Religion can be defined as the set of beliefs, dogma, feelings as well as practices which generally explain the relationship between the human beings and the sacred or divinity whereas conflict can be referred as a disagreement or an argument about something important and it's mostly associated with a difference in the ideology or thinking. On the other hand, politics is defined as the various activities of the national government, people who try to influence the way the country is governed, or the members of the law-making organizations. Hence the relationship between religion, conflicts, and politics is such paramount in the day to day lives of people in their respective communities. Therefore, this paper will argue in favor of the resolution that religion is largely a pawn in conflicts. The paper will categorically answer the following questions; why the religion is being used as a tool for conflict on a many occasion around the globe? Why is the state sponsoring violence against a specific group of people? Why is the Muslim religion specifically being discriminated in most parts of the world as well as why certain countries like China are limiting the number of religion which operates within the country?
Religion has been perceived as a driving factor more so in a massive variety of conflicts by certain nations as well as certain influential group of individuals in various countries. However, this ideology isn't true due to the following reasons:
First, religion is being used as a motivation for soldiers, and civilians, who otherwise wouldn't want to engage in any conflict. The Americans, more so the Catholics, soldiers have an image of rural, that's almost savage Muslims being the enemy of the state, which has led to major discrimination in the United States as well as a lot of unnecessary civilian deaths in Iraq. According to statistics, more than two million civilian Muslims have been killed, since they "have posed a threat" just because they have been dressing differently and they are not able to understand English.
From the above point, it's so clear that the religion is largely a pawn in conflicts because those who wouldn't want to engage themselves in any form of conflicts like the American civilians as well as soldiers having that mentality that Muslims are the enemy of the state which isn't true. As a result of this discrimination, the Muslims have been greatly targeted by the state agency, and a reported figure of two million has been killed. It's also clear evidence that the state has been using religion as a motivation for soldiers which are inappropriate.
Secondly, suicide bombings are often branded as being for religious purposes which isn't true. For instance, in the movie we watched about the Israel Palestine conflict, many thought the girl who blows herself up in the name of Islam was as a result of the religious reason which wasn't true. Moreover, when the two mothers interview with one another the mother of the suicide bomber explained how her daughter did this as resistance against their occupation because they don't see many other options to get Israel's attention and try to stop the occupation than by blowing themselves up. Another instance where the religion has been used as a pawn in conflicts is when Timothy McVeigh who was perceived to have blown up the building in OKC because he was white Supremacist Christian. Many people were quick to blame this situation on religion which wasn't true. It's evident that Timothy McVeigh blew up the OKC building because he was just crazy and got brainwashed by the united state military. The attack was an attempt to harm the government and send a message of his anti-government ideas.
Moreover, from the film "United we fall," it's so clear that the Americans were attacking anyone who resembles a Muslim man as a result of Timothy McVeigh attack on the Oklahoma City. The incidence is uncalled for, and it has led to people being afraid to follow their religion. Furthermore, it's also evident that religion has been used as a pawn in conflicts by the political figures as a result of the events of the 9/11 attack as a scare tactic, such as Bush in the year 2004 and most recently Donald Trump Islam phobia remarks during his presidential campaigns.
Another instance where religion has been used as a pawn in conflicts is through social memorization which is generally a gesture used to remember those who fell due to any number of causes or conflicts. For instance, the memorial where the twin towers once stood is a reminder to the Americans of the 9/11 when a group known as the Al-Qaeda attacked the Washington dc and bombs the two tallest towers. The attack which led to the loss of many lives, as well as destructions of buildings, can be memorized to show respect to the dead as well as to comfort the families who lost their loved ones. However, through this memorization, religion has been used as a pawn in conflicts by the politicians to inform the people that their democracy was under fire and all Muslims are their enemy which is inappropriate. However, certain events not even related to a conflict in social memorial can be looked down upon. While memorialization tries to serve as a system to grieve and honor the fallen, it should not lead to conflict at all costs. I think it is important to remember events and it is also a good way not to repeat mistakes.
State-sponsored violence has since become a big problem globally. The government of certain countries has interfered with the religious customs as well as the traditions of certain groups which significantly influences the public opinion in "a negative way." For instance, in 2010 France passed an Act that "prohibited concealment of the face in public space." The Act stated that any violator of the law would be forced to pay a fine for displaying their faith. Hence, this is a general law which is aiming at specifically targeting people of the Islamic faith and infringes on their freedom which is not right all. Also, the ban on wearing a hijab in public even though you can wear a cross or some other religious symbol sends a message of dehumanization which helps keep the same group in power. Thus these Acts by the French government against religion is largely a pawn in conflicts.
Moreover, in China, only five religions are recognized by the state. These are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism, and Catholicism. However, there are recorded over twelve religious groups which are banned in China as "evil cults." The government has also issued policies which control the religion that the people practice as well as restricting them from practicing their religion. Hence, this act can be described as the state-sponsored violence because it restricts the ability of certain groups to practice their faith and by doing so, it depicts these groups in a negative light to the other people in the country. Thus the actions of the Chinese and French governments are prime examples of how the state influences conflict.
In summary, religion has negatively been represented by certain countries as well as some groups of individuals. For instance, the united state, France, and China have been pointed out as nations which influence conflict amongst her people using the aspect of religion. United state has been pointed out as using religions to motivate their soldiers whereas the Chinese government has enacted policies which regulate certain religions in the country by merely terming them as "evil cults'. On the other hand, the French government has also passed an Act that "prohibited concealment of the face in public space." Thus the papers argued in favor of the resolution that religion is largely a pawn in conflicts.
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