that it is the result of a mental disorder. Thus, it is a non-sequitur to suggest that these moral positions are exclusively the result of religious extremism.

Even if these beliefs labelled as “extreme” are the result of one’s religion, they cannot be disregarded merely on that basis. Each belief should be weighed in light of the evidence to determine if it is true or false. The question of whether or not one should wage jihad is not a question of whether or not it is extreme. It is a question of whether or not God actually wants His followers to do such a thing. In the same way, one cannot dismiss the Christian “extremist’s” belief that God does not want women to have abortions or that people should not practice homosexuality. To properly dismiss these claims, one must first prove that they are in fact false or evil. Simply saying that they are associated with “extremists” will not do.

Woman-of-Inspiration-Mother-Teresa1In the end, the word “extremism” often clouds the real issue. Extremism, as Barry Goldwater proclaimed, can often be a good thing. Mother Theresa by all measures was extremely devoted to Christ. As a result, she served the sick, poor, and needy, adopting an extreme way of life. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was extremely devoted to his cause. He rested his movement on the teachings of Christ and the promises made in the Declaration of Independence. Dr. King practiced non-violence in his appeal for civil rights and was deemed too extreme even by more moderate African-American pastors.

On the other hand, extremism is not limited to the religious. Adolph Hitler rooted his obsession with creating a master race in Darwinism. It is still debated as to how many millions of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and handicapped people he killed. Stalin is linked to the deaths of thirty-nine to forty-nine million people. The communist purges specifically targeted religious leaders and citizens. Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward killed forty-five million people in four years. Adherence to the worldviews of Nazi socialism and Soviet-style communism resulted in more deaths than all religious wars combined.

Being extremely devoted to a religion does not necessarily make one a danger to society. In the same way, just because one does not believe in God, it does not follow that his beliefs will benefit humanity. In the end, the problem does not lie with how devoted one is to his beliefs. The problem lies in the evil beliefs to which one is devoted.

No matter what our religious belief, it is our duty as creatures of God to be extremely devoted to one pursuit: the finding of the true, the good, and the beautiful in this world.

Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

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7 replies to this post
  1. The above seems to be a shading of the truth for the benefit of some sacred cows. Israel, for example, has been the first violator of ceasefires than Hamas. The latest came about when 3 israeli teens were slaughtered by a Palestinian group. Without presenting any evidence and was later contradicted by Israeli Police officials, Netanyahu blamed Hamas and used the slaughter to justify an all-out attack on Gaza. That in turn caused Hamas missile attacks. Both sides attacked civilians and should be held accountable for war crimes. But while those who support Israel are so eager to point out that Hamas and others want to destroy Israel, what they never mention is that Hamas has twice offered to recognize Israel and since the advent of Modern Zionism, a key component in the Israeli leadership has planned to ethnically cleanse the land of Arabs. And the current state of Israel’s brutal occupation of the Palestinian territories is inhuman. So both Arabs and Israelis have guilt here and the last thing any peace seeking nation or party can do in this case is to be tribal. Fault and accountability must be found with all who attack civilians, not just one group. And the occupation, along with the land grab, is the point of contention that maintains the violence. BTW, just a side note here, a Palestinian Christian told me that Israeli settlers posed a far greater threat to his life than Hamas.

    What about Christianity and extremism? Realize that WW I was as much a religious war as it was any other kind of war. Both sides were claiming that God was with them. And then there were Europe’s religious wars, violent anti-semitism, inquisitions, and colonizations. The big difference between Christian and Islamic violence is that Christians prefer that proxies, such as the State, do our work for us. And wars in Europe have ceased since WW II and with good reason. But Western colonialism and imperialism, and proxy rulers have not ended. So really, the West has no objection to war and violence as long as it takes place somewhere else and there is control of resources to gain.

    The subject of this post is important. Why? Because extremism is a relative measurement that does not provide the whole picture. Martin Luther was regarded as an extremist in his day. It seems to me that religious extremism becomes harmful when its members externalize all evil. But such externalization in the West takes place in patriotism.

    • The killers of those teenagers were members of Hamas and Hamas cheered the deaths, unlike many Israelis when a Palestinian teen was murdered. My understanding is that Hamas first started firing rockets after Israel responded to mass demonstrations and violence in the West Bank.

      Hamas should recognise Israel immediately, not offer. And it is the Palestinians and their violence which has necessitated the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza. It is the Palestinians and not the Israelis who were the aggressors.

