Religious Fanaticism

I will focus here not on a particular event, but rather on an ongoing religious story from 2013 through 2015. Pervasive during this period is the regrettable capacity of religion to nurture the worst in human nature, viz. fanatical conduct. In April 2013, the Boston Marathon was disrupted by two consecutive explosions near the finish line which killed three spectators and maimed 264 others. The two brothers who were responsible were religious fanatics. Bracketing this theme in 2015 was the slaughter in Paris of the editor and artists of the satirical publication, “Charlie Hedbo”. Between these events came the beheadings, mass killings and kidnappings of ISIS and Boko Haram. That these atrocities are associated with Islam is a source of sorrow to millions of non-fanatical Muslims. Human history can document incidents of fanaticism with every major religion. The human capacity for perverting religion into a motive for slaughter is ongoing.



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