Religionhas been used in the society to shape the social values and remain atthe center of the modern civilization. However,religion has also beenusedas a means to spearhead terrorism activities around the world byproviding astrongcohesion and identity in a group of paper. History suggests thatreligion has been used in the context of modern civilization toreshape many ideologies that contributed to radicalism and violencein the past. However, amid many changes in the social sphere, thereare still some elements of terrorist groups within the Americanpopulation (Nacos, 2016). The internet has contributed positively tospread of information worldwide. It helps people to develop anunbiased opinion since they can learn from different materials.Nonetheless, the internet and the interconnectedness of the world hasalso resulted inrising and spreading of terrorist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan,Christian Identity, Neo-Nazi and Antiabortion Violence groups.These terrorist groups use the Christian religion as the commonaspect that helps them to further their agenda.
TheKu Klux Klan group was formed to spreadthe white supremacy by attacking the black immigrants who wereconsidered outsiders and enemies. The group, which started in 1865,had an ideology that opposed the reconstruction movement which aimedat extending equality to the blacks. ChristianIdentityisa group that identifies as the true descendants of Jesus and believesthat Nordic, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon and Kindred People, are the truedescendants of Jacob, Isaac,and Abraham. The group labels others as outsidersand believes that the only extermination or enslavement of groupssuch as Jews and Black will give a chance for the white race tooccupy the Kingdom of Heaven. The Neo-Nazism group is a modernsocial and a political movement that aims to spearhead thefar-right-wing tenets of Nazism such as racism, xenophobia,anti-Semitism,and ultranationalism. Antiabortion Violence has been yet anotherterrorist group that has been prevalent in the US and had carried outanumber ofarsons, bombings and murder attacks to physicist and people whoperformabortions There are many cases murder associated with the group thathave reported since 1970s. The Antiabortion Violence terrorist groupholds divergent views and ideologies therefore they differ in theirstrategies and some of the beliefs. However, this terrorist group usereligion as the common theme that helps the members to create astrong identity with the group.
Religionis a powerful tool that has been used in history and continues to beused even in today terrorist setting to create a powerful union andstrong bonding through establishing strong group identities. Religionhelps terrorist groups to justify their activities that no otherdoctrine or philosophy can achieve. It gives agroupa strong identity and convinces them that they are serving a higherpower than human,therefore,justifying some of the crude tactics used by the Ku Klux Klanterrorist group to further their agenda. TheKKK terroristgroup uses religion to justify their actions through using text fromreligious scriptures such as the Bible(Schmitz, 2016).
Songer(2016) article shows how the Ku Klux Klan transformed from apatriotic group to become one of the most infamous terrorist groupsin the US. The articlehighlights that inorder forthe group to spread across different areas in the US, it was forcedto devise strategies that will create strong identities. The racialaspect identifier was not enough to convince people of a differentclass to join the group. The groupresorted to using the religion identity by attaching itself toProtestantChristianity and radically opposing the expansion of Catholicism. The group called on the whites to radicallyoppose the immigrants, blacks,and Jews and defend their God-givenland. This identification bymeans ofreligion gave the groupa higher power and purpose, especially to poor white families whosefear,basedtheir predicament to the constant invasion of immigrants and otherexternal groups.Religion, in this respect, gave the poor whites and the leaders ofthe Ku Klux Klan a higher justification for their activities.Although the US government managed to eradicate the radical group,some of the ideologies of the groups are still prevalent in newversions of the KKK. Despite the eradication of the group, internetprovides a wider scope to spread terrorist activities and furtherenhances group identity through religion. Manyterrorist groups continueto use religion to increaseterror activities because only a few people are bold enough toquestion religion. These terrorist groups such as the KKK, use aninvertedversion of religion to further their agenda (Songer, 2016).
Graham(2016) article observes the growing extremist of white ideology onthe internet. The article used Twitteranalysis as a basis to observehow some of the terrorist groups are connected and are spreadingtheir agenda. There are many tweets over the internet that is used tospread the ideals of the Christian Identity, Neo-Naziand Anti-abortion Violence. Most of these groups areaffiliatedwith white supremacy. The article revealsshocking revelation of how active these groups arebecause the internet provides them with a ghost platform where theycan air their grievances without a trace.Religion is at the core of this group’s ideology because it givesthem an identity of purpose. Christian Identity and Anti-abortionViolence uses religious doctrine to justify their actions and createa separatist agenda that distinguishes the white and other groups.The Graham article shows that throughthe use of religion in the early organized groups, theymanaged to spread easily.The internet has given them a wider platform to further their agendaunnoticed. The article concludes that the internetprovides terrorist groups such as the KKK with a platform to furthertheir ideology which can result inactiveviolence if not checked. Graham (2016) article shows similaritieswith Songer (2016) in that, theChristian religion has heavily supported the KKK movement and plansthe expansion of the group over the internet.However, one of the major differences in the two mentioned articlesis thatone shows a pattern of the movement`s growth through the internet,and the other gives a historical account of the growth throughrecords and materials.
Schmitz(2016) article also shows the intersection of race, religion,and gender in the KKK websites. The articleanalyzed anumber ofwebsitesthat show their activities in the cyberspace. The KKK, ChristianIdentity, Neo-Nazismand Anti-abortion at some point intersect because of convergingsimilarities. These groups,in particular,seek for white supremacy and separatism. They connect throughidentifying with religion and spreading racism ideals. The articleshowsthat even in the advancedage of civilization, furthering ideology,and spreading terrorist groups is steered through separatism. Bydemonstratingthat people are different from others through outlining many variousaspects and conforming to a religious group, it is easier for thegroup to create a common enemy whomthey can attack (Schmitz, 2016).
Thethree articles point out that religion is a powerful tool which helpsto create strong group identities that can precipitate growth ofterrorist groups such as the KKK, and Neo-Nazism. I believe thatreligion helpsto define social groupsin a society and also forms the basisof difference if the group does not identify with the religion.I believethat religion can become a powerful tool forhelping to create terrorist groups because it aids in forming astrongunity among a group. People believein the ideologiespassed on through the religious books because religion asserts itselfwith a higher power than human beings.
Graham,R. (2016). Inter-ideologicalmingling: White extremist ideology entering the mainstream onTwitter. SociologicalSpectrum, 36(1),24-36.
Nacos,B. L. (2016). Terrorismand counterterrorism.Routledge.
Schmitz,R. M. (2016). Intersections of hate: Exploring the transectingdimensions of race, religion, gender, and family in Ku Klux Klan Websites.Sociological Focus, 49(3),200-214.
Songer,A. (2016). Questioning Communnacity in the Ku Klux Klan. Discussions,12(1):1-11.