      Israel did, generally, all it could to avoid attacking civilians. But given the conditions in Gaza and the tactics of Hamas, any robust defence in against Hamas in Gaza would have led to the deaths we saw earlier this year. But Israel has a right to defend itself and cannot be denied that simply because civilians will die if it exercises it with even the greatest attention to minimising civilian causalities.

  2. I have a question to American patriots, Christians and people of conscience:

    What about the truck loads of Christians who have died in Donetsk, fighting against an army invading their city? These people have died fighting under the banner of Christ, with icons of the Mother of God in their barracks – killed by bombs financed by a liberal, secular, undemocratic European Union.

    Are they “extremists?” Are they “terrorists”? Or are they Orthodox Christians who, disenfranchized by a Western coup, declared independence and have now been bombed by the forces of “democracy” which, if these forces win, will be instituting Gay pride parades and assimilating the local ancient Christian culture to Western secularism at gun point?

    What about the inter-Orthodox war that the EU might spawn because many in Donetsk, rebeling against Kiev, rebel also against the Ukranian patriarch and the people toss out Priests loyal to Kiev in favor of Moscow?

    As for Catholics: I know of Catholic nuns who, caught in the Western bombing of Donetsk risked their lives to save the Body of Christ from destruction, just like Polish Catholics in’44 had to save the remains of St. Andrew Bobola from a Western secular regime run by Adolf Hitler.

    The West is dropping bombs on Catholic churches and convents in Donetsk.

    Americans need to realize: your tax dollars are being spent to prop up a regime in Kiev which is using a modern airforce and army against a Christian people trying to defend their city. This Christian people have been massacred by secular democratic forces.

    None of the Christians fighting for their lives and dying by the truck load in Donetsk would have ever thought to take up arms two years ago – against anybody. Extremism, religious or otherwise, does not emerge in a vaccume but is the consequence of complex events.

  3. Good article but still too politically correct, as if afraid of Truth, and we shouldn’t be afraid of Truth: “Truth will make you free”… and happy.
    What does a “fundamental” Catholic do? Joins a religious order, and goes to Africa to live in poverty caring for dying from AIDS- a life of love-or becomes a celibate priest that tells other Catholics, contrary to their and his boss’ liking, that if they die in a state of mortal sin they’ll go to Hell-a life of love. What does the “fundamental” Muslim do? Puts a few pounds of explosives on his body goes to a market place and blows himself killing innocent people-A life of hatred, or catches a nonbeliever and cuts his head off-a life of hatred. There is no such thing like a fundamental Islamist or a fundamental Catholic-you either are or not-you either follow what Mohamed and Koran said or what Jesus and His Church said or you don’t. Fr. Michel Boniface explains it beautifully with quotes from Koran on
    “The Muslims, who take their religion seriously and want to practice it as it should be, are called “integralists,” fanatics. This accusation is unjust because the way they see it, and often the way they act, corresponds to Islamic doctrine. The Koran and Islamic law are on their side. To disagree with such a doctrine is quite legitimate, but to wish to fabricate an imaginary Islam is both illegitimate and dangerous. To imagine an Islam after the manner of Christianity, where a distinction is maintained between the political and the religious domains, is a supplementary illusion, because the Koran itself, the Islamic tradition, and the deeds and words of Mohammed all contradict it. The Koran, for true Muslims, is the norm, the rule because it is the “divine” word. The Koran, then, being the word of Allah, must, by the laws it contains, govern all of social and religious life.
    The moderate Muslims do not deny this; some liberals deny it in thought; but both, in the long run, are preparing the ground for the Muslims of the Koran who, when they shall be strong and the circumstances favorable, will demand by every means the application of the real Islam….Then our civil and religious idealists will be surprised that the reality does not correspond to the Islam of their imagination. Then, perhaps, they shall regret not having Christianized the Muslims, who, in their immense majority, are the descendants of Christians who were made Muslims by force, by threats and by discriminatory laws that humiliated them, broke their resistance, and sometimes reduced them to a state of misery. Does it need to be said that the entire Near East and northern Africa were Christian? Wasn’t it the principles inscribed in the Koran, the deeds and the words of Mohammed and Islamic law, imposed by terror on so many Christian nations, that made them Muslim? Fundamentalist Islam is the real Islam, that puts into practice the doctrine Islam. The problem isn’t fundamentalist Islam, it is Islam period. Islamic fundamentalism takes its principles from the Koran and from Islamic tradition. The actions of the fundamentalists frighten the ignorant who refuse to see that Islam by nature is conquering and warlike. The greatest service that our civil and religious authorities can render to the Muslims themselves and to Christians is to evangelize the Muslims, communicate to them the knowledge of God and belief in the Trinity who is charity. Any other attitude is delusion.
    The real Muslims who want a holy war follow the Koran. In fact, the jihad is an essential prescription of Islam. The Koran, without which there would be no Islam, urges it: “The true believers say: Has not God ordered a chapter that commands the holy war” (Sura 47:22); or elsewhere: “Kill the idolaters wherever you find them, imprison them, besiege them, ambush them” (Sura 9:5); and, “Make war on unbelievers” (Sura 9:29). “When you come upon unbelievers, massacre them, tighten the bands of the captives that you will have taken. Then you will set them free, or you will release them for a ransom” (Sura 8:57).
    According to the Koran, a non-Muslim is less than nothing: “To Allah, there are no animals viler than those who do not believe and remain unbelievers” (Sura 8:57). That is why it is necessary to Islamize them by force and by humiliation. And those who resist Islam and its founder must be chastised, according to the Koran: “Here is the fate of those who fight Allah and his messenger: you will put them to death or you will make them suffer the torture of the cross; you will cut their hands and their feet alternately. They will be driven from the country” (Sura 5:37). And, since the Muslims are realists, they take into account circumstances and make, accordingly, temporary peace or war: “Do not display cowardice, and do not call the infidels to peace when you are superior to them” (Sura 47:22).
    Islam described by one of the greatest minds ever:
    “”He (Mohammed) seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh urges us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected; he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity.
    He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the Contrary, Mohammed said that he was sent in the power of his arms – which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning (1). Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Mohammed forced others to become his follower’s by the violence of his arms. Nor do divine pronouncements on part of preceding prophets offer him any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimony of the Old and the New Testaments by making them into a fabrication of his own, as can be seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place faith in his words believe foolishly”( Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 1, Chapter 16, Art. 4 –

