Religious, but non-Islamic, terrorist organizations

Aum Shinrikyo is most definitely a religious and was certainly once a terrorist organisation.

I think the problems here are that, first of all, “terrorist” is a terribly loaded term (as we’ve already seen in this thread) and whether we label a particular group “terrorist” or not may depend more on our position/ideology/values than on theirs.

Secondly, again as we have already seen in this thread, the mere fact that members of a particular group are identified by religion, and they embrace their religious identity, doesn’t mean that they adopt whatever tactics they adopt because of their religion. Right now, there is signficant conflict/tension between the Islamic world and the Christian/postchristian/secular west. And the dynamics of that conflict mean that militants on the Islamic side have more reason to adopt terrorist tactics than militants on the other side. (And our position is such that we’re more likely to label the tactics they adopt as “terrorist”). None of this means, though, that they adopt the tactics they adopt because they’re Muslims.

The wars of religion in Europe were pretty terrifying, but it would be anachronistic to label anything that went on there as “terrorism” (though, if the same things were done today, some of them would undoubtedly be called “terrorist”). Terror as a named political strategy dates from the French Revolution, and of course also from that time we in the West have not generally identified ourselves religiously in our political conflicts. Croats and Serbs may be of different Christian denominations, and this, together with the use of the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets, may be the most obvious distinctions between them, but the war in former Yugoslavia was not analysed in those terms, by the participants or anyone else.

But in some other parts of the world there is still a strong tradition of different communities identifying themselves by religion or denomination, and this is particularly strong in the Middle East. Where terrorism is deployed in that context, its easy to link it with religion, because the participants in the conflict explicitly identify themselves religiously. But this isn’t just an Islamic thing; it’s predominantly Islamic, because of the demographics of the region, but you have Christian-identified groups in Lebanon, a Jewish-identified state in Israel, etc. But I don’t think that the resort to terrorism by, say, Al-Qaeda tells us any more about Islam than the tactics of the Israeli state necessarily tell us about Judaism.

Buddhist organizations (and mobs) have been carrying out a lot of violence against Muslims in Myanmar.

India has seen somewhat recent Hindu on Christian terrorism, such as this incident.

As jovan pointed out, Aum Shinrikyo is a religion that sarin gassed a bunch of Japanese subway users.

Without getting into GD territory, many of Israel’s enemies consider their security forces Jewish terrorist organizations.

Scientologists don’t typically resort to violence, but they do use a lot of coercion, blackmail, and legal threats against their religious enemies (read: every sane person).

There’s been semi-recent Buddhist violence on other religious groups in Asia.

Indira Gandhi was killed in retaliation for launching a raid on the Sikh Golden Temple to root out some militants who were holed up in the complex. The militants themselves were led by a secessionist preacher named Bhindranwale, who had said things like ‘anyone who disrespects [our Holy Book] needs to be killed’, so it seems fair to say the actual crisis was religiously inspired. The raid itself killed a lot of people and sparked a lot of outrage among critics of Indira, so I’m not sure how much religion specifically played a role in the motivations of her assassins.

Kind of surprised we got this far without a mention of Christian Identity and the Patriot movement. They (or those espousing largely similar beliefs) have carried out (mostly low level) domestic terrorism since the early eighties (though they’ve been a bit quieter since the millennium thing sputtered.)

Well, kind of:

I challenge anyone to stand outside a women’s health center than provides abortion for one day and not call that terrorism. I’ve seen those protestors harass women, screaming and putting their hands on them, and chasing them down the street like they were dogs. They will not listen to NO.

When you tell a couple and their two little daughters going into a clinic “Don’t go in there. They murder babies in there,” you have crossed a line.

Way to generalize, there. I wonder if you would accept the same sorts of generalizations about other political groups.

So, expressing an opinion is now ‘terrorism’ to you? An opinion that’s actually correct, in this case?

I think ‘terrorism’ is already a wildly overused word (in one of these other threads someone else was claiming that the Viet Cong were terrorists, which I think is pretty absurd), we really don’t need to stretch it beyond any logical meaning.


“Terrorism” =/= saying horrible things. I find most anti-abortion protestors abhorrent but they’re simply not terrorists. The Tiller people obviously are, of course.

Here’s a man bites dog example.

The Fundamentalist Baptist Tripura Liberation Front have engaged in a campaign of mass-kidnappings, murders, blackmail and gang-rapes in their quest for a Christian theocracy.

The burning of crosses was a trademark of the second Klan which could be considered a religious organization though it was not overtly so. The crosses were meant to recall the Cross of St Andrew which was the national symbol of Scotland. So the cross was a symbol of ethnic nationalism and not a religious one in the way they were using it.

The crosses were burned because they were in Birth of a Nation (because they were in The Clansman.) It was only an allusion to Scottish history by accident, really. The Klan, and the Second Era Klan in particular, has always been a Protestant organization espousing a worldview based on specific Christian beliefs (though of course those beliefs may not be consistent with other Christian teaching.)

You can tell people whatever you want, and it’s free speech, not a crime.

The mere act of touching, in a way that seems threatening or could be taken as such (i.e. by screaming and angry looking people) is assault and a crime. Blocking your way is a minor crime.

The uttering of threats is a crime IIRC IANAL I think it has to be specific - “you’ll burn in hell!” is not a threat, “We’ll kill you like you killed your baby!” is a threat.

Protestors committing crimes are, in a way, terrorists - certainly they are intimidating some of the general public, which seems to be a reasonable definition of terrorism. If the overall actions of the protestors seem to be more about intimidation than information, I would certainly classify that as a form of terrorism. Simply expressing a point of view is not. Most of the protests I’ve seen, in front of hospitals, were generally of the peaceful sort- simply offensive for the message and placards… but then I didn’t stop to see what they did, and at least in a hospital, the majority of traffic in and out is not for abortions so they wouldn’t know who to target.

Stand outside a women’s health center that provides abortions. They are trying to terrorize women into not having abortions. They totally ignore the word NO. On Saturdays, there have to be people to escort the women into the center. How terrorizing is that?

Terrorist organizations tend to arise among people who believe (rightly or wrongly) their way of life is threatened or under attack and a conventional defense seems futile. Follow the dots.

Hmmm… Most abortions in Canada (from cursory reading of daily news) happen in hospitals, along with every procedure in the book. Since health care is government provided, under the “equal” clause it should be available to everyone. The “medical necessity” issue died with the end (unconstitutionality) of laws restricting abortion, so like any procedure it is available almost everywhere paid for by the government. Animated protests are pretty futile, you’d be ticking off everyone needing medical care or visiting a patient.

The few protests I see driving by the hospitals from time to time are sad old men and post-menopausal women, a few families than dragged along their kids (sad), quietly parading the sidewalk. Rarely more than a dozen people at these sort of protests, rarely last more than a week, usually an outing by one of the local fundamentalist churches. Maybe it’s different at more central hospitals.

What happens in the USA often amazes me.

Most late-term abortions are performed in hospitals. I would be surprised if most abortions generally were performed in hospitals. Until some point (around the end of the first trimester?) abortions are chemically induced and require no invasive procedures at all, so an outpatient clinic is the logical place to have them.

I think the problem in Canada is a side effect of the last gasp of the anti-abortion crowd. Dr. Henry Morgentaler went on a crusade to bring abortion on demand to Canada by opening clinics in several provinces. The reactionary crowd countered with “this procedure can only be performed in hospitals” regulations, where it was limited because a committee of doctors decided whether the health of the patient warranted the procedure. Then the supreme court here said the law was unconstitutional, since the decisions of the committees (and availability or procedures) had little to do with patient need and more to do with hospital administrations’ prejudices. Members of parliament were unable to compromise on an acceptable law, so there has not been one restricting abortion since then. So procedures are provided n hospitals, and if the province offers abortions for any reason whatever, their regulations mean the availability has to be fair and open to all women.

The crosses as burned by the KKK bear no resemblance to a St Andrews cross (which is in any case, itself a religious symbol).

Anyway, are you really trying to imply that the KKK was an organization specifically for people of Scottish descent?