To the Western world today, terrorism usually brings to mind some far-flung desert-like country and the people that inhabit it. Sadly, it often brings to mind terms like Muslim or Islam. When one hears the word terrorism, Ireland is generally not ones first thought, at least for those detached from the situation. The conflict has intensified over the last several decades, making Irish terror organizations a dangerous threat to the rest of the world.Questions arise as to why the violence occurs. How did it start? Is it religious violence, ethnic violence, or power mongering? Most authorities will say that the conflict is political, that religion has a minor role. Others say that it is entirely based on ethnicity rather than politics or religion. Advocates of the religious causes, such as Dr. Ian Paisley, will argue that religion is the fuel to the fire. Many high ranking IRA and DUP officials will even claim that it is a political struggle, and has nothing to do with religion (Juergensmeyer, 2003).
[...] The view held by Protestants that the Catholic church legitimized anti-protestant violence by not denouncing it, and the Church of Ireland declaring the suicide bombers of the Free Presbyterian movement martyrs, only gave further energy to the ensuing ethno-religious violence. Assuming that these ethno-religious lines are infact holding steady, the ideas in Huntington's, Clash of Civilization apply to the conflicts in Ulster. Although Huntington rejects the ideological aspect in contemporary violence, his explanations of cultural differences have some bearing on the situation. [...]
[...] Today the group mainly conducts its acts of violence through terrorism, in a feeble attempt to scare the British away from the Emerald Isle, and gain political power over the Unionists. We can identify this group of people by three attributes; ethnicity, religion, and political ideology. When most people think of the term IRA, they think Catholic. The generalized description of this party in the shortest space possible is native Irish, Catholic, and Republican Nationalists who traditionally oppose the British Government. [...]
[...] The same line of thinking can be applied to Northern Ireland, and the Catholic “resistance.” Remember that the IRA was formed in defense of their neighborhoods that were being poisoned by the protestant and Presbyterian invaders. (Moloney, 2002) The DUP and other underground Protestant militias, also formed in response to attacks on their culture by Irish Catholics in Belfast. So the entire of the situation can be attributed to the religious labels, and subsequent division among the two ethnic groups. [...]
[...] One well known and highly publicized figure of the Unionist party is Ian Paisley, a notoriously rash individual whose teachings are arguably responsible for numerous acts of violence in Northern Ireland over several decades. His affiliation and distant ties to some violent factions of the Orange Order are the primary source of blame among many militant Catholics as well as the British Government and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI, 2006). Paisley is the current head of the DUP and according to Smyth, author of Ian Paisley: Voice of Protestant Ulster, is not the first of his kind, but rather a continuation of a long line of Protestant Clergymen that have emerged as government or military leaders. [...]
[...] The violence occurring on the Emerald Isle is like a virus, spreading from generation to another. It grows with each affliction upon the citizens of this beautiful nation, breeding hate and almost infecting the innocent and breeding sectarian hate. The violence in Ulster, a large northern province of Ireland, commonly referred to as “Northern Ireland” and the City of Belfast, are the main theatres of violence, but by no means are the only areas of the United Kingdom that are affected. [...]
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