Violent Religious Extremism Widespread

By Chris Lowe (November 18, 2015)

This perspective makes sense to me.

I don’t agree exactly about her suggestions about language. Personally I think calling it violent Islamic extremism would be better and less likely to reinforce the generalizations she is rightly seeking to avoid.

To me an important point is to recognize that as we speak of violent Islamic extremism, we also recognize that there are other forms of violent Christian extremism, seen internally in the U.S. on occasion, and on a mass population scale in the Central African Republic against Muslims recently; that there is violent Buddhist extremism directed again Muslims in Burma/Myanmar, and not long ago against Hindu Tamil people in Sri Lanka; that there is violent Hindu extremism in India, largely aimed a Muslims but sometimes other religious minorities.

In addition there is violent secularist extremism, which mixes with Christian and Jewish motivated “clash of civilizations” rhetoric, that underwrites wars of aggression in the Muslim world, such as the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and willingness to tolerate terroristic drone bombing campaigns if Afghanistan and Pakistan. The latter is state conducted terrorism, which the legal world doesn’t recognize, but if we’re going to name things for what they are, should also be named. The war of the Assad government against much of the civilian population of Syria, with recent Russian participation, also fits in this category IMO.

Of the non-state forms of violent religious extremism, violent extremist acts by Muslims are the most frequent and have the largest tolls of death, injury, and destruction. Overwhelmingly the victims are other Muslims.

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