Sectarianism: Islam and Pakistan

4378 Words Sep 25th, 2011 18 Pages
Sectarianism can broadly be defined as divisions within a group, such as different denominations within a religion, based on perceived differences. It does not necessarily result in conflict, but historically, sectarian divisions along religious and political lines have contributed to conflict.

Sectarian religious conflict has contributed to some of the most intractable, bitter and painful episodes of aggression and persecution throughout history. For instance, conflict between Irish Catholics and Protestants has existed for centuries, bound closely with nationalist identities, playing out globally in North American cities, as well as the streets of Belfast and Glasgow. Another faultline where sectarian conflict has contribute to wider
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[5] Northern Ireland experiences approximately 1,500 sectarian incidents annually, such as arson and vandalism to religious buildings and symbols. [6] Marches continue to publicly display and promote sectarian differences. [6] The global financial crisis has slowed development in Northern Ireland’s economy; if economic hardships continue or increase, sectarian divisions might become a channel for people’s frustrations. More extremist and violent groups could use the economic situation to build support among a frustrated population. In 2010, the Government, Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party agreed to devolve justice and policing from Westminster to the Northern Ireland administration. Such an agreement could become a foundation for more peaceful relations within the country; however, they could also isolate more extremist republications and, in the court case, could be accompanied by an increase in violent attacks. [7] The ability of the administration of Northern Ireland to cope with the crisis, increase investor confidence and improve education, health and employment opportunities could influence the future of sectarian conflict in the country. [8]
Implications
International geopolitics, political instabilities (local, regional and global) or economic change could fuel the intensification of sectarian divisions, and potentially contribute to violence in countries such as
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