RELIGIA I TERRORYZM W UJĘCIU BRUCE’A HOFFMANA
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RELIGION AND TERRORISM ACCORDING TO BRUCE HOFFMAN’S CONCEPTIONBruce Hoffman’s book Inside Terrorism was published in 1998 in London. In my article, I focus primarily on the chapter entitled “Religion and Terrorism”. According to the author, the first “modern religious terrorist groups” appeared only in the year 1980. It was also in this year that there began a process of gradual dying out of ethnic-nationalistic and separatist terrorist organizations which were now being supplanted by religious ones. While trying to identify the causes of this important mutation, the author mentions the extraordinary significance of the Islamic revolution in Iran, the end of the cold war, the discrediting of the communist ideology, the lesser than expected effectiveness of liberal economy as well as of the democratic system, and last but not least the acceleration of the demographic processes and the growing sense of threat.Whereas trying to pinpoint the main characteristics of religious terrorism, the author emphasizes that aggression is “a sacramental act; it is a fulfillment of an obligation which flows from divine order”, and thus it is an act which is transcendental in nature. Being guided by a different system of values, different motivations, and a different outlook on life, religiously motivated terrorists do not hesitate to launch large scale attacks where the number of victims by far surpasses the one that occurs in the case of attacks organized by lay terrorists.
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