We have been witnessing a steady surge of killing in the name of religion. Buddhist monks chasing and burning Muslims in Burma; Christian extremists attacking Muslims in Central African Republic; Sunnis slaughtering their Shi’ia counterparts in a clockwork fashion during Friday prayers across the Islamic world. And now the butchering of innocent civilians in the name of religion in a single calendar day in Tunisia, Kuwait and France.
Killing comes with a purpose. It can be rational. Those engaged in it have a prior knowledge surrounding the outcome. It is this knowledge that motivates them to undertake that specific action.
Killing in the name of religion has a more sustained rational basis than one could ever imagine. It is the ultimate ideological statement. The purpose here is not the satiation of a private desire. It is more communal. The killer, the suicide bomber, or the butcher enacting his act in front of a recording device are all engaged in an act which they perversely believe their community or religion wants them to do.… Read the rest