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Between Terror and Tolerance

Religious Leaders, Conflict, and Peacemaking

Timothy D. Sisk, Editor

Publication Year: 2011

Civil war and conflict within countries is the most prevalent threat to peace and security in the opening decades of the twenty-first century. A pivotal factor in the escalation of tensions to open conflict is the role of elites in exacerbating tensions along identity lines by giving the ideological justification, moral reasoning, and call to violence. Between Terror and Tolerance examines the varied roles of religious leaders in societies deeply divided by ethnic, racial, or religious conflict. The chapters in this book explore cases when religious leaders have justified or catalyzed violence along identity lines, and other instances when religious elites have played a critical role in easing tensions or even laying the foundation for peace and reconciliation.

This volume features thematic chapters on the linkages between religion, nationalism, and intolerance, transnational intra-faith conflict in the Shi’a-Sunni divide, and country case studies of societal divisions or conflicts in Egypt, Israel and Palestine, Kashmir, Lebanon, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Tajikistan. The concluding chapter explores the findings and their implications for policies and programs of international non-governmental organizations that seek to encourage and enhance the capacity of religious leaders to play a constructive role in conflict resolution.

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Cover, Title Page, Copyright

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pp. Cover-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

The research on which this book is based was conducted with the support of a generous grant from the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs Program of the Henry Luce Foundation. Toby Volkman is thanked for her oversight and management of the award that made this project possible. The project was administered through the Center for Sustainable Development at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Former executive director ...

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Introduction: Religious Leaders, Conflict, and Peacemaking

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pp. 1-8

The horrific, coordinated terror bomb attacks on mass transit targets that rocked London during the morning rush hour of July 7, 2005-killing 52 and injuring more than 770-led to a quick and strategically considered response by the government of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. With findings from investigations and the bombers' own videotaped statement that the bombers were British citizens, not al-Qa'ida from abroad, and that the bombings were inspired ...

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CHAPTER 1 Religion, Nationalism, and Intolerance

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pp. 9-28

The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the former Soviet Union reminded the world of the importance of ethnic and religious nationalism, a topic eclipsed in two ways by the Cold War. Countries such as Ukraine, long subjected to Soviet control, started in the late 1980s to mount an independence campaign that was, and still is, strongly colored by religion.1 Something similar happened in the struggle between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh shortly

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CHAPTER 2 Religious Leaders, Sectarianism, and the Sunni-Shi'a Divide in Islam

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pp. 29-57

Under what social conditions do Sunni and Shi'a religious leaders justify or catalyze violence along identity lines, and under what social conditions do they lay the foundation for, advocate for, and sometimes mediate peace? These are the overarching questions that this chapter seeks to explore. The relevancy of this inquiry is supported by two objective facts about the contemporary Islamic world that give this topic a pressing new urgency. Religion is a key marker of identity ...

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CHAPTER 3 Between Intolerance and Coexistence: The Vatican, Maronites, and the War in Lebanon

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pp. 49-68

Lebanon is a very interesting and unique case to study the role that religious leaders, both Christian and Muslim, play in conflict escalation and mitigation. Throughout history, religious leaders have played a key role in mobilizing their communities in empowering their followers or inciting them against other groups. The other dimension to underscore is the interconnection that exists between local religious leaders and the transnational network linking to regional and global religious institutions. Most ...

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CHAPTER 4 Globalization, Religion, and Nationalism in Israel and Palestine

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pp. 69-84

As Western neoliberal economic architects were triumphantly remaking local and international politics in their own image after the Cold War, conservative and religious forces were preparing to crack the new edifice of globalization. Neoliberal economists and their proselytes were scarcely able to savor their victory over communism as they rushed to rearm themselves ...

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CHAPTER 5 Egypt and the Legacy of Sectarianism

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pp. 85-104

On January 6, 2010, three Muslim men armed with automatic weapons shot Christian worshipers as they left services celebrating the Orthodox Christmas Eve. Seven people were killed and several others wounded. The assault took place in Nag Hammadi, a city in upper (southern) Egypt, where tensions between the Muslim majority and Coptic Christian minority have long been an issue. Although the Egyptian government downplayed the sectarian ...

