Has Christianity incited more terrorism than Islam?

There is a prevailing notion among the American public, for better or worse, that there is something endemic to the Islamic faith that causes followers to “go nuts” and kill innocent people or spread the seeds of terror. Let’s run with this (what I consider misguided) idea for a bit. We can read in the Quran all about how the Prophet set up a wartime ethics system that, while not condoning wholesale slaughter, glorified the military profession and outlined proper conduct for soldiers. Likewise, there is a similar commendation of soldiers in the Christian tradition (onward Christian soldiers, etc.) that seems to indicate that at least some Christians recognize that God might be calling some of His followers to forcibly destroy the life in another. Of course, there are pacifist apologist traditions in both religions, but let’s for now run with the idea that both religions provide inspiration for militant thought and behavior.

Can we define terrorism, at least loosely, as the deviation from perscribed and proscribed ethics of wartime conduct? That is to say, the killing of innocents, guerrilla warfare tactics, fearmongering and threats against civilians, etc. are all considered terroristic acts. While we run many risks doing this, let’s evaluate the history of these two religious traditions through the eyes of contemporary American morality in regards to this definition of terrorism: for it is indeed a contemporary defintion. The historians out there will probably hate us for it, but evaluation of out-of-context deeds in terms of the morality of the person studying said deed is the popular conception of what should go on anyway. The question is now: Which religion has inspired more terrorism? Which religion has had its members commit more terrorist acts?

Perhaps those questions are not easy to answer quantitativey, but I think you’d have to agree that “Christianity” as a monolithic form is at least just as if not more so guilty for inspiring or simply allowing immoral terrorism than is monolithic Islam. I’m not talking about particulars here, I’m talking about cultural and societal trends. Christianity has a history of, if not inspiring, than at least being embraced by those who have committed some of the worst terroristic acts the world has seen. If this is the case, then I submit that it is okay to lambaste as ignorant those who claim Christianity has a moral higher ground over Islam and that Muslim believers are more prone to inspiring terrorism. In other words, the American public’s prevailing notion is incorrect.

Biggest example would be the crusades and the Inquisition. If you were to look at the big picture of history, the Holy Roman Catholic church is the most evil and sinister establishment of all time (no offense to Catholics, it’s simply the truth).

And yes, that’s even after taking the Nazi regime into consideration.

I think terrorism can only be defined as violence directed at civilians for political, or violence in general for political, rather than tactical, purposes. I.e.: violence designed to terrorize a populace rather than acheive a military victory in a conflict.

Frankly, I think definitions that by mere definition rule out countries, even countries in war, from being able to perform act sof terrorism are highly suspect.

The Crusades, however, were not terrorism, at least in the sense that they were a real military aggression meant to capture territory. The Inquisition is closer the mark, but its certainly arguable that it was an anti-crime drive, given that blacksliding was considered a crime in those days.

If all we are talking about is the modern age, then hands down, Christianity simply does not have or inspire many terrorists compared to Islam. It’s hard to compare, given that areas with lots of terrorism tend to be very specific conflicts, in areas where there aren’t at lot of Christians in extreme conflict with other groups. Terrorism tends to occur among people who are desperate for some objective but lack the power to achieve it.

The closest situation I can find to Christian terrorists are the Army of God or other extreme anti-abortion crusaders, who vehemently oppose abortion and homosexuality, but lack the power to do anything about it.

Of course, the idea of blaming on an entire religion the interpretations of just SOME members, is highly suspect.

If you correct for sociopolitical status, I bet you’ll see that the religious correlations go away. It happens that the majority of people who become embroiled in terrorism are from disenfranchised sections of geopolitical spectrum. It also happens that Islamic folk tend to live in those parts of the world where the oppressive politics have disenfranchised large segments of the population (including professional and middle-class workers like those who were recruited for Al-Qaeda). There was a recent study done on terrorist attacks in the modern age (it was an NYTimes article, does anybody else remember it?) where it was shown that the majority of suicide attacks did not, interestingly enough, originate from Islamic fundamentalists, but rather from Sri Lankan revolutionaries.

I frankly think that Apos is creating an argument that is going to be skewed against Islamic terrorists simply by means of eliminating all other forms of terroristic violence. You can’t say that it a) has to be independent of a state, b) has to be directed towards non-military targets, and c) cannot be construed as a legitimate authority cracking down on crime in order to post-evaluate the status of whether someone is a terrorist or not. Certainly “state-sponsored terrorism” for example, has been a State Department designation for years.

I do, however, agree that Apos has a point about today Christians not living in areas where they come in conflict with groups that they would engage in terrorism with. So, let’s conjecture, if Christianity were the dominant religion of the Middle East and Sout Asia and Islam was the dominant religion of Europe and the United States, would the situation look different, or is terrorism independent of religion? I say it is independent.

