Why Religious Militants Kill
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Non-Fiction | Non-Fiction Political
Terror in the Name of God examines terrorist violence and,
particularly, how religion is used as its motivation and
justification. Based on her vast scholarship and extensive
personal interviews, she provides unprecedented insight into
the organisations that are essential to terrorist action,
and into the most effective ways to counter them.
Jessica Stern lucidly explains the components of terrorist
violence, demonstrating how organisations are built by
opportunistic leaders who make followers of the
disenfranchised and recruit them into ‘operative; personnel.
Based on her extensive interviews, Stern concludes that
people join religious terrorist groups partly to transform
themselves and to simplify life. They enter a kind of
trance, where the world is divided neatly between good and
evil, victim and oppressor. They believe that God is on
their side. But God, as is His wont, is silent. And this,
Stern argues, leads to rage and even more violence.
Eventually, in some cases, cynicism takes hold. What starts
out as moral fervour becomes a sophisticated organisation
that strives for money, power, or attention.
Stern concludes with insights into how terrorism might most
effectively be countered – and explains why war is perhaps
the worst solution we could choose.
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