The world has become a more dangerous place to live in the past fifteen years or so. According to Mark Juergensmeyer's book, Terror in the Mind of God; the Global Rise of Religious Violence, this can be attributed to religious terrorists, or activists depending on one's perspective, reacting increasingly harshly to a world that's increasingly chaotic. Whether that's true or whether it has more to do with the worldly desires of the perpetrators is something that neither he nor I can decide or explain very well.
However, there's no denying that terrorist acts have picked up in the years since the Cold War. According to the RAND-St. Andrews Chronology of International Terrorism, the number of religiously-motivated terrorist acts has increased since the end of the 1990's as compared to attacks of other kinds. With the fall of the Berlin wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, communism was abandoned worldwide in favor of capitalism.
[...] a world where villagers in remote corners of the world increasingly have access to MTV, Hollywood movies, and the Internet, the images and values that have been projected globally have been American stated Juergensmeyer, and then gave an anecdote in which an orthodox Jewish rabbi befriends Hamas mullahs over their common hatred of American sleaze and secularism. However, while many conservatives, moralists, and religious people worldwide are bothered by this slide into commercialism, they also know how to use it to their advantage. [...]
[...] Baruch Goldstein, who gunned down Muslims praying in a mosque for having disrespected Judaism the previous day, a speaker at his memorial service consoled the crowd by telling them that Jewish blood was more valuable than that of the Arabs. Asahara of Aum Shinrikyo had to go all the way to a Tibetan strain of Buddhism to come up with a justification for his attacks; the idea of phoa, the idea that the persons killed are scoundrels, or are enmeshed in social systems so evil that further existence in this life will result in even greater negative karmic debt, then those who kill are doing their victims a favor by enabling them to die early [p. [...]
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