    • “To imagine an Islam after the manner of Christianity, where a distinction is maintained between the political and the religious domains, is a supplementary illusion, because the Koran itself, the Islamic tradition, and the deeds and words of Mohammed all contradict it.”

      Emil, it is an illusion to Catholics also–please read Pius XI Quas Primas. We have the right to a Catholic state wherever we are in the majority, according to Catholic tradition. Vatican II gave this away–the most important compromise, in the opinion of many, including Marcel Lefebvre. This is what they mean when they say ‘fundamentalist.’ People who will mess with profits.

      I personally am working for the formation of a third party which will begin the work that FIDESZ has begun in Hungary. Without Christ, no nation can achieve justice, and we might as well accept it and take up the cross of it. I may be the only one in America at the moment, but eventually everyone will see what we need to do.

  4. Janet, I am ready to join You immediately, and be the second person! I actually did some research a while ago, and with intention of moving, was looking for nations with a catholic constitution and found two: Costa Rica and Malta, not counting Vatican, and I am seriously thinking of moving to Malta (English speaking country and after learning English I am not planning to learn any other language). And thank You for pointing out that part of the quote, because I had a little “hesitation” with that exact part, but it still somehow explains the difference; I can’t imagine a catholic constitution using force to convert to Catholicism as it would be forcing to love and that would be self-contradictory. And at the same time can’t imagine that all non-Catholics would be expelled from the country; we should strive to show them the Truth, but they do have a civil right to worship their fake gods. I think it would be crucial to really define the word “distinction” that was used. But I do agree, as I have to because it is true, that religion needs to become the culture, if it doesn’t that it is meaningless….”It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation always and everywhere to give You thanks”

  5. Extremist Christians aren’t those who righteously defend “the sanctity of marriage” (homosexuality being only as frowned upon by the Bible as wearing clothes of wool and linen woven together), but those who use violence to achieve their goals. The Christian iteration of fundamentalism had, at its peak, a much larger following than ISIS has or will ever have, and though it was only slightly less destructive than those of Muslim fundamentalists, that could certainly be attributed to their lack of technology. The group I speak of is the Ku Klux Klan. Of course, everyday Christians certainly shouldn’t be held accountable for the actions of this blatantly racist organization, right? Then I don’t see why anyone has the right to attack the Muslim faith as a whole, or attribute the misdeeds of the extremists to a general culture of violence that is central to any one faith as a whole.

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