Religions and War Essay

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1. Introduction: Religions and the Holy Texts "Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians...and (all) who believe in God and the last day and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."1 How true is this statement and to what extent do religions not fight each other? Unfortunately, looking back at the holy texts of various religions provides no answers. There are elements and contexts in all of them, which can be correlated with both tolerance and intolerance, indeed contradictory and confusing. Not to forget that those texts are usually abstract, vague, and implicit with ambiguity and every translation is an…show more content…
The concept of ‘Jihad’ was used in order to justify the fight for the ‘injustice of poverty’ (not fight towards non-believers). When a subsequent Khalifah, Bakr was selected, many were claiming themselves the subsequent prophet after Prophet Muhammad. In order to gain recognition and achieve unity in the Islamic world, he launched wars to the surrounding areas. The conquest was continued by his successors as the expansion of power contributed to the accumulation of wealth and talent, finally constituting the grand Islamic civilisation. During that time, the Christians and other believers lived peacefully with the Muslims, paid tax and were well protected.3 These series of ‘Jihad’ depicted the natural rise of a civilisation, like any other civilisations in the world history. They do not fit in the usual conception of ‘religious wars’ that one has in mind, which are battles with explicit aim to exterminate other religions. Subsequently, in the 11th century in Europe, the crusades were summoned by Pope Urban II, to free Jerusalem from Seljuk Turks, who harassed peaceful Christian pilgrims to the holy land. The war ended after the explicit aim of freeing Jerusalem was achieved. The subsequent crusades in the region were mainly due to the struggle for dominance between Islamic and Christian powers after the establishment of Christian Kingdoms to harvest riches following the victory of the first crusade.4 Hence the very first war
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