This chapter covers the question of organized religions in the complex global modernity. It explores a range of interactions between the rise of cities as key global spaces for economic, political, and cultural conditions, and the rise of religion as a major force in setting where it was not quite so in the twentieth century, which saw the rise of the secularizing state. The chapter develops the urbanizing of war, as it feeds a particularly acute and violent bridging of cities with religious conflicts, and then takes two specific instances of asymmetric war, one in Mumbai and one in Gaza, to investigate the variable and contradictory elements in this bridging. Religion has emerged as one key organizing and legitimating passion, even as it is often not the cause. The Mumbai attacks had succeeded in drawing a conventional inter-state conflict into the specifics and momentary event that was that attack. Gaza displays the limits of power and the limits of war. The chapter makes visible the territorial conflict driving some of the current religious conflict, even as both sides make use of this long history to justify their actions.
A. Dirk Moses
A long tradition of scholarship has posited colonialism and ‘racial imperialism’ as an enabler of the genocide against European Jewry, though often in imprecise ways. In response, critics of this view have insisted that antisemitism and World War I were the salient enablers, and Germany's colonial experience was too ephemeral to have had serious causal importance. This article changes the terms of debate by presenting the murderous National Socialist program as a colonial and imperial project executed in Europe to compensate for the loss of Germany's empire abroad and in central Europe in 1919. It argues that the style of occupation and warfare Germany conducted in realizing this project was colonial in nature and inspiration, and the Holocaust of European Jewry can be understood in terms of colonial logics as well. At least in part, the Holocaust was, for the Nazis, the attempt of an indigenous people — the Germans — to cast off the perceived exploitative rule of a foreign people: Jews.
This chapter provides a discussion on cosmic war in religious traditions, focusing on the development and evolution of cosmic war in the Hebrew Bible. Cosmic war can allow belief in the direct intervention of a deity on the battlefield on behalf of the deity's tribe, nation, or peopl, and is a concept that is profoundly settled in the religious traditions of the ancient Near East. The major themes found in most cosmic war traditions are elaborated. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq rapidly play the tenor of a cosmic conflict against demonic forces. It must be noted that behind the cosmic impulse, there often lurks very real and earthly grievances that must be considered if the drive toward cosmic war, which remains such a destructive factor in contemporary religious disputes, is to be stemmed.
This chapter provides a review of the contemporary literature on Islamophobia in Europe, through the lens of immigration issues, socio-economic status, and civic participation of Muslim-origin immigrants and their descendants. In addition to the literature review of the current state of knowledge and debate about Islamophobia, it also seeks to address the most recent data, survey findings, and public discourses available about the current state of Islamophobia in the European context. Describing Islamophobia as a form of governmentality in the Foucaultian sense, it is argued that Islamophobia operates as a form of cultural racism in Europe, which has become apparent together with the process of securitizing and stigmatizing migration and migrants in the age of neo-liberalism.
Jean E. Rosenfeld
This article examines five nativistic millennial movements that are culturally, geographically, and temporally dissimilar to find the similarities that bind them into a single category: the Ghost Dance, the Common Law Freemen, Pai Marire, “cargo” cults, and al-Qaeda–the International Jihad. It discusses features of nativist millennialism that began to be extrapolated in the mid-twentieth century with the appearance of pioneering monographs by anthropologists. Loss of ancestral land and traditional ways of life, under foreign invasion, informs the nativist school. The ultimate goal is the redeeming of these elements, by magical means—the sudden disappearance of the invading forces, the return of mythical heroes or messiahs, and an altered landscape. The distant nature of the ultimate goal motivates the nativist to relinquish present ways of life and material possessions as sacrifices.
This article underlines the many paradoxes that accompanied the destruction of European Jewry during World War II. Aside from Germany, no country was so directly involved in killing Jews as Romania, yet half of that country's Jewish population, the third largest in Europe, survived the Holocaust. Hungary participated in murdering most of its Jewish community near the end of the war, even after Germany's defeat and the likelihood of retribution for genocide had become clear. Bulgaria, another German ally, destroyed ‘only’ the Jews from its newly acquired territories. In spite of prevalent and intense antisemitism, Croatia massacred more Serbs then Jews. The Netherlands, a country with relatively weak antisemitic traditions, lost a much larger share of its Jews than France, the home of the Dreyfus Affair, and Italy, although a German ally, was disinclined to let Jews under its jurisdiction be killed. The article reveals how contemporary Holocaust scholarship interprets the origins and unfolding of these counterintuitive variations in behaviour.
This chapter offers an overview of the research on Islamist radicalization in Europe. It first discusses the definition of radicalization and the context and empirical manifestations of Islamist terrorism in Europe. It then engages in a critical assessment of conceptualizations and explanatory theoretical approaches from the perspectives of social movements, individual psychology, discourse, communities, culture, and identity. Subsequently, it outlines the main elements of debate surrounding ‘home-grown’ radicalization, the role of the Internet, radicalization hubs, religion, and deradicalization. The chapter concludes by highlighting the main accomplishments in the field, in particular the emphasis on pathways, socialization processes and narratives, and the destigmatization of Muslim communities in Europe.
Monica Duffy Toft
This chapter, which describes why religion is resurging in the political sphere and the conditions under which religion is most likely to cause troubling violence, also places the source of the problem at the intersection of local politics and three global trends: modernization, democratization, and globalization. The urbanization that accompanied modernization is largely an artifact of the increasing industrialization of production, including especially agricultural production. A greater voice for religion and religious actors is assisted by the global movement toward greater democratization. When globalization accelerated, religious actors are in a position to harness its associated technologies. In the current era, the transnational dimensions of religion, and in particular Islam, explain why religious civil wars have the character of starting out local and then becoming more global. Solving religiously inspired violence demands the combination of religious authority with a better idea.
This chapter describes religious terrorism as “performance violence,” illustrating that performance violence is planned in order to obtain tangible goals, and also to theatrically enact and communicate an imagined reality. The scenario that underlies the performance of religious terrorism is often one of cosmic war. Some religious terrorism could also be motivated by scenarios other than cosmic war. The idea of warfare involves more than an attitude; it is ultimately a world view and an assertion of power. An act of violence sends two messages at the same time: a broad message aimed at the general public and a specific communication targeted at a narrower audience. Silent terrors are those in which the audience is not directly evident. It is noted that terrorism has been conducted for a television audience around the world.