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  The Aftermath of Evil 
  Sep 12, 2001, 11:00am EDT 

Religious fanaticism

By: Sander Sassen

The cause of these attacks might be obscure to most of us and most likely stems from religious fanaticism, a concept that has been long since abandoned in the majority of the Western world, excluding some parts of Ireland. However in large parts of the Middle-East people still get killed because of their beliefs and some countries even prohibit you from practicing anything but the religion dictated by the government. I realize this sounds like a huge burden is laid upon these people as they can’t speak their mind freely or make their own decisions when it comes down to religion or something we take for granted such as basic norms and values. In actuality it is often a matter of what you’re accustomed to, and many of the inhabitants of these nations wouldn’t want it any other way.

I realize I’m making a very broad generalization here, but there’s more. Most of these nations base the fundaments of their society on their religion, and try to live by it every day. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as most religions don’t actively promote killing other humans. In some cases however the religion is used as a tool to brainwash people and motivate them to start a holy crusade against the ‘evil forces’ that threaten their beliefs. Some groups actually break off from the commonly accepted religion and start focusing on a certain part of that religion, often targeted towards other nations influencing their way of life. These people are often referred to as ‘religious fanatics’ and they can either be harmless protestors that advocate their beliefs but could also turn into the people that strap on a few pounds of explosive and blow themselves up, or become suicide commandos that blow themselves to bits and pieces, taking with them cars, buildings and innocent bystanders.

These religious fanatics have but one agenda, carrying out the will of God and protect themselves, their citizens and their nation from the ‘evil forces’ abroad, whether that’s a neighboring country or a nation many thousands of miles away. Naturally we cannot deny that the Western World and the US in particular have been meddling in many affairs, especially in the Middle-East, mainly for economic but also political and military reasons. With the Gulf war in 1991 and the subsequent support by the Western World of many rather dubious governments in the area, mostly motivated purely out of economic reasons, some of these fractions clearly took offense and see the Western World and the US as the embodiment of evil.

1. Introduction
2. Religious fanaticism
3. Justifications?
4. Solutions?

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