Salaam aleikum

  1. According the Islamic belief, the prophet didn’t write Al Qur’an. He had nothing more to do with it then what God has chosen him to do. Namely to transmit the Message of God to humanity at that particular place and at that particular time in human history. It is also a common belief -which I don’t under scribe- among Muslims that Muhammed himself was illiterate during his whole life. If you want to read some explanation about the history of Al Qur’an as text, I gave it on a topic made by an other member on this board.

  2. There is no glorification of the military profession in Al Qur’an.

There are certain texts in the OT where the killing of innocent people is ordered -within a certain context .
There is nothing in Al Qur’an that invites to “forcibly destroy the life of others” other then to gifht back when you, the umma or more ingeneral the whole religion is under attack. This retaliation has to be done within the rules. Excluding the permission of harming people who aren’t part of the attacking forces. There are also a very clear commands to stop this fighting the very moment the attackers stop their aggression.
Further is in general a peaceful solution to disagreements far preferable then to actually fight over it.

Deviation is a right word to use here. See above.
I can’t comment on how this is evaluated by US citizens.

I’m not quite sure how to read this sentence.
But this historian tells you that whenever you take something out of its context = when the context doesn’t matter to you anymore it has no value as study object at all.

You shift the focus here from religion to culture and society and the acts of individuals claiming to follow a certain religion.
Terrorism isn’t about a religion. It is about frustration for a variety of reasons under a variety of circumstances. “Religion” can be used as an igniting or sustaining factor, yet that doesn’t imply that the religion itself even remotely promotes, let be approves or teaches these actions.

I agree with this. Yet for other reasons then what you explain here.
Salaam. A

I’d say if you added up the total histories of both religions, they’d be roughly even.

Cleary the laughably silly koran has incited more death and destruction… The best part is… It’s done this from it’s very beginning. old pedophile mo notes how he kills aplenty in it.

old mo is as crazy as Joseph Smith, but with the ethics of Ted Bundy.

Well, as far as I know, neither Christianity nor Islam “incites” terrorism. As both claim to be (and are) peaceful religions, I think that the focus shouldn’t be on the religion. After all, Christians in the United States are just as likely to engage in terrorism as followers of Islam, if I recall correctly. Other factors are more to blame on the occurence of terrorism.

It would be good to look at an analogy. In the United States, a much higher percentage of black citizens commit crime than white citizens. Does this mean that blacks are naturally more pront to crime? Definately not. It’s because another factor, that of poverty (of which a higher percentage of blacks than whites are a part), creates the imbalence. Religion doesn’t incite terrorism for the most part.

My two cents.

islam’s not peaceful. Never has been, never will be. It’s the #1 threat to world survival now.

Get used to that.

Yes, but your the #2

Except that the Crusaders murdered civilians willy-nilly. They engaged in pogroms against Jews all the way along their marches from western Europe to the Holy Lands, and they wiped out entire populations of Orthodox Christians upon reaching them. I seem to recall reading that they killed more Christians than Muslems, actually, though I don’t have a cite handy, and they killed a hell of a lot of non-combatant Muslems. If you wish, you may define terrorism in such a way as to eliminate the Crusades, but I’d say that’s semantic hair-splitting. They were not merely wars of conquest, but were often wars of extermination. Today, much of what they did would be labelled ethnic cleansing, a shudder-inducing euphamism if ever there was one.

People here really need to get educated about what islam is about (murder and women domination and really bizarre reward systems for believers) and what the crusades were about. The ignorance is startling.

Yes, monty, clearly you are right. :rolleyes:

“AD 1099: Crusaders take Jerusalem after a five-week siege; more than 20,000 Jews and Muslims inside are murdered or sold into slavery.”

Note: The quote isn’t meant to be an argument. It’s just a point.

Fine. Start a new thread. Oh, and bring facts. Lots of facts.

And pie. :smiley:

Well wait until they nuke or decide to bio attack on a big scale. If you and I survive, I’ll gladly accept your apology.

Do you realize that these people want us all dead, and they laugh at your politically correctness? It just helps them do what they want. And that’s for you to die for their allah.

Hope you’ll be happy when it happens. The WTC people probably wish it hadn’t. But thanks to your attitude and people like you, it’ll happen again and much much worse. Just hope you know that, and are proud.

Christianity has been around longer than Islam. Naturally we have had more chances to attract nuts.

Goodbye, monty2_2001.

Regards,
Shodan

Goodbye shodan

monty2, do you have a cite for this stuff you’re claiming?