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CHAPTER 6 Religion, War, and Peacemaking in Sudan: Shari'a, Identity Politics, and Human Rights

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pp. 105-122

Sudan has attracted global attention for its chronic conflicts, history of repressive rule, and human rights violations. Few African nations are as deeply divided or have experienced as much chronic war and conflict since its independence in 1956. Indeed, decades of war and poor governance have brought the country to the brink, and the South ...

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CHAPTER 7 Nigeria's Religious Leaders in an Age of Radicalism and Neoliberalism

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pp. 123-144

At one level, Nigeria's religious leaders are not unlike their counterparts across the continent in having to sustain and represent their organizations, speak out on matters of moral import, and decide how they are going to work with, around, or against often autocratic political leaders and influential economic elites. But viewed in terms of demographics and strategic importance, the stakes are much higher for those exercising religious leadership ...

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CHAPTER 8 Just Enough to Hate-Not Enough to Love: Religious Leaders in Northern Ireland

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pp. 145-168

Ireland, both North and South, remains one of the most religious countries in Western Europe (Mitchell 2006, 25). When civil war broke out in Northern Ireland in 1968, 95 percent of Catholics went to mass every week, and 45 percent of Protestants attended weekly church-figures far higher than the rest of the ...

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CHAPTER 9 Religion, War, and Peace in Tajikistan

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pp. 169-182

Social identities do not arise as a result of conflict between groups, but they do have the potential to become more salient and evolve into mobilized form. They do not cause or initiate conflict, but they become a powerful tool of social mobilization provoked by leaders. As David Little argues in chapter 1 of this book, social identity becomes a tool for the ...

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CHAPTER 10 The Spoiler and the Reconciler: Buddhism and the Peace Process in Sri Lanka

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pp. 183-200

I have occasionally lamented with Sri Lankan Buddhist monks about the manner in which the Sri Lankan sangha (the monastic community) has become a global exemplar. When evidence is presented that no religion is immune to becoming a vehicle for violence, Sri Lanka's orange-robed monks are pointed to as an example of a militant form of Buddhism. The images presented ...

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CHAPTER 11 Piety and Politics: Religious Leadership and the Conflict in Kashmir

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pp. 201-226

In 1912 the revivalist poet Maqbool Shah Kraalwari published Greeznama, an extended lament about the subversive syncretism of the Kashmiri peasantry: They regard the mosque and the temple as equal, seeing no difference between muddy puddles and the ocean, They know not the sacred, honourable or the respectable (Kraalwari 1912, 5). Less than a century ago, the landscape Kraalwari described has disappeared: as the ugly shrine-land conflagration that set the state ablaze in 2008 demonstrated, mass politics in Jammu and Kashmir appears to be driven almost exclusively by questions of religious identity. Yet the fact remains ...

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CONCLUSION: From Terror to Tolerance to Coexistence in Deeply Divided Societies

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pp. 227-240

Conflict emanating from "internal" wars-conflicts within states-remains the principal, immediate threat to international peace and security into the opening decades of the twenty-first century. Today's most violent crises most occur in countries riven by a volatile mix of factors that give rise to violence, often including religious drivers or manifestations of deep social ...

List of Contributors

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pp. 241-246

Index

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pp. 247-270


E-ISBN-13: 9781589017979
E-ISBN-10: 1589017978
Print-ISBN-13: 9781589017825
Print-ISBN-10: 158901782X

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 1 figure
Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Religion and politics -- Case studies.
  • Violence -- Religious aspects -- Case studies.
  • Political violence -- Religious aspects -- Case studies.
  • Terrorism -- Religious aspects -- Case studies.
  • Toleration -- Religious aspects -- Case studies.
  • Terror -- Religious aspects -- Case studies.
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