Write a 8 pages paper on religion has influence. Religion has been a source of international conflict and its role has only been reinforced over the year. Religion gives an individual his identity and any threat to one’s belief is a threat to one’s very being. Religion has always played a major role in addressing many conflicts round the world. While religion can also be a strong force for peace building and conflict resolution, in recent times, religion has become a stronger force in leading to international conflicts.
Religion is a powerful force and its power remains undiminished. Together with ethnicity, class, language, and a common history, religion builds the collective identity of the people (Workum, 2000). Religion helps distinguish the ‘in’ group from the ‘out’ group and ‘we’ from the ‘you’. Every human being, to maintain his identity is naturally attached to some ‘ism’ like liberalism, Marxism, nationalism, Hinduism. It is this very phenomenon that has become related to conflict and violence. The “clash of civilizations” thesis of Samuel P. Huntington stated that it was culture rather than ideology that would divide the world (Ercan, 2006). It also said that religion inspired intolerant and irreconcilable images of identity and commitment which was the cause of the conflicts. Religious fundamentalism is a source of international conflicts whether they are Muslims, Christians, or Jews. All have become involved in violence, brutal tactics, and even terrorism. Islamic fundamentalism has definitely left a mark after the September 11 attack on the US and other western countries by the radical Muslim groups. Religion plays a role in conflicts in three ways – legitimation, recruitment, and peace settlement (Little, 2005). In the Israel-Palestine conflict, religion has been used on both sides to justify armed conflict and to mobilize warriors. Holy sites and holy places become controversial issues and lead to conflicts. All these have led to a new threat